Parliament was in a celebratory mood as legislators across the political divide debated a motion to commemorate the 100 years of the legislature.
The motion to mark this milestone was moved by the Minister for Public Service, Hon Muruli Mukasa on Tuesday, 23 March 2021.
The first meeting of the then Legislative Council (LEGCO) was held on 23 March 1921 at the High Court Chambers in Entebbe.
Hon. Fred Mwesigye (NRM, Nyabushozi County) said that in honour of the celebrations, the competition between the opposition and ruling party that tends to blur the common vision and goal should cease.
“My prayer is that going forward and as we celebrate 100 years, we should work towards galvanizing the relationship between the opposition and ruling parties so that they can work for the common interests of this country,” he added.
Mitooma District Woman MP, Hon. Jovah Kamateeka applauded Parliament and government for promotion of human rights and enforcement affirmative action that has seen women are fully represented.
“We have come a long way and these achievements are largely attributed to Parliament. These include, a woman MP for every district, women leaders at various levels like the Speaker of Parliament herself who is number three in this country and so many other initiatives,” Kamateeka said.
The Minister of State for Housing, Hon. Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, said that Uganda has over the years had made achievements from being free from colonialism to independence.
He added that these however, have been underestimated and overshadowed by negativities.
“It is commonplace to hear that Parliament draws lots of money from the Consolidated Fund and is wasteful yet it only take less than two per cent of the entire budget as an entire arm of government,” Baryomunsi said.
Speaker Kadaga chaired the sitting of the House
The Minister also pointed out that MPs do a lot of work in their constituencies taking care of the needs of their electorate which is largely downplayed and that these celebrations should provoke a solution to this situation.
He proposed that the next Parliament should explore a Constituency Development Fund because all the emoluments are depleted in the constituency.
Given all the strides Parliament has made, Hon. Franco Centenary (FDC, Kasese Municipality) said that separation of powers is still an issue that Uganda especially the Parliament needs to reinforce.
“There has been a marked interference especially from the Executive arm of government that has forced its hand on Parliament to pass laws that are largely unnecessary,” he said adding that, “we must, from now on, see Parliament being allowed to operate independently’.
The Woman MP for Dokolo District, Hon Cecilia Ogwal said that there is need to celebrate the Bataka pressure group from the pre-colonial times and the Ugandans strived for Uganda’s independence.
“This is a historical day that required all those Ugandans who have helped in the development of Uganda’s democracy and those who served in Parliament a while ago to be here with us,” she said.
The Speaker informed the members that the celebrations to mark the 100 years will be held in the future with the easing of the Covid-19 restrictions.