Stop undermining the role and powers of the legislature – Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga warns NRM Caucus
After NRM Members of Parliament (NRM Caucus) together with President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni resolved to support the implementation of the 15 per cent cumulative tuition fee policy at Makerere University in a meeting held on Monday 11, November 2019, at State House Entebbe, Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga says their actions undermined powers and role of parliament.
Kadaga says before legislators went for a meeting with the executive and decide on matters of National importance, first, they would have engaged parliament in the matter.
She continued to state that Parliament is one of the arms of government and according to Kadaga the 1995 Uganda Constitution and Administration of Parliament Act, 2000, provides for among others the independence of Parliament.
Kadaga remarks come after Mathias Mpuuga, the Masaka Municipality legislator raised a concern about the resolutions made by the NRM Caucus to support the 15 per cent cumulative tuition increment at Makerere University.
Mpuuga says NRM Caucus resolution was out of order because the matter of tuition increment which resulted in students’ protests at Makerere University, is still under investigation by the ministry of education.
He noted that the education committee was instituted to carry on the investigation on the matter and then report to parliament on the 13, November.
Mpuuga’s concern received a backup from the Kira Municipality legislator also the opposition Chief Whip in Parliament, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda saying the NRM Parliamentary Caucus truly undermined the powers of parliament.
He, however, tasked the Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa to explain why she allowed the meeting to happen, decide on matters independently before engaging in the legislature.
In defence, Nankabirwa said that her office is mandated to whip NRM legislators to reach a consensus and agreement on what resolutions to make as far as parliament matters are concerned.
She also requested Parliament to give her any rule that she violated for arranging a caucus meeting to discuss Makerere University tuition increment policy, alongside Administration of Parliament Amendment Bill.
Thereafter, Kadaga was asked by the Kilak South legislator, Gilbert Oulanyah to rule out the matter whether Nankabirwa breached any law or not.
But Kadaga maintained that the government Chief Whip Nankabirwa together with the executive should give due respect to parliamentary powers and roles entrusted to it.
In the NRM Caucus meeting, they as well agreed to oppose the Administration of Parliament Bill, 2018, that’s sponsored by Andrew Aja Baryayanga, the Kabale Municipality legislator.
In the Bill, the establishment of the office of the Deputy Leader of Opposition, Chief Whip, Party Whips and Dean of Independent legislators are the provisions contained in it.