Uganda’s Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah has warned that lack of research amongst Members of Parliament is affecting the quality of debate in what he referred to as a huge parliament.
Oulanyah was addressing journalists at Parliament this afternoon about his two-week journey to Germany and France. The Omoro County MP told journalists that to address the poor quality of debate in the House, he proposed that parties submit names of MPs who would be selected to speak to the Speaker beforehand, an idea he said was rejected by Parliament’s Business Committee.
The Business committee determines the order of business in the House.
Oulanyah says because of the quality of debate he nolonger reads the Hansard, the official record of Parliamentary proceedings. He noted that MPs miss the big picture because in the debates they are so political saying that it is only politics that does not require research.
Oulanyah blamed the media for ridiculing and criticizing his proposal to the business committee on how MPs should debate by quoting him as suppressing debate in Parliament. Previously media reports indicated that in the 9th Parliament, 34 MPs have spoken less than five times on the floor of the House in the last two years while another 105 had contributed less than 15 times to debates.
The same report indicated that 34 female MPs contributed to debate less than 15 times in the first two sessions of the 9th Parliament.
Oulanyah now says that Ugandans are over represented in the House and this is affecting the quality of debate since MPs speak to be seen by their constituencies.
On the interactions he had on his two weeks visit in Europe, Oulanyah revealed that he was confronted about the Anti-Homosexuality Act assented to by President Yoweri Museveni early early this year, the UPDF’s deployment into South Sudan and investment opportunities in Uganda.