Speaker Kadaga Suspends Plenary Due to Absence of Ministers

Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga this afternoon unprecedentedly suspended the plenary session due to the absence of Members of Cabinet including the Chief whip Ruth Nankabirwa.

This was triggered by Rubaga North legislator Moses Kasibante who rose on point of procedure wondering whether it was procedurally right for the Defense Committee Chairman, sale Judith Nabakooba who was on the floor to continue presenting in the absence of any Minister not even from Internal Affairs.

Nabakooba was presenting a committee report on the consideration and adoption on the proposed ratification of the East African Community Protocol on Cooperation in Defense Affairs.

“We are receiving a very serious report on a very important matter of a national importance; yesterday you made a very wise ruling to the effect that we cannot continue discussing serious issues in the absence of a serious government, page ” Kasibante noted.

By that time, the only Minister in the house was Mary Karooro Okurut the Minister of General Duties in the office of the Prime Minister.

Noting that the Minister of Internal Affairs was also absent, the Speaker suspended the plenary for 30 minutes to allow the Ministers to show up.

Kadaga also adjourned the house yesterday during the debate on the report of the budget committee on the 2017/18 national budget framework paper after the leader of opposition Winnie Kiiza noted that the front bench was empty.

In his response over the delay, the Prime Minister on arrival at Parliament said, “We have been in a cabinet meeting which we have finished and that’s why we are here; we are fully aware that the house starts at 2:00 but as you also know, the traffic on Entebbe Road is quite packed and that explains partly the delay.”

On being accused of frustrating Parliament business, Rugunda noted that, “ The contrary is the case, am here in full force and my colleagues are coming in full force to give our total and equivocal support to the Parliament of Uganda and cabinet members will do anything to ensure that they are always in Parliament on time.”


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