Speaker of Parliament Anita Among has mandated the exclusion of MPs who persistently shun parliamentary sessions, raising concerns about their commitment to legislative responsibilities.
Addressing the issue, Among questioned the integrity of MPs logging into the parliamentary system without participating in proceedings.
"If you are out of plenary, then you cannot be in committees. Let members vote amongst themselves if chairpersons are absent." she declared
Following a special sitting dedicated to honoring the late Joyce Mpanga, Among issued fresh directives for committees with boycotting chairpersons to invoke parliamentary rules and elect new leadership.
Members of accountability committees were specifically instructed to support new leadership candidates, even if traditionally from the opposition.
Among emphasized the importance of individual accountability
"We were voted individually, not as a team. If you are out of plenary, you cannot be in committees." she stated.
The Speaker tasked the Clerk to Parliament, Adolf Mwesigye, with excluding absent members from all parliamentary activities, including foreign travels, such as the upcoming East African parliamentary games in Rwanda.
"There are people who have deliberately decided to excuse themselves from the House, but they will want to represent parliament in Kigali," Among asserted.
Members of parliament in attendance expressed concerns about the exclusion of the opposition, questioning how parliament can proceed without acknowledging both sides as per the rules of Commonwealth parliaments.
In response, Among defended her stance, stating,"If you can't be in the House, you should be able to represent your House first from here before you go to represent us in the EAC games."
The opposition, however, maintains their resistance to the directives, arguing that the Speaker lacks the authority to dictate their mode of demonstration.
While Speaker Among highlighted the absence of MPs from plenary, she acknowledged that the provisions of the law for the removal of an MP, triggered upon missing 15 consecutive sittings, might not apply in this case due to opposition attendance during the tribute session for Joyce Mpanga.