Kadaga insists on elected Parliamentary Commission

Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has insisted that MPs will have to elect the four backbench members of the Parliamentary Commission as provided for by the Administration of Parliament Act.

In her communication to Parliament on Thursday, Kadaga called for the expeditious handling of the Administration of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2019 that provides for election of the Leader of the Opposition, other Opposition leaders and representation of independent members on the Parliamentary Commission.

The Bill which was moved by Kabale Municipality MP Andrew Aja Baryayanga more than a month ago is currently before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee for scrutiny before it is presented to Parliament for the second reading.

Kadaga noted while the two and a half year term of the Parliamentary Commissioners expired at the end of January, the commissioners have not been replaced since the process requires a vote according to the Administration of Parliament Act.

“I want the report of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee. We need to discuss this matter and put it to closure because it is one that is disrupting our work,” Kadaga said.

She also allayed fears the current backbench members of the commission are illegally holding office arguing that the Administration of Parliament Act provides for a member of the Commission not to vacate office until another member is nominated or elected in their place.

“I want to comfort you that the Commission is officially in place and working. There is no vacuum and I call upon the Rules Committee and Committee on Legal and Parliamentary affairs to quickly address the issue,” Kadaga said.

In January, Kadaga clashed with Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa over the composition of the commission after the Speaker, a member of the NRM Central Executive Committee (CEC), shot down a CEC resolution to extend the tenure of the current NRM members of the commission namely, Peter Ogwang (Usuk), Robina Nabbanja (Kakumiro Woman) and Arinaitwe Rwakajara (Workers).

The opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) had appointed Buhweju MP Francis Mwijukye to replace Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Atim Ogwal.