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Speaker Closes House Prematurely as Government Fails to Explain Economic Crises

Parliament Closes prematurely over government failure to explain economic crises
Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, was on Thursday  forced to close business prematurely after MPs refused to debate the president’s state of the nation address and demanded instead that the house urgently debates the current economic crises.

The MPs had converged for  a third day to debate on the state of the nation adress,  when NRM MP Theodore Sekikubo moved a motion that the debate be halted, until government ministers explained interventions to solve the current economic crises.

Sekikubo described it as pretentious for MPs to continue debating the president’s speech, when Ugandans are suffering from high fuel costs, high inflation rate and a surging dollar rate, which has forced traders in Kampala and some other towns to close business for a second day.

Sekikubo was supported by Sanjay Tanna, an independent MP from Tororo Municipality who demanded that debate be suspended until the ministers of Finance and that of Trade and Industry, explain to MPs what government is doing to salvage the financial crises.

Tanna said the Uganda Revenue Authority was taxing traders using the dollar rate forcing the cost of business to go high and government was not offering any tangible solution.

Trade minister, Amelia Kyambadde, on Wednesday promised to present a comprehensive report to the MPs today. Unfortunately, she did not turn up at parliament and neither did that of finance.

With more pressure piling, the Speaker  ruled that she was suspending parliament until Friday and demanded that the two ministries turn up to explain what government is doing to resolve the crises.

Kadaga said she was disappointed that government ministers were stalling her work programme after they promised explanation.

Deputy Leader of government business and third deputy prime minister, Moses Ali, told journalists later that the ministers could not come to the house, because they were not prepared with a response. He refused to apologise for the absence of the ministers arguing that there was no mistake they had made.

Ali said that President Museveni was going to meet the traders anytime in order to listen to their grievances before a better response could be made to the country. He asked the MPs to be patient, because the economic pressures had happened too fast without government getting a solution to them.

He said government would not act in panic to the crises.

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