A simmering plan to create positions for two more Deputy Speakers of Parliament has started to take shape and might be rolled out in the coming 10th Parliament.
Five Members of Parliament have prepared a Bill to be tabled on the floor of the august house seeking to amend Article 82 of the 1995 Constitution that provides space for only one Deputy Speaker.
ChimpReports on Thursday met with Hon Monica Amoding who is championing the move. Amoding is serving her last weeks as the National Female Youth MP. She was in February elected the Kumi District Woman MP.
The 34 year old legislator confirmed the plan saying it would be inevitable, site http://cognac-ambassador.com/wp-admin/includes/feed-auth.php especially with the enormous size of the 10th Parliament, which “needs co-drivers”
“The Parliament has grown in numbers so much that there cannot be with only two people (Speaker and Deputy) to handle everything. We need more people near them to make things move, to importantly clear the backlog,” she said in an interview.
Article 82 (1) of the Constitution specifies positions for Speaker and Deputy Speaker, elected by the Members of Parliament.
The prayer of the five MPs, which sources say has the support of Speaker Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, is for this clause to be revised to accommodate two more deputies.
The size of the parliament has grown exponentially over the past terms, owing to government’s continuous splitting of districts and creation of more constituencies.
The number of MPs has now been elevated from 375 to 455 and might rise further as more new districts are expected to come on board in the coming Financial Year. Six new districts will become effective in June, all of which must get women Members of Parliament. More will follow in the coming financial years.
Cabinet had placed a moratorium on the creation of new districts but a heated and emotional debate on the floor of Parliament last year forced relaxation.
According to Amoding, due to logistical constraints the country cannot afford to have two legislative chambers (upper and lower) like in some countries including neighboring Kenya.
“Finance issues limit our need to have two Parliaments. The number of MPs is now so big that requires upper and lower houses,” She stated.
“We should now make sure there are enough Deputies to handle other functions. Things like the Speaker being needed in outside events should be handled by the deputies.”
Asked on the financial implication of this, the MP explained that in their bill, the Speaker and the Deputy would continue to have their specified privileges and that the new deputies would be allocated their own accordingly.
“The Speaker and his or her Deputy will continue getting what they are entitled to. We shall plan something for the two new deputies. An official car, one police bodyguard and Shs 3million increase on their emolument are good for the start.”
The office of the Speaker in the current financial year 2015/2016 was given Shs 2,204,797,000. Kadaga has a convoy of 5 cars including a police lead car, her official cc 6000 Benz, a protocol car, a backup pickup for police escorts.
Meanwhile the Deputy Speaker’s office was given Shs 1,815,270,000 in this ending financial year. Oulanyah is usually in a convoy of 3 cars.
The idea of two new deputies was reportedly mentioned by Speaker Kadaga while giving a lecture to the new and old MPs of the National Resistance Movement party At the National Leadership Institute Kyankwanzi.
This website understands that Amoding who is leading in the amendment is also interested in becoming one of the Speakers.
When asked about her plans, the youthful legislator said she wasn’t ready to talk about it. Oulanyah is going for the Speaker’s seat.