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Oulanyah Throws Out Saved Business from Tenth Parliament

The Speaker’s guidance means that government Bills that lapsed with the Tenth Parliament will now have to be published, reprinted and introduced in Parliament afresh, the same applies to Private Members Bills.
Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah

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The Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah has guided the House that all business of the Tenth Parliament that remained incomplete, lapsed when the term of that Parliament came to an end.

“Any member or Government who is desirous of having the business of the Tenth parliament that was not completed by the end of that Parliament, should have that business reintroduced in the House and that business shall begin afresh,” said Oulanyah.

Oulanyah made the communication during the Thursday afternoon plenary sitting in his guidance on rule 235 of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament. The Tenth Parliament, chaired by former Speaker Rebecca Kadaga ended in May, 2021.

The Speaker’s guidance means that government Bills that lapsed with the Tenth Parliament will now have to be published, reprinted and introduced in Parliament afresh, the same applies to Private Members Bills.

Also, Bills that were passed by the 10th Parliament and are pending Presidential assent and those returned by the President in accordance with Article 91 of the Constitution, but outside the term of the Tenth Parliament, are also considered business that lapsed and should be considered afresh.

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Rule 235 of the Rules of Procedure provides for the lapse and reinstatement of Parliamentary Business upon dissolution of the House and it a Bill, petition, Motion or other Business before the House or a Committee during a term of Parliament lapses upon dissolution of Parliament.

“Notwithstanding sub rule (1), a bill, Petition, Motion or other Business before the House or any of its Committee may be reinstated in the next parliament by a resolution of Parliament. The reinstatement of a Bill, Petition, Motion or other Business before parliament or a committee shall be treated as a fresh reference to that Committee,” reads part of the rules.

The Rules further provide that the resolution of Parliament referred to shall be passed in the second sitting of the first session of Parliament and that Business reinstated shall be handled and completed in the first session of Parliament.

Some of the Bills affected by Oulanyah’s communication are National Social Security Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Sexual Offences Bill, Landlord and Tenant Bill, 2018, National Local Content Bill, 2019, Succession Amendment Bill, 2018, National Health Insurance Scheme Bill, 2019, Marriage and Divorce Bill, the Opposition sponsored Constitutional Amendment Bill and others.

Despite his ruling on the issue, Oulanyah has also tasked the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline to look into the matter further and plug all loopholes in the Parliament Rules of Procedure and report back in the next 45 days.

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He also says that he expects MPs to continue to embrace the business of the House with enthusiasm and execute their roles with efficiency and effectiveness expected of them. He also urged the Executive to introduce business as laid out in the Government Legislative Agenda.

It should be remembered that during Oulanyah’s communication at the State of the Nation Address on 4th June, 2021, he made reference to Business that remained incomplete by the 10th Parliament.

“I noted then that whereas that was the second sitting of the House, the first one having been the election of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, ordinarily, a motion should have been moved in that sitting to reinstate business that lapsed with the Tenth Parliament in line with Rule 203 and Rule 235 (2) of the Rules of Procedure. I then guided that given the nature of that day’s sitting, the motion would be moved at an appropriate future sitting,” he told MPs.

He again in another communication on 26th August 2021, made reference to Business that remained incomplete by the 10th Parliament and he then questioned the manner in which such business comes to the 11th Parliament and the difficulty to track the timelines as required in the Rules of Procedure to execute the assignments.

“My guidance then was that, that business must be reintroduced to Parliament and the date to which it is introduced begins to run then. Despite my guidance then, I have continued to receive several requests from individual MPs to have business of the previous parliament reinstated,” Speaker Oulanyah noted.

Kira Municipality MP, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda asked Speaker Oulanyah to clarify on what happens to Bills like the National Social Security Bill 2019 that touch on the daily livelihood of people since many Ugandans were gearing up to benefit from the mid-term access provision.

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Oulanyah said that his guidance has no exception and that applies on all matters that have been handled by the Tenth Parliament in order for the Eleventh Parliament to begin on a clean slate.

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Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa emphasized that the Parliament Rules of Procedure need to be looked at critically over and above what Speaker Oulanyah has guided on.

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Oulanyah said that they are trying to achieve certainty since it breeds predictability.  

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