The parliamentary official record-HANSARD is out! The record however, shows that in a full month, there are close to 200 legislators who go without uttering a word on the floor of parliament despite the huge opportunities available.
As a result, according to the HANSARD, the few members capable of speaking have dominated almost every sitting of parliament.
It is shocking to see that out of the seven sittings conducted last month with several bills, motions etc being considered, a sizeable number of members couldn’t stand up on the floor to at least say a word of ‘HAPPY NEW YEAR’ so that they could be captured on the hansard!
A close analysis on the Hansard obtained by The Red Pepper, indicates that the members who spoke the previous day are almost the same who speak even in subsequent sittings because some can be seen appearing for about seven times in one sitting. It is not clear why 200 MPs are missing but according to deputy speaker Jacob Oulanya several MPs are dodging parliament. He has since warned them.
INSTANCES WHERE AN MP CAN SPEAK ON THE FLOOR
There are different ways of standing up and saying something to enable you get captured on the Hansard! A member may stand on the floor to raise a point of procedure, point of order, guidance [though not provided for in the house rules] or clarification.
But materially, a member can rise on the floor to table a petition, a private members’ bill, raise a matter of national importance, ask a question or give information on a particular matter. The other chance is by contributing to the debate on the floor! This therefore means members of parliament have every opportunity to speak on the floor no matter what point they are raising!
With all these chances to speak, 200 members were dumb the whole of February like a mute button had pressed on them; they still earned their heavy pay by letting their chance to speak be taken by other vocal members that have something to say.
The first sitting for example, was conducted on February 3/2015 when parliament returned from its Christmas recess. On that day, there were different issues handled including matters regarding health service delivery, non-payment of intern nurses, demolition of schools such as Nabagereka PS and above all, a debate about the National Identity Card Bill known as the Registration of Persons Bill 2014. Another bill handled was that of Anti-corruption.
In total, the members though most of them contributed more than four times, it was only 45 legislators who spoke.
These included Medard Bitekerezo, Chris Baryomunsi, Sarah Opendi, Theodore Ssekikubo, Joseph Sewungu, Moses Kasibante, Jessica Alupo, Merdard Sseggona, Odonga Otto, Moses Ali, John Ssimbwa, Ema Boona and Simon D’jujang.
Others were Aronda Nyakairima, Kassiano Wadri, Santa Alum, Wamai Wamanga, William Nzoghu, Harriet Ntabazi, Cecilia Ogwal, Muwanga Kivumbi, Atwib Katoto, Semugaba Samuel, Kafuda Boaz, Raphael Mageyzi, Waira Magyegere, Simon Mulongo, Okumu Regan, Peter Eriaku, Oboth Oboth and Stephen Tashobya. The rest of members that day were dumb making some of the mentioned legislators contribute more than once on the floor of parliament that day.
On the second sitting dated February 4, the speaker Kadaga herself again chaired. Here, the total numbers of contributions were from 146 members though; the contributors seem to be almost the same as the previous day. The names of the legislators who contributed are here:
Ken Lukyamuzi, William Nzoghu, Paul Mwiru, Medard Sseggona, Berbard Atiku, Angeline Osege, Winfred Kiiza, Beatrice Anywar, Elijah Okupa, Ibrahim Ssemujju, Abraham Byandaala, Rose Akol, Betty Nambooze, Moses Ali, Nandala Mafabi, Theodore Ssekikubo, Kafuda Boaz, Jessica Alupo, Edie Kwizera, Wilfred Nuwagaba, Migadde Robert, Wadri Kassiano, Nyaketcho Annete, Obua Hamson, Kabakumba Masiko, Alex Ruhunda, Jacob Opolot, Deo Kiyingi, Latif Ssebaggala, Alice Alaso, Mike Mukula, Harriet Ntabazi, Ibi Florence Ekwau and Bagoole John. Others were Fox Odoi, Jesca Ababiku, Nyakigongoro Rosemary, Cecilia Ogwal, Daudi Migereko, Rapahel Magyezi, Amero Susan, John Ssimbwa, Fred Ruhindi, Chris Baryomunsi, Jovah Kamateeka, Ephraim Biraaro, Okot Amos, Medard Bitekerezo, Chris Baryomunsi, Win Kiiza, Kayagi Netelesire, Kabuule Evelyn, Igantitus Besisira, Fred Mwesigye, Lilly Adong, Kakooza James, Asamo Helen, Gilbert Bukenya, Bbobsa Kiyingi, Rose Lilly Akello and Moses Kasibante.The rest of members were there to be seen and not heard.
