On Tuesday, Ssemujju moved a motion to suspend rule 69 of the Parliament Rules of procedure, which requires the Committee of Rules, Privileges, and Discipline to consider any proposed amendment of the set rules and report to Parliament.
Standing committees last two and half years and they are set up at the start of a new term of Parliament and again after two and half years while Sectoral Committees are departmentally related committees and their composition is determined at the start of each new session and these last one session.
Parliament has amended its rules of procedure
and lifted the cap on the number of legislators who can sit on a particular committee.
The Kira Municipality Member of parliament, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda and
Government Chief Whip, Thomas Tayebwa moved two motions seeking to increase the
number of 35 members on committees to accommodate the high number of
legislators in the Eleventh Parliament.
According to the rules of procedures,
each Standing Committee shall comprise not less than 15 members and not more
than 35 members of parliament. Rule 188 (1) of the rules also provide that a
Sectoral Committee shall consist of not less than 15 members and not more than
There are currently 529 MPs compared to 432 MPs in
the Tenth Parliament, which makes it impossible to meet the specific
requirements under rules that restrict members to not more than two committees.
On Tuesday, Ssemujju moved a motion
to suspend rule 69 of the Parliament Rules of procedure, which requires the
Committee of Rules, Privileges, and Discipline to consider any proposed
amendment of the set rules and report to Parliament.
//Cue in: “under Rule 69…
Cue out:…and Sectoral Committees.”//
Parliament approved Ssemujju’s motion paving
way for the whole House to consider another motion by Government Chief Whip,
Thomas Tayebwa seeking to amend the rules of procedure about the composition of
Tayebwa then moved another motion seeking to
remove the limits with respect to membership to Standing Committees and
composition of sectoral committee to enable parliament to execute business
Parliament unanimously approved the motion. Tayebwa
explained that his motion would solve the issue of amending the rules every
time the number of elected MPs increases. The Government Chief Whip also said
that designation of MPs to the different committees would be based on the
numerical strength of each political party represented in parliament to avoid
oversubscription to a particular committee.
//Cue in: “now therefore be…
Cue out:…with these rules.”//
Busiro East MP, Medard Lubega Sseggona supported
the amendment of the rules, saying that the ceiling of numbers on all
committees needs to be removed to allow the increasing number of MPs serve on House
//Cue in: “but I will…
Cue out:…to that extent.”//
Tororo Woman MP, Sarah Opendi said that the need
to increase members on each committee as well as increasing the number of
committees had been presented before the Tenth Parliament but wasn’t adopted.
She suggested that after being constituted, the Committee on Rules, Privileges
and Discipline should urgently consider creating more committees so that those
loaded with a lot of work are split.