Deputy Speaker Tayebwa threatens to name & shame perennial absentee cabinet minister
By Wod Omoro
Kamapala – The Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa, has expressed dissatisfaction over the absence of ministers from plenary sessions.
Tayebwa who presided over the plenary sitting on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 called it a “shame” for ministers whose items appeared on the Order Paper to fail to show up.
The front bench meant for cabinet minsters was visibly empty, with only the Chief Whip during Wednesday’s plenary session.
He indicated that there might be a need to engage the appointing authority over the issue of absent ministers which has become a growing concern in Parliament.
Tayebwa said the House could explore the possibility of referring the matter of absentee ministers to the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline.
Tayebwa tasked the Government Chief Whip, Hamson Obua with the responsibility of whipping them.
He demanded that Obua names and shames the ministers who do not attend plenary sittings both as MPs and ministers.
“I don’t know which kind words to use here but this is embarrassing. I think this is a matter we shall again have to raise with the appointing authority so that we know whether ministers are supposed to come here or not,” he said.
Government Chief Whip Hamison Obua. Courtesy photo
He said that Obua will have to shoulder the burden of the absentee ministers by answering all the questions and concerns of the members.
Obua promised to draft a duty roster for ministers who would be required to attend plenary sessions.
He added that he will be summoning absentee ministers to Parliament to ensure accountability.
Bugabula South Member of Parliament, Maurice Kibalya said that the Chief Whip should devote 30 minutes ahead of sittings to whip ministers.
“The cry of ministers not being on time has become a disease in this Parliament. Rt Hon. Speaker, you spend around 30 minutes to an hour to prepare for the House…through your office could you have the communication to the Chief Whip to take that time and whip ministers,” he said.