The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, has urged Members of the 10th Parliament to balance their responsibilities towards the nation and their constituencies.
She was speaking at the Post-Election Seminar held at Imperial Royale Hotel,Kampala, 27th June 2016.
“The purpose of this training is to underscore the duties and responsibilities of the MP to the nation, the institution of Parliament and the constituency. It will also help you to have an understanding of Parliament, at the local, national and international level,” she said.
She also explained that hard work is an important attribute Members should cultivate before coming to the House or making presentations in committees. “Your colleagues in the House and committees can only support you if your arguments are fully supported by evidence based information,” Kadaga said. Prof. Fredrick Sempebwa, one of the facilitators who presented a paper on ‘Separation of powers, checks and balances,’ said that the greatest challenge to Parliament is the status of the Executive.
He said separation of powers is meant to guarantee democratic governmence and is anchored on institutional autonomy of each organ of government.
“The size of the Cabinet in Parliament has become irrelevant to the separation of powers. The Cabinet is selected and changed at the discretion of the President. I would prefer if these two institutions are separate, and the appointment of Ministers done by Parliament itself,” he added.
He said that MPs have to reconcile with representing potentially conflictive interests and beliefs of the nation, the constituency, party manifesto and their individual conviction and consciousness. The training is undertaken with every new parliament so as to familiarize MPs with their work and the public’s expectations from them as legislators.
This year, it will run from 27th June to 1st July 2016, and various facilitators will be present from USA, UK, Kenya, Ghana and Uganda. Each day will have a different theme with different topics covered.