The Speaker of Uganda’s Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga wants a Panel of Speakers or Speaker’s panel created so that selected members can sit in to chair plenary sittings in absence of the speaker and the deputy speaker.
She argues that the two office bearers have many duties to conduct outside the August House and need to be supplemented by another team.
Kadaga adds that currently, herself and the Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah find themselves having a lot to attend to despite their role of chairing the sittings and this is overwhelming.
She says that efforts to have other people on the Panel of Speakers was first brought to Parliament in 2005 but was failed by government.
The Speaker highlighted gave an example of the Federal House of Australia in which the Speaker pointed out that Speakers across the globe have many responsibilities to attend to outside the House while the August House is in session so it isn’t practical for Speakers to attend to business and the nation has a panel comprising of 14 members, who may also take the chair.
“I would like us to look again at those failed attempts so that we can synchronize the arrangement within the region. A formal proposal will be placed so we visit it,” Kadaga said.
She said that she is aware of concerns from MPs that the two leaders sit for long hours, saying in the East African region, it is only Uganda where their Speakers sit for over five hours while their colleagues chair plenary sittings for one hour and hand over to members of the panel.
“We tried to amend those rules it was rejected, since 2005. Ayume had requested we have a panel of speakers and Government came here and rejected it and again it came again and we were defeated,” Kadaga added.
In a related development, the Speaker also announced that Parliament will hold a special sitting on Friday to pay respect to former premier Prof. Apollo Nsibambi, who passed on yesterday at his home in Bulange Mengo after losing the battle to prostate cancer at 78 years.