The next sitting was on February5 and here, there were 75 members who spoke to the joy of the dumb ones. According to the Hansard, list of contributors is here included Alice Alaso, Grace Freedom Kwinycwiny, Franca Akello, Betty Nambooze, Winie Kiiza, Moses Kasibante, Robinah Nabbanja, Okumu Regan, Ssemujju Nganda, Sezi Mbaguta, Denis Obua, Kasiano Wadri, Paul Mwiru, Mathias Mpuuga, William Nzoghu, Beatrice Anywar, Cecilia Ogwal, Lulume Bayigga, Thedore Ssekikubo, Wafula Oguttu, Fred Ruhindi, Raphael Magyezi, Medard Sseggona, Kabakumba Masiko, Anna Maria Nankabirwa and Victoria Rusoke.
Others were Bright Rwamirama, Alex Ruhunda, Waira Magyegere, Oboth Oboth, Fred Ebil, Daudi Migereko, Akello Franca, Bernard Atiku, Ephraim Biraaro, Jovah Kamateeka, Santa Alum, Bbosa Kiyingi, Kasamba Mathias and Olivia Kwagala. The rest had the ‘mute button’ pressed.
The house went into recess again for a full week and returned on February 17. It was again chaired by Kadaga. On this day, there were 63 contributors though as usual, various MPs spoke more than once. Rose Ssenninde, Moses Ali, Ssemujju Nganda, Elly Tumwine, Sanjay Tanna, Okumu Regan, Matia Nsubuga, Oboth Oboth, Laitf Ssebaggala, Bbosa Kiyingi, Alex Ruhunda, Paula Turyayikayo, Jovah Kamateeka, Hood Katuramu, Tarsis Kabwegere, Ken Lukyamuzi, Alice Alaso, Paul Mwiru, Ababiku Jesca, Kaps Fungaroo, Fred Ruhindi, Rose Akol, Angeline Osege, Amos Lugoloobi, Wilfred Nuwagaba, James Kakooza, Nandala Mafabi, Phenhans Katirima, David Nahati, Joshua Anywarach, Fred Mwesigye, Hariet Ntabazi, Tonny Ayoo, Muwanga Kivumbi, Benny Bugembe and Mathia Mpuuga. Others are Keneth Lubogo, Robert Kasule, Fox Odoi, Medard Bitekerezo, Mutonyi Felicitus, Herbert Sabila, John Byabagambi, Alex Ndeezi, Margret Babadri and Aronda Nyakairima. The other members didn’t not feel any need to contribute.
The following sitting was on February 18/2015. Here, out of the 376 legislators, those who contributed in total were 107 repetitions notwithstanding! The contributions came from the following members. Karooro Okurut, Rose Akol, Moses Ali, Cecilia Ogwal, James Kakooza, Fox Odoi, Mariam Nalubega, Kenth Lubogo, Alex Ruhunda, Aronda Nyakairima, Oboth Oboth, Arinatitwe Rwakajara, Obua Denis, Nandala Mafabi, James Kabajjo, Stephen Tashobya, Kabakumba Masiko, Sanjay Tanna, Chrispus Ayena, Benny Bugembe, Medard Bitekerezo, Joshua Anywarach, Hariet Ntabazi, Sulaiman Madada, Elly Tumwine, Medard Sseggona, Jovah Kamateeka, Herbert Sabila, Abdu Katuntu, Betty Amongi, Kangwagye, William Nzoghu and Elijah Okupa. Others were Kenth Lubogo, Kafuda Boaz, Matia Kasaija, David Bahati, Florence Namayanja, James Baba, Monica Amoding, Fred Mwesigye, Phenhans Katirima, Muwanga Kivumbi, Wilberforce Yaguma, Robert Kasule, Henry Musasizi, Paul Mwiru, Syda Bbumba, Epharaim Biraaro and Santa Alum. Other still untraced again.
There was another sitting conducted on February 19 and chaired by Kadaga. In total, there were 46 contributions. These came from John Ssimbwa, Franca Akello, Karooro Okurut, Bernard Atiku, Betty Amongi, Paul Mwiru, Aronda Nyakairima, Alice Alaso, David Bahati, Moses Kasibante, Cyrus Omodoi, Rose Sseninde, Betty Nambooze, Oboth Oboth, Mariam Nalubega, Ibi Florence Ekwau, and Keneth Lubogo. Others were Joshua Anywarach, Fox Odoi, William Nzoghu, Alex Ruhunda, Elijah Okupa, Benny Bugembe, Geofrey Ekanya, Jack Sabiiti, James Kabajjo, Nandala Mafabi, Muwanga Kivumbi, Medrad Bitekerezo, Robert Migadde, Benson Obua, Felicitus Mutonyi, Sanjay Tanna, Margret Babadiri, Kabuule Evelyn, Florence Mutyabule, Kahinda Otafiire, Fred Ebil, Ruth Nankabirwa, Simon Mulongo, Harriet Ntabazi, Matia Nsubuga, Kasule Robert and Wafula Oguttu.
