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What Awaits Hasty NRM Parliamentary Caucus Meeting at State House :: Uganda Radionetwork

What Awaits Hasty NRM Parliamentary Caucus Meeting at State House

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An invitation letter authored by Denis Hamson Obua, the Government Chief Whip, and Chairperson of the NRM Parliamentary Caucus directed all the 336 members of the Caucus to undertake a mandatory Coronavirus test at Parliament which ends today at 5:00 pm.
27 Sep 2023 12:54

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President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has summoned a National Resistance Movement– NRM Parliamentary Caucus meeting, set for Thursday, September 28th, 2023, at State House, Entebbe. An invitation letter, authored by Denis Hamson Obua, the Government Chief Whip and Chairperson of the NRM Parliamentary Caucus, has directed all 336 Caucus members to undergo a mandatory Coronavirus test at Parliament, which ends today at 5:00 pm.

"Only members who have taken the test with the prescribed service provider at the Parliamentary Conference Hall B will be allowed to attend the meeting," reads part of the Government Chief Whip’s letter, September 26th letter. The letter did not specify the agenda for the meeting, which is scheduled to commence at noon and will be chaired by the President, who also serves as the Chairperson of the ruling NRM party.

The primary function of the Caucus is to deliberate and adopt a common position on parliamentary matters before they are presented for debate in the House. When a common position is adopted, Caucus members are expected to support that position during parliamentary sessions. The most recent Caucus meeting took place in May at the National Leadership Institute - NALI, Kyankwanzi, where the President encouraged legislators to promote the Parish Development Model - PDM in their respective constituencies. 

Alex Brandon Kintu, the NRM Caucus Spokesperson, informed URN that the meeting aims to review the progress made in implementing the party's 2021-2026 manifesto. The party's priorities include creating wealth and jobs, providing education and healthcare, ensuring justice and equity, protecting life and property, and achieving economic and political integration.

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However, anonymous sources within the Caucus revealed that some of the key agenda items may include addressing issues such as the influx of Balalo pastoralists in Northern Uganda, the ongoing ethnic tensions between the Madi and Acholi communities over the ownership of Apaa land, and concerns about corruption in the country.

Another issue to be discussed is the continuous absenteeism of Ministers during parliamentary sessions, which has hindered effective debate. Uganda has 31 Cabinet Ministers and 51 State Ministers, and each docket must be represented during plenary sessions. Only one position of State Minister is vacant following the assassination of Col. (Rtd) Charles Okello Engola Macodwogo, the State Minister for Labour, Employment, and Industrial Relations who was gunned down by his bodyguard in May.

The Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, expressed frustration over the Ministers' absenteeism on September 6, 2023, leading to the adjournment of the 26th plenary sitting of the 1st meeting of the 3rd session of the 11th Parliament. She later announced a 2-week recess for the 559 legislators and adjourned the House indefinitely (sine die) on September 7. Speaker Among cited the need to hold discussions with the President to address the Ministers' behavior, which has left critical matters to be addressed by backbenchers and hindered legislators from raising urgent issues affecting their constituents.

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