Parliament swears in four new Members

Parliament swears in four new Members
Balaam Barugahara.

Four new Members of Parliament, including two ex-officio minister, have been sworn-in in the 11th Parliament.

The brief ceremony at Parliament coincided with the new State Minister for Youth and Children Affairs, Mr Balaam Barugahara, tasking the Leader of the Opposition,  Joel Ssenyonyi, to avail him a list of all Opposition National Unity Platform supporters said to be prison to have them pardoned by the President.

Balaam said all the NUP prisoners except those on murder cases will be pardoned by the President.

But the good gesture took a turn for the wayward when Mr Ssenyonyi described Balaam as a "novice" - which Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa cited.

“You know the language we use in Parliament, even when you disagree with a person, language like 'novice'..." he said as he demanded Ssenyonyi retracts the diction.

"A Member of Parliament is a Member of Parliament. So do the needful, you are a gentleman there is a language we don’t use here. Do the needful.”

But the LoP was having none of it.

“As a lawyer and as someone who knows English, the word 'novice' means someone who is new to the profession," he said.

"Balaam is a new minister so the word novice isn’t derogatory in anyway, except for people we need to teach some English."

Tayebwa considered it a refusal to withdraw the statement describing Balaam as a novice minister and ordered Clerk to Parliament to expunge the submissions of the LoP from the record of Parliament.

The expunging of Ssenyonyi's remarks means that Balaam's allegations that the National Unity Platform party had failed to handover list of missing persons remains unchallenged on the record of Parliament.

Ssenyonyi had considered Balaam's statement as political posturing and excitement,  arguing that the list was already submitted to the Attorney General.

The Wednesday sitting started with the Swearing in of Dr Kenneth Omona and Balam as ex-officio Members of Parliament.

The others that took the oath of allegiance and that of a Member of Parliament included the newly elected woman MP for Dokolo, Sarah Aguti, and David Ochwa, who was recently declared by the Constitutional Court as the duly elected MP for Agule County replacing Polycarp Ogwari.


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