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Kadaga Attacks NRM Caucus For Usurping Parliament Powers Over Mak 15% Tuition Increment

The Speaker of Uganda’s Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga (pictured) has lashed out at members of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) caucus for trying to usurp powers of Parliament by using their meetings to dictate activities in Parliament.

She warned the ruling party against undermining Parliament.

It should be recalled that NRM caucus on Monday agreed to uphold the 15% tuition increment at Makerere University, saying the move is aimed at ensuring the institution remains competitive.

The decision by members of the ruling party was revealed by Solomon Silwany, Deputy Chairperson NRM Caucus in a telephone interview where he confirmed that the caucus had agreed to maintain the status-quo and have the new fees structure maintained.

“If you want Makerere to stay, people must pay fees unless you want it to collapse. We are competing locally, so people must pay fees. When you look at fees at Makerere and other universities the difference is really low, either parliament gets money, or increase fees,” the lawmaker said.

However, during today’s plenary sitting, Masaka Municipality MP, Mathias Mpugga sought Kadaga’s clarification on resolutions made during the Monday caucus meeting at State House Entebbe where the party agreed to uphold the 15% tuition increment at Makerere University as well as throw out the Administration of Parliament Amendment Act 2019.  

Mpuuga said two weeks ago, Parliament debated immensely about matters of Makerere University and directed the Education Committee to investigate and report back to Parliament on 13th November, but was shocked when media was awash with information relating to a meeting of the ruling party caucus that sat and resolved on this matter.

 “Of course, I am not oblivious of the fact that they have every right to sit in caucus, there are members in the caucus that Parliament directed and they were part of the resolution to water down or to even forestall the Committee of Parliament. I am aware caucuses can sit, but on a matter that Parliament has taken a decision about, wouldn’t this kind of arrangement render the work of this committee nugatory,” Mpuuga said. 

Kadaga, who looked upset,  said that although she doesn’t attend caucuses, she also read somewhere that some MPs had taken a position in that meeting and cautioned MPs against undermining Parliament.

“When we enacted the Administration of Parliament Act, we wanted to be free from executive but now members are lifting issues here, going to the executive to undermine parliament. I don’t attend those caucuses but I just want to retaliate, stop undermining parliament, stop undermining this institution,” Kadaga said.

Opposition Chief Whip, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda,  tasked Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa to explain which other platform exists that can rescind decisions taken by Parliament.

An angry Nankabirwa defended the party’s decision to hold caucus telling off Ssemujju that the office of Government Chief Whip was created by law and its functions were known which include whipping members and that caucus has rules that guides its members.

 “The issue of Administration of Parliament Act had taken a decision earlier on and my role was to remind them and wanted to know if they had rescinded. Regarding the issue of Makerere University, the Minister of Education had to give clarification you don’t just come without caucusing and organizing. I don’t know which rule I broke, it could be through ignorance,” Nankabirwa said.

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