The Parliamentary Commission should revert to the previous system of payment based on Members’ attendance, the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga has said.
“One mistake we made was to consolidate pay. We need to go back to the old system such that Members feel the pinch,” said Kadaga.
Kadaga, who was meeting a delegation of visiting Zimbabwe National Assembly legislators led by their Speaker, Hon. Jacob Francis Mudenda, said the system of tagging members’ pay to attendance had succeeded in Israel.
The Zimbabwean legislators are visiting Parliament of Uganda to benchmark the operations of the Parliamentary Commission, the Office of the Speaker, Relations between Parliament and the Executive, the Committee System, Conditions of Service for Presiding Officers, Members, and Staff of Parliament among others.
Members’ emoluments including sitting allowances, fuel and subsistence was consolidated into one lump sum during the 6th Parliament.
Originally sitting allowance for committees and plenary was paid according to the number of sessions a member had attended.
She explained that sometimes “MPs withdraw their labour from the House to deny us quorum” like it happened last week with a walk out by Opposition MPs during the consideration of the Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2015.
The Speaker said she has received several petitions requesting for recall of Members but could not act on them because the Constitutional provision on MPs’ recall is only applicable during the Movement system of government.
“I have many petitions We should have the courage to amend the law on recalling members,” she said.
Speaker Hon. Jacob Mudenda said attendance in the Zimbabwe National Assembly is better on Tuesday and Wednesday but falls as members leave for their constituencies on Thursday.
He however said that their practice of publishing the previous days’ attendance register on the day’s Order Paper, which Hon. Kadaga said Uganda should copy, was helping boost numbers.