There was free drama in Parliament after Speaker Rebecca Kadaga ordered the Sergeant at Arms, Ahmed Kagoye to ‘arrest’ the samples of locusts that had been tabled before Parliament by David Abala (Ngora County).
In his submission to Parliament, Abala castigated Government for not intervening in Ngora district despite reports that Shs15bn and an extra Shs7bn had been allocated to fight locusts.
It was at this point that Abala tabled samples of locusts he claimed were from Ngora district in eastern Uganda, an action that was protested by MPs, who expressed fears that the insects could cause a swarm’s invasion in Kampala.
Ruth Nankabirwa (Government Chief Whip and Moses Kasibante (Rubaga North) argued that there was no need for the Ngora County MP to bring samples of locusts to Kampala because no one is doubting existence of locusts in the country.
“I don’t think Parliament has the capacity to keep these locusts. It isn’t in dispute that locusts have invaded this country because there is no dispute, we have them. Parliament has no capacity to keep locusts around this building. Is the Lawmaker proceeding well when a member is laying living organisms and coming to defend what isn’t disputed?” Kasibante said.
Nankabirwa, who doubles as the Kiboga Woman MP told Parliament that although Shs15bn was put aside to fight locusts, Shs11bn went towards paying arrears in global body because Uganda couldn’t receive the support and secure airplanes to help spray the locusts.
“Kampala can be invaded because of these live insects,” Nankabirwa said.
This prompted the Speaker to rule, “Let the locusts be handed over to the Sergeant at Arms for Safe Custody.”
The Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, Bright Rwamirama also warned Ugandans against eating locusts and informed Parliament that it is no longer doubtful that locusts came, but they are here.
“We are lucky that the only ones that entered Uganda are yellow. They are less destructive, they lay eggs. Eggs hatch in 14days. The wind is changing and most likely it will be blowing towards another direction. I would like to warm MPs we are spraying and some of them are catching it isn’t wise to eat locusts. Sprayed locusts have chemicals. The chemical used is biodegradable in seven days.”