The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Anita Among on Thursday adjourned plenary over the absence of Ministers.
This followed a procedural matter raised by Busia Municipality MP, Geoffrey Macho regarding the absence of Ministers in the afternoon sitting to respond to matters raised by MPs. He wondered why Ministers who recently took office do not attend plenary.
Among told MPs that when the Appointments Committee was vetting the new Ministers, they were cautioned against dodging plenary sessions. She also said that they were told that if they are not able to attend, they should always notify Parliament early so that MPs don’t raise matters that concern their portfolio.
“In each Ministry, there is more than one minister, I am surprised there is no Minister of Defence, no Minister of Security, no Minister of Internal Affairs. So how are we going to run this country? When we have a skeleton, out of 82 Ministers, we have only 5. How are we going to run this country?” Among asked.
Kalungu West MP, Joseph Ssewungu said that the absence of Ministers in plenary sittings is a serious issue. He suggested that Parliament needs to develop other mechanisms to enforce their attendance in parliament.
Bukooli County MP, Solomon Silwany said that on his way to the Chamber, several ministers were seen in the precincts of parliament.
The Leader of Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga also criticized the absence of Ministers to respond to issues regarding killings of Ugandans. This prompted the Deputy Speaker, Among to adjourn the sitting to Tuesday next week.
This is not the first time that the continued absence of Ministers from the House has irked MPs.
In the Tenth Parliament, the former Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said that the absence of ministers had limited effective discharge of parliamentary duties and also affected the image of the House in the eyes of the public.