Day 2: Kadaga swears in, seeks 3rd term as speaker

By Alice Lubwama

67 Members of Parliament have been sworn in this morning during the second day of the ceremony and among them, is the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga also Kamuli woman MP.

After taking oath, Kadaga said that she was planning to submit her documents to the NRM electoral commission to express interest for the office of the speaker seeking her third term in office.

Kadaga also said that if elected the speaker of the 11th parliament she will make sure that the construction of the new chamber is completed to ensure all members of parliament can comfortably carry out their duties.

The Central Executive committee of the NRM party on Monday directed all members of the NRM party who are interested in contesting for the post of the speaker and deputy speaker to take their documents to the party’s electoral commission.

Buyanja county and also minister for finance Matia Kasaija was also sworn in today.

Kasaija advised Ugandans to take advantage of government programs to fight poverty rather than continue involving themselves in the system of hand to mouth.

He said in the coming term, the Government will ensure people engage in economic activities that will bring in money in order to reduce poverty;

“He said that when people are poor there easily manipulated, they cannot look after themselves well and eventually they will die early.” Kasaija said.

Tororo north MP Geoffrey Ekanya said their commitment as opposition will be to design a new frame work to move the country forward , he said the method they have been using in the past seem not to have delivered them.

“We have to design a strategy that will promote east African integration, and transition similar to what the people of Tanzania and Kenya did negotiating with President Nyerere out of power, if don’t do that , we hate what happened in Libya, Congo , Somalia and other countries.” he said

Ekanya said they will need to reach out to the NRM so that they know that they are time is up and they guarantee them peace and stability beyond president Museveni.

Speaker Kadaga ask out going MPs to accept that there is new life after parliament

By Alice Lubwama

The speaker of Parliament Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga has commended the outgoing legislators for the distinguished service they have rendered to parliament and Uganda at large and appealed to them to find ways of accepting that there is life after parliament.

Kadaga made the remarks while speaking at the seminar named life after parliament which is organized by parliament to orient the MPs who never made it for the 11th parliament that there is life after parliament.

Kadaga noted that the outgoing MPs have given in all their time to do parliament work most especially when it came to budget time during the committee and plenary sittings

She has questioned them to find new ways of navigating the new life outside parliament so as to live comfortably.

Former Bukedea county mp in 8th parliament Charles Okello Oduman informed the outgoing members of parliament that they should first accept that they are no longer members of parliament and then everything will be soft for them.

He has also asked them to give space for the newly elected members to do their work and spend more time on recovery to reorganize themselves if they want to make a return.

He has also asked them to leave the mourning mood and organised their finances plus repositioning themselves.

Charles Ocici one of the facilitator also appealed to the outgoing MPs to reset their minds and stop blaming themselves for not making it again to the 11th parliament if they are to prosper financially when they are out of parliament.

He has also advised them to reorganize their cash flows because now they can’t spend the same way as they have been doing while MPs. He has asked them to communicate the massage of acceptance to their close friends and those people responsible that they have really lost the elections and it is a time to start life again in anew style
outside parliament.

Dokolo woman Mp Cecilia Ogwal said that even the cabinet ministers who will not make it in the new cabinet also need this kind of orientation to prepare them for the new life when they are not members of cabinet.

Musumba asks court to allow her use alternative means to serve Kadaga

By Sania Babirye

The Jinja High Court has set the 21st of April to rule on an application in which Forum for Democratic Change’s Salam Musumba is seeking a substituted legal order to allow her serve the speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga a copy of the Election Petition challenging her victory for the Kamuli Woman Member of Parliament through other means.

This is after Musumba’s lawyer John Isabirye told court that he has failed to serve Kadaga personally or anyone close to her with the said petition asking court to allow them to serve Kadaga through other means including through newspapers.

However, Kadaga’s Lawyer Opio Emmanuel, asked judge Fred Waninda to dismiss the said petition on grounds that the petitioners failed to prove that they have failed to serve Kadaga personally.

Opio further asked court to dismiss the said petition on grounds that it lacked merit.

Kadaga defeated her two contenders with 92,388 votes with Musumba coming in second with 26,851 votes while, NUPs Nabirye Brenda pulled 10,760 votes.

Kadaga expresses interest in CEC position for the third time

By Alice Lubwama

The speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga has expressed interest to contest for the position of the 2nd national vice chairperson Female of the central executive committee of NRM, for the 3rd time.

Speaking to the media after picking the nominations forms from the NRM electoral commission, Kadaga said that although she is still interested in the post of the speaker in parliament but her being in CEC is very critical to influence policies because this is where the major decisions of the party are made.

Others who picked the nomination forms include the deputy speaker of parliament Jacob Oulanya who expressed interest for the position of the vice chairperson Northern region, Hajji Abdul Naduuli who expressed interest to contest again for the position of the vice chairperson of the central region in CEC.

The executive director of Uganda Media Centre Shaban Bantaliza has also picked nomination forms to contest for the position of the vice chairperson of western region.

Others include Dr Samuel Odongo who also wants to contest for the vice chairperson of Northern Region CEC.

