Speaker of Parliament Kadaga Rebecca has said that there is need to open the proceedings of the Parliamentary Appointments Committee to avoid speculation about its proceedings.
While meeting legislators from Kenya and Somaliland, Kadaga said that the work of the committee is affected by speculation from members of the public because they do not know what takes place in the committee.
The speaker expressed her admiration for the Kenyan Parliament’s vetting system that is open to public view. Kadaga said this is one of the aspects she admires the most about Kenya’s new Constitution.
Kadaga said that the secretive nature of vetting public officials in Uganda needs to changed to erase room for doubt in the public.
The issue recently stirred controversy when the Rules and Privileges Committee was amending the rules of procedure with most members arguing that the proceedings of the committee that vets officials appointed by the president be open to the public.
Vetting of most appointees often raises public debate with the public questioning the committee’s criteria. MPs one time demanded that the committee comes up with a report on every vetted appointee since most of them are not allowed to access the proceedings
The most contentious vetting process lately was for the Internal Affairs ministerial docket. MPs questioned the legality of a serving army officer General Nyakairima Aronda being appointed to the civilian post of Minister of Internal Affairs.
There is also a brewing confrontation over the extension of the Justice Benjamin Odoki’s tenure as Chief Justice. Odoki is yet to be vetted by Parliament.
Meanwhile, Kadaga also commended Kenya’s new Constitution saying that it has enabled more women to be elected in Parliament saying that the development will contribute positively to the politics of the country.
She added that there is need for legislators across the region to share experiences to improve participation in governance and decision making within the region.
Beatrice Elachi, the Chief Whip of the majority party in the Kenyan Senate, praised Kadaga for being an inspiration for the women of East Africa and the whole continent.
The 26 legislators from Kenya and three from Somaliland are in Uganda on a Parliamentary skills exchange programme to explore strategies for building and amplifying the women’s voice in economic and political development.