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Parliament Constitutes Committees Amidst Complaints From Some MPs

During the designation process by different political party whips, some MPs expressed dissatisfaction about the committees they were assigned to, saying they were not of their choice.
Parliament of Uganda

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Several legislators have expressed dissatisfaction about their posting to different committees of the house by their party whips. The legislators raised concern on Tuesday as the house assigned them to different committees.

Parliament comprises 29 Committees. These include 13 Standing committees, which are set up at the start of a new term of Parliament and last two and half years. On the other hand, Sectoral Committees are departmentally related committees, whose composition is determined at the start of each new session and lasts one session.   

 

On Tuesday, the Deputy Speaker of parliament, Anita Among chaired a session, which designated MPs to various committees. These included the Budget Committee, Committee, Committee on National Economy, Public Accounts Committee- PAC Central Government, Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises - COSASE, Parliament’s Finance Committee, Committee on Health, Public Accounts Committee- Local Government, Committee on Education and Sports, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development, Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs,  Committee on Natural Resources, Committee on Physical Infrastructure and Committee on Presidential Affairs among others.     

During the designation process by different political party whips, some MPs expressed dissatisfaction about the committees they were assigned to, saying they were not of their choice. Before being assigned to a committee, MPs express interest through their party whips or Speaker of Parliament, in the case of Independent legislators, who in turn designate them accordingly. However, in some circumstances, party whips do not follow the choice of their members especially when a particular Committee is oversubscribed.

Some of the affected MPs with the changes by party whips are Dokolo Woman MP, Cecilia Ogwal, Kampala Central MP, Muhammad Nsereko and Kajara County MP, Michael Timuzigu. These took to the floor of parliament and raised concern that their names had been designated under committees that were not of their choice. 

Nsereko told parliament that he had applied in accordance to the rules of procedure to sit on either the Public Accounts Committee- Central Government, Committee on Climate Change or the Committee on Commissions Statutory Authority and State Enterprises (COSASE). He said that his name was never listed under any of the three committees but instead appeared under the Government Assurance Committee, which he did not apply for.   

 

//Cue in: "my humble prayer... 

   

Cue out:...in that nature."//  

Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal shared the same sentiment, saying that the Forum for Democratic Change - FDC party whip had designated her on the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline yet her choice was to serve on the Budget Committee.

//Cue in: "right honourable Speaker...

     

Cue out:...by your whip."//

Timuzigu also contested the decision to place him on the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline where he did not express any interest.    

//Cue in: "procedure Madam Speaker...

Cue out:...next person."//

The Deputy Speaker, Anita Among said that complaints like that of MP Nsereko would be looked into.    

//Cue in: "much as we...  

Cue out:...the other committee."//

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