The process of picking nominations forms for the aspiring candidates of the top positions of the party will end tomorrow.

Speaker Kadaga says she is considered a fool because she is not corrupt

By Alice Lubwama
The speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga says she is considered as one of the fools in the country because she is not corrupt.

While launching the parliamentary forum on Ethics and integrity at parliament, Kadaga noted that she has worked for many years but the property she owns is just one eighth of what those who have worked for only two years.

“Actually when you don’t steal in this country you’re a fool, so am one of the fools.” She said.

Kadaga called for integrity clubs in schools and use of small circles in the communities such as Niginas to promote integrity.

She has also attacked Mps for lack of morals while dispensing their work. She said that some even jump of out the vans on their way to the field after signing for allowances.

“You go to the committee sign, you leave and go for a workshop you sign there and go for another one, the whole day, Hon members that’s all corruption,” She emphasized.

She has asked the members of parliament to work as examples to the society, adding that the integrity lessons begin with young people, for the country to have a generation which has integrity and respect ethics.

In a message read for the minister of education Janet Museveni during the same function by the minister in charge of general duties in the office of the president Mary Karoro Okurut, she said that her ministry was in the process of integrating the study of ethical valve into the school curriculum and this will be compulsory at both primary and secondary level, so that children are taught the ethical valve when they are still young.

The ministry of Education has also started on the process of introducing professional ethics and integrity courses at tertiary institution at the university in a way of promoting ethics and integrity.

The chairperson of the parliamentary forum on Ethics and integrity also former Ethics minister James Nsaba Buturo said that lack of character had destroyed ethics and integrity of the country because people who are supposed to promote the law are the ones violating it, citing the traffic officers and other government officials.

Nsaba Buturo also said it was a shame to the country to see drug addicts in Uganda praised as role models to the young generation, appealing to colleagues in parliament to step and lead the struggle to streamline morals in the country to give it a bright future despite their political differences.

“It’s difficult to say that all is well in our nation, if this trend continues we are going to witness a situation that is very nasty for all of us.” He said.

Kadaga demands Government assurance on the safety on Murchison falls

By Alice Lubwama

The speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga has demanded for an early assurance from Government that it will not tamper with Murchison falls.

While opening the plenary sitting this afternoon, speaker Kadaga said that she was seeking the assurance on behalf of the citizens who are concerned about the tourism sector.

This comes after the power regulator; Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) published a note inviting public views on the planned feasibility study of the area by a South African firm that would eventually construct the power dam.

Tourism operators and conservationists have all come out to oppose the move saying that by constructing a dam near the falls, it will disappear.

Murchison Falls is situated in the Murchison Falls national park in the northern part of the Albertine Rift Valley.

It is well known to be one of Uganda’s ancient conservation areas. The park covers an area of about 3,893km2 and it is known to be one of Uganda’s well-protected areas.

The speaker has also set a deadline for government to table before parliament all the business considered important by mid August for early consideration, saying that the business committee of parliament which convened this morning discussed the parliamentary calendar and the business to be handled and agreed that mps break off for recess by 3rd October.

“We have in mind the electoral reform bills, I don’t know how many times I should emphasize this but we need answers on this.” Kadaga said

She noted that the mps need to complete their work before October, in order to have time for their constituency since this is the year when lawmakers spend more time with their constituents.

The speaker has also asked the leader of government business also prime minister to ensure that ministers attend the sittings of the house since in absence of a relevant minister; she will be forced to order any minister to handle any business.

Kadaga asks people who are sexually abused to report to her office

By Alice Lubwama

The speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga has asked all people who are sexually harassed at their work place to report to her office so that she can take action.

Kadaga made the call during a news conference at parliament just after a meeting with the attorney general William Byaruhanga , gender Minister Janet Mukwaya and the prime minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda where she was briefed on the case of a senior state Attorney Samantha Mwesigye who recently broke silence over sexual harassment by a male supervisor

On 22nd of May a delegation from women movement led by national youth female MP Anna Adeke petitioned the speaker kadaga seeking for her intervention into the alleged sexual harassment within the ministry of justice and constitutional affairs.

The women activists sought parliament intervention after Samantha Mwesigye had complained that she had reported the matter to several government offices including the one of the prime minister but was not helped.

Now Kadaga says that an internal committee was set up within the ministry of justice to investigate the allegations and action will be taken after the report has been released.

Although Mwesigye recently complained that apart from the committee taking long to produce the report, she does not trust it.

However Kadaga said that if the complainant is not satisfied with the committee report she can proceed to the industrial court.

Mwesigye alleges that the sexual harassment by his supervisor has taken a decade. A Uganda Human Rights Defenders Association (UHRDA) survey carried in 2013 in 2,910 organizations indicated that 90 percent of women are sexually harassed at places of work by their male seniors.

The study was carried out in companies, financial institutions, churches, health centers, universities, and other settings. The Human resource managers have also called for the enactment of the Human Resource Bill 2016 to curb sexual harassment at places of work.

The call to have a law comes after an outcry by the secretaries and Administrative Professionals in Uganda complained over sexual harassment and advances at work by their bosses.

