Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah has urged members of the 11th Parliament to ensure that debate in the house is evidence-based rather than speculation.
Oulanyah was today opening the three day orientation exercise for the 529 members of Parliament. The MPs are being taught on Parliament rules of procedures and discipline and decorum among others.
Senior legislators in the law including Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee chairperson Jacob Oboth Oboth, Abdu Katuntu the Bugweri county MP, Medard Ssegona, the MP Busiro East, Robinah Rwakoojo, the Gomba West MP and the Ndorwa East Wilfred Niwagaba among others are delivering lectures in regards to the work of an MP and how they go about it.
Speaking at the opening of the ceremony, Oulanyah started by asking members of Parliament to keep time in not only plenary sessions, but generally in life. Oulanyah also guided MPs on the key principles they need to have in mind so that they can excel as Members of Parliament.
He told the MPs that every member of Parliament has an equal right equal to another member of Parliament whether in opposition or in Government or even where they come from. He urged MPs to accord each other such rights.
Oulanyah also said that only one MP is allowed attention at any one time when speaking on the floor and there should not be any form of interruption except through the rules. He also says every matter or motion that comes to the house should be given a balanced and fair opportunity.
He also told the MPs to ensure that there discussions and debates which are evidence-based and not figures from nowhere or simply rumors.
He also guided the MPs that the will of the Majority will always thrive irrespective of the party. He also says the rights of the minority however have to be respected.
Oulanyah discouraged members from rising up to speak when they do not know actually what they want to do, mixing up points of procedure with the point of order and information among others. He also says that a member should remain disciplined even when seeking to give a point of information.
Oulanyah also tipped the MPs to employ humor once in a while during plenary and not be sad all the time, saying that with a happy house it is easier to conclude business.
Medard Ssegona, the Busiro East MP asked members to use the library which is key for their learning in Parliament. He also called on the MPs not to raise domestic issues capable of being solved in their constituencies as matters of national importance.
Abdu Katuntu asked the MPs not to append their signatures anyhow on proposals saying once they append it, they cannot withdraw it.
Shamim Malende, the Kampala Woman MP also agreed with the idea saying indeed it is important. Over 400 MPs attended the sessions for the first time.