Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A section of legislators has criticized their colleagues for letting down the house with poor debate and low participation.
Bufumbira East MP Dr James Nsaba Buturo says the quality of debate in the 10th Parliament has been disappointing because, according to him, some of the legislators are unfit for legislative work.
The reservations come at the backdrop of accusations that many of the legislators in the Ugandan parliament do not read extensivly or research, before contributing to the debate in parliament. As a result, discussions are based on hearsay and are often less factual.
A look at the parliamentary performance scorecard for the third session shows that out of a total of 459 members of Parliament, only 17 per cent scored above the 75 per cent mark, which is considered excellent while 29 per cent of MPs scored between 50 and 74 per cent which is considered good.
The majority scored fairly and poorly with a performance below 49 per cent and 25 per cent respectively. The level of participation is scored on the number of questions raised, the number of statements and points of an order made in Plenary.
Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga notes that the 10th Parliament has a lot of young people which heralded a sense of hope and carried a lot of expectations. However, he asserts that the young parliamentarians ended up being naïve and gullible.
The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Betty Aol Ochan says the older leaders should be able to groom young leaders to take on positions of responsibility. She notes that leadership at the Parliamentary level requires a great degree of patriotism which virtue has been eroded over the years.
Parliamentary commissioner and Bukhooli Central MP Solomon Silwany stated that the commission is looking at increasing the number of researchers employed at Parliament who can ably assist MPs in debating from an informed point of view.
The 1995 Constitution which sets the qualification for one to be elected Member of Parliament requires that one must have completed a minimum formal education of Advanced Level standard or its equivalent, to qualify for a slot in Parliament.
But there are several levels of education in Parliament today, among them advanced Level, Diploma holders, degrees, masters and PhD.