Speaker Kadaga returns

By Alice Lubwama
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has returned to office after staying away for more than a month.

Kadaga appeared in parliament at about 11 am in the morning to launch a conference website.

Kadaga made her first public appearance during a launch of a common wealth website at her boardroom at parliament.

Speaking at launch, she thanked God for enabling her to return on time to launch the website that will facilitate interaction among the 1000 delegates who are expected to attend the common wealth conference.

Clad in a blue Kitengi dress the speaker carried a healthy look and smiled all way through as parliament staff led by the clerk Jane Kibirige and MPs on the steering committee of the 64th Common wealth parliamentary conference led her through preparations for the meeting.

The launch of the website is one of the activities that has been done ahead of the upcoming 64th Commonwealth parliamentarians’ conference taking place in Kampala from 23-29th September 2019 under the theme: “Adaptation, Engagement and Evolution of Parliaments in a Rapidly Changing Commonwealth.

She launched the website by sending an email to the chairperson of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Emila Lifaka.

The speaker has used the opportunity to rally the international community to come to Uganda adding that the recent reports of kidnaps are not a threat to the security in the country.
“Our job will be to continuously reassure them that they will be safe and if we drum the message they will come.” Kadaga said

She also called upon all stake holders to support the conference as it will market Uganda as a better tourist destination in the region.

Kadaga was rushed to Nakasero Hospital after she fell ill on her return from international duty in the United States of America.

She was later transferred to the Agha Khan Hospital in Nairobi where she has been receiving treatment of work related fatigue that resulted into her hospitalization and eventual absence from duty for this long.

Kadaga solicits funds for refugee mothers

By Edwin Muhumuza

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has called for a special fund to cater for women raising families in refugee camps .This while Speaking during the 14th session of the Parliamentary Union of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Conference (PUOIC) in Rabat, Morocco,

The speaker said the funds will come in handy to save women battling difficulties in refugee camps.

“Motherhood in refugee camps is a devastating experience; single mothers in conflict areas are faced with the difficult task of raising families because the fathers are either dead or active combatants,” said Kadaga.

“Let us create a special fund and ensure that we eliminate their suffering and make life better for them,” she added.

The conference, has attracted speakers from OIC Parliaments, who are discussing conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa, and centering on how to bring an end to wars, death and suffering in those troubled areas.

Kadaga said the best solution lies in ensuring opportunities are created at home for youths dying in the conflicts, as well as those taking dangerous journeys to flee the wars.

Describing the Mediterranean as the “graveyard of troubled young people from our countries who have been denied opportunities”, Kadaga said there is need for introspection to address the causes of those conflicts, which create refugees.

Uganda has been hailed for being receptive to refugees, amidst growing populist, far right movements in Europe and some parts of South America, which triumph on the anti-immigrant card.

In 2017, a Uganda Solidarity Summit on Refugees was held on the sidelines of the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa. It raised funds to support Uganda’s refugee hosting activities.

Based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the PUOIC is the second largest international organization after the United Nations with 57 member states and was founded in 1969 to, among others safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony.

Speaker meets Qatar counterpart

On the sidelines of the PUOIC, Kadaga held talks with the Speaker of the Shura Council of Qatar, Ahmed Abdullah bin Zaid, where the two agreed to closer engagements in future.

Kadaga welcomed Qatar’s support to African countries, saying with more opportunities, the continent stands to register progress and accelerate its journey to self-dependence.

“Africans never want to leave their countries; it is only pressures like unemployment, conflict…opportunities are what the African people are looking for,” she said.

Uganda’s Ambassador to Morocco, Mr John Alintuma Nsambu was part of the meeting. Kadaga is leading a delegation comprising MPs Latif Sebaggala (IND, Kawempe North), Sarah Nakawunde(NRM, Mpigi), and Zaitun Driwaru (IND, Yumbe).Others are Ogama Alli Ismail (NRM, Lower Madi County), Abbas Agaba (NRM, Kitagwenda) and the Clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige.

Kadaga directs Otafiire to present electoral reforms

By Alice Lubwama
Parliament has directed the minister of Justice and constitutional affairs Gen. Kahinda Otafire to present a statement next week on how far government has gone in making the electoral reforms as directed by the Supreme Court.

The speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga noted that for the last two years, Government had remained adamant on presenting the reforms even when she makes efforts to remind them to bring the necessary legislation.

Kadaga says that the delays in presenting the reforms might cause panic and stamped in parliament as the reforms will not be accorded appropriate time for discussion before they are passed.

The speakers directive comes after the electoral commission has already issued out the road map for 2021 elections an indication that the preparations for the elections have already started though some of the required laws are not yet in place.

The Supreme Court, in its ruling in the election petition that was filed by former presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi highlighted 10 points that needed reforms including the time for filing and determining of the petition; the nature of evidence in an election petition; the time for holding fresh elections in case an election is nullified; and regulating the use of technology.

The other recommendations are on unequal use of State-owned media;late enactment of relevant legislation; donations during election period; involvement of public officers in political campaigns; the role of the Attorney General in election petitions; and implementation of recommendations by the Supreme Court.