Today in Parliament | 29th November 2023

Today in Parliament | 29th November 2023

Greetings from AFLI and the Parliament of Uganda!

This is an update from the Parliament of Uganda marking the 18th Sitting of the 1st Meeting of the 3rd Session of the 11th Parliament. This Sitting was chaired by the  Speaker Rt. Hon. Anitah Among. In her communication, Among said, “As we get into the festival season, soon we will be going for recess and I will request you as the leaders to ensure that you talk to your electorates on how they should live responsibly to avoid issues of getting bad characters, especially the students who are on holiday”.

Reacting to the Speaker’s communication, Hon. Macho Geoffrey (MP, Busia Municipality, INDP) said ” Festival days are testing days in the lives of people because they are days of enjoyment and celebrations but they are days that need a lot of security and family care and support. Therefore I pray that the government should come and give us the strategic security plan majorly to the border areas whenever it comes to December, there is a lot of insecurity on borders and Busia in particular. As parents, we should guide our families so that as we enter the festival days we come out of them well with celebrations”. Hon. Ssemujju Nganda (MP, Kira Municipality, Wakiso, FDC) asked  Speaker Anita Among to vary the Order Paper to bring forward the item on missing persons. In response, Speaker Anita Among accepted the request.

State Minister for General Duties, Musasizi Henry later laid a proposal in Parliament to pre-finance the reconstruction of Masaka-Mutukula Road (89.5 km) and rehabilitation of Nyendo-Villa Maria (11km) and upgrading of the 3.5km access road to UPDF Barracks in Masaka District and 3.5km access road to Masaka Industrial Park at a total cost of Shs 691,680,000,000. The loan request was referred to the Committee on National Economy for Consideration.

The House then moved on to consider the Report of the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on The Judicature (Amendment Bill), 2023. This was presented by the Committee Chair, Hon. Rwakoojo Robina Gureme who is also the (MP, Gomba West County, Gomba, NRM).  According to the Chair, the Committee has examined the Bill and presentations made on the matter and is of the considered opinion that the proposal to increase the number of Justices of the Supreme Court from the current 11 to 21 be rejected. The Chair noted that increasing the number of Justices at the Supreme Court will not solve case backlog since case backlog is not caused by a lack of Justices of the Supreme Court. The Chair further noted that the issue of case backlog can be solved by creating efficiency in case management & reviewing the jurisdiction. The Chair also told MPs that increasing the number of Justices of the Supreme Court will increase government expenditure. The House later passed into law the Judicature Amendment Bill 2023, retaining the number of justices of the Supreme Court to 11 & rejected the 21 proposed by Gov’t. MPs however agreed to increase the number of justices at the Court of Appeal to 35, instead of the 55 that had been proposed.

Thereafter, the Minister of State for Internal Affairs, David Muhoozi tabled a government report on the missing persons. According to the Minister, the Statement by the LOP that Uganda is among the worst human rights abusers is sweeping, unsubstantiated, and false. He added that it remains the government’s policy and conviction, to respect and protect human rights. The Minister noted that Contrary to what Hon. Mathias Mpuuga claims, an investigation was done immediately after the November 2020 riots, and a report to that effect was presented to the last Parliament by the then Minister of Internal Affairs. The Minister also called on individuals with evidence showing the individuals behind the killings of civilians during the November 2020 protests to furnish investigation bodies with this kind of evidence.  “Government keeps open the window for any fresh and incontrovertible evidence, pointing to individuals that are culpable regarding alleged wanton and unjustifiable use of excessive force in order to ensure that the ends of justice and accountability are served”, Muhoozi said. 

Minister David Muhoozi also told parliament that investigations have been conducted into all 30 cases as reported to the Uganda Human Rights Commission by the NUP and their findings make the complaints of the Opposition questionable. He added that the said supporters have either not been cooperative by providing more evidence to corroborate their allegations or have changed the narrative of their allegations to one that is very different from the one they reported to the Commission. The LOP Hon. Mathias Mpuuga promised to respond to the Minister’s statement with particularised prayers on Tuesday, 05 December 2023.

The Speaker afterward adjourned the House to Thursday, 30th November 2023. at 2:00 PM.

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