The Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga has ordered members of the Buganda Caucus who missed Thursday’s seating to explain why they defied her instructions not be away or risk being sent to the disciplinary committee.
The Speaker’s order came after the Opposition Chief Whip and Dokolo Member of Parliament Cecilia Ogwal, raised a compliant about the absence of most Buganda Caucus from the House.
According to Ogwal, the members were absent because they had gone on a private visit to Gen Salim Saleh’s farm in Kapeka.
“Buganda caucus is made of 99 members which is a third of this parliament and as a whip I learnt that invitations were sent to Buganda caucus members to go to Kapeka to visit Gen Saleh’s farm,” she said. “We can only support this House by being present. If you deny this House ninety nine members then you would have crippled it.”
She also proposed that future invitations that target a very big number must be channeled through the Speaker.
Responding to Ogwal’s concern, Speaker Kadaga informed the House that she never authorized the Buganda caucus’ trip to Kapeka.
Parliament has been grappling with attendance issues with less than 150 members out of the 386 attending the House on any given day.
Sometimes, during debates on contentious issues, the Speaker is forced to adjourn the proceedings due to failure to rise quorum.
Last week, the speaker sent two legislators, all members of the Buganda caucus, to the disciplinary committee for missing 15 sittings consistently.
Late Wednesday, the House engaged in an emotional debate over failure to sign in the attendance book with many arguing that they fail to sign because they do not see the book.
By last evening, Buganda Caucus chairperson, Godfrey Kiwanda Suubi, could not be got for comment but according to information about the trip, the MPs went to Kapeka on a learning and inspiration tour of Gen Salim Saleh’s farm.
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