Mathias Mpuuga, the Masaka municipality MP has tasked the deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanya to rate his performance.
“The statements he said were very true. But they were said by the wrong person. He as the person in charge of parliament, how has he performed to blame MPs for the depreciating quality of Parliament? Take an example of a family; if something goes wrong, do they blame children only or even the parent?” Mpuuga Wednesday asked during a political talk show on NBS TV.
“How can he blame MPs when he has been the person who has passed most of the controversial bills? I think he should have weighed his role too; how has he improved or decreased the quality of debate in Parliament.”
He however agreed with the speaker’s statements that the quality of parliament has decraesed. He blamed this on who he called ‘abasubuzi’ (businessmen).
“The electorate have themselves to blame, too. Instead of electing leaders as their representatives, they vote businessmen. Have you ever heard the people I represent complaining that I am not working for them?”
“With due respect to my fellow colleagues (MPs), some are there for money and it is inline how most of the bills have been passed.”
Kabula county Mp James Kakooza, who was also present in the studio agreed to the decline in the quality of paliament but he attributed that to the number of MPs in parliament.
“In the 6th and 7th parliament, the number (of MPs) wasn’t this huge and we had enough time to elaborate on an issue. Each member would be given atleast 5minutes…..but look at today’s parliament, we are given only 2 minutes. This is not enough. Before even you start saying anything, the microphone is cut off,” said Kakooza.
He said that this was because the members are many and almost has to be given the chance to debate.
“The media has also contributed to this. Some MPs since they know that they are being shown on TV. Everyone wants to debate seven if they have nothing to add to the debate; they just want to please their electorates. Before when we were still few, the parliament was very productive.”
However, the Kakooza’s last statement attracted a quick response from Mpuuga who is serving his first term in Parliament.
“How do you say your parliament when you are still few was very productive? You call scrapping presidential term limits productive?” Mpuga asked Kakooza, the man popularly known as Mr Kisanja, for having been the brainchild of the scrapping of presidential term limits.
In 2003, he was instrumental in drumming up support for the amendment of the constitution to lift the term limits.
The campaign later came to pass; effectively ushering in a life presidency in the country.
The two were reacting to Oulanya’s statements made Monday in which he warned that lack of research amongst legislators is hampering the quality of debate in what he referred to as a “huge Parliament.”