How will the 529 MPs catch the speaker's eye and get a chance to speak?

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For the first time, Uganda will have the biggest parliament of 529 MPs, each representing a constituency or interest group.

But how will the speaker distribute the limited time to all these legislators seeking to represent their people?

Leader of Opposition in Parliament and Member of Parliament for Nyendo - Mukungwe, Mathias Mpuuga, said that it all starts from the individual being available and seeking knowledge.

"The numbers at the end of the day shall be appointed from those individuals that appreciate their duty to the people and to this country,” Mpuuga said.

The parliamentary seatings that usually take place three days in a week, 3 hrs a day have been further antagonised by the pandemic that will see the legislators divided in groups.

With even more slim chances to debate, we wonder how many legislators will have an opportunity to speak on the floor of parliament and how many are likely not to speak at all.

Mpuuga said for the last ten years he has been in Parliament, the August House is always influenced by about 100 legislators who take off time to to take their work seriously.

The MP for Igara East, Michael Mawanda said that it is likely that only 20 to 50 legislators will speak on the floor given the number of MPs and time available.

Buhweju county MP, Francis Mwijukye advised the MPs especially the new breed in the August House to specialise in specific fields to stand more chances.

"They will not just give you an opportunity to speak, no. They will give you an opportunity to speak and be relevant, everyone has a specialty and with time, the speakers know who to choose depending on the issue," he said.

Former chief whip, Ruth Nankabirwa said the parliamentary commission has a role to play to ensure that all MPs get a chance to debate.

“The commission which is comprised of the LOP, leader of government business, business committee has to come up with a design to see that at least everyone contributes.”

 

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