On February 24/2015, the house sat to allow members go on record but even here, more members decided to go mute as usual. There were 76 legislators who spoke that day. These include Geoffrey Ekanya, Elijah Okupa, Franca Akello, Ibi Florece, OKeyoh Peter, Wamai Wamanga, James Mutende, Kaps Fungaroo, Ken Lukyamuzi, Robert Migadde, Muwanga Kivumbi, Beatrice Anywar, Chris Baryomunsi, Medard Biterekerezo, Aston Kajara, Rose Sseninde, Ruhakana Rugunda, Wafula Oguttu, Moses Ali, Bernard Atiku, Nzoghu William, Katoto Atwib, Hood Katuramu, Latif Ssebaggala, Joshua Anywarach, Bako Christine, Kasibante Moses, Asuman Kiyingi, Kenth Lubogo, Ssemujju Nganda, Betty Amongi, Okumu Regan, Abdu Katuntu, Kabaale Olivia, Medard Sseggona and Christine Lowila. Others were Edie Kwizera, Peter Ogwang, Nakawunde Temulanda, Jovah Kamateeka, Margret Babadri, Oleru Huda, Ekuma George, Mukitale Stephen, Amongin Jaclyn, David Bahati, Sulamiman Balyejjusa, Rwakajara Arinatiwe, Benson Obua, Paul Mwiru, Oboi Patrick, Mutonyi Felicitus, Nuwat Rosemary, Cecilia Ogwal, Aronda Nyakairima, Hariet Ntabazi, Simon Mulongo, Bernard Atiku, Fred Ebil, Oboth Oboth, Annette Nyakecho, Fox Odoi, Lulume Bayiga, Bugembe Benny, Fred Ruhindi, Kiwanda Godfrey, Jenifer Nantume, Wafula Oguttu, William Nzoghu, James Kabajo, Theodore Ssekikubo and James Kakooza.
The last sitting of February was done on 26th and was chaired by speaker Kadaga Rebecca. Here, there were 63 contributions made. These came from Kafeero Robert, Ken Lukyamuzi, Muruli Mukasa, Moses Kasibante, Amelia Kyambadde, Rukia Nakadama, Alice Alaso, Evelyn Anite, Vincente Bagiire, Amongin Jaclyn, Kabakumba Masiko, Elizabeth Karungi, Kaps Fungaroo, Ibi Florence, Bako Christine, Ronah Ninsima, James Kakooza, Nandala Mafabi, Fox Odoi, Wilfred Nuwagaba, Joshua Anywarach, Fred Ruhindi, Robert Kasule, Paul Mwiru, Aronda Nyakairima, Milton Muwuma, Nyaketcho Annete, Theodore Ssekikubo, Kabaale Olivia, Tim Lwanga, Simon Mulongo, Medard Sseggona, Idi Isabirye, Fred Ruhindi, Cecilia Ogwal and Kakooza James. Others were Nandala Mafabi, Onyango Kakoba, Rose Ssenninde, Namabidde Sinabulya, Jacob Wangolo, Oboth Oboth, Kabakumba Masiko, Lulume Bayiga, Santa Alum, Chrispus Kiyonga, Patrick Mulindwa, Chrispus Kiyonga, Tony Ayoo, Olivia Kwagala, Baba James, Gilbert Oulanya, Okupa Elijah, Lucy Akello, Vicente Ssempijja, Greald Karuhanga, Daudi Migereko, Ephraim Biraaro and Moses Ali.
A close scrutiny of the contributions on the floor indicates that actually, there are seven army legislators out of ten who cannot speak on the floor in a full month.
As for ministers, it also indicates that out of the 76 ministers, only ten of them were able to speak on the floor in a full month. The persons with disabilities also seem to have only two legislators who were able to speak on the floor every month, while workers who have four legislators are only able to be heard through one legislator in a month.
The youth MPs are all performing well because they all spoke in that month.
The same Hansard shows that out of the 376 legislators, despite the huge opportunities for them to speak; only 176 members were able to stand up and speak in a full month though on average, at least 70 members can speak a day! This therefore means each Member of Parliament amongst the 376 legislators has the opportunity to speak at least every month only if they stand up to speak.