Members of Parliament have been asked to attend local council meetings frequently in their respective constituencies.
Christopher Sande, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Rukungiri District said that it is important for legislators to attend council meetings so that MPs are in touch with what is taking place in their constituencies.
“We need MPs to know what is happening on the ground so that they can take it to the Centre so that they can appeal for us more effectively to have these issues sorted,” Sande said during the Parliamentary public outreach programme in Kigezi Sub-Region in Kabale.
He said that when MPs are privy to what is going on in the councils, it informs debate in the House.
However, Hon. Catherine Ndamira (NRM, Kabale District) said that much as attending council meetings is important, MPs cannot attend all of them because of other responsibilities they have in their capacities as legislators.
“MPs sit on both sectoral and sessional committees of Parliament and at the same time have to attend plenary sittings and these activities take place during the week hence coinciding with the council meetings,” she explained.
She explained that, “as council leaders, you can have the pertinent issues crafted as petitions which can be presented to Parliament with the help of your MPs”.
The Clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige, said that local government leaders are free to always draft a copy of their resolutions from the council meetings to their MPs so that they can be responded to.
“You are free to pen these resolutions and share them with your MP so that they are in the know of what is going on,” she added.
Hon. David Bahati, the Minister of State for Finance while representing the Speaker of Parliament said the outreach to Kigezi sub-region was meant to bridge the gap between MPs and the local governments through a candid interaction.
“We need this feedback and also to tell you of what we can do and where our shortcomings are; we want to strengthen the linkages between you and us,” he said.
Hon. Wilfred Niwagaba (Indep, Ndorwa East) gave a detailed explanation of the major functions of Parliament, which he said include legislation, representation, budget appropriation and holding public institutions to account for resources allocated to them.