As the 11th Parliament gears up for the new year, several pivotal issues are set to dominate the legislative agenda. Constitutional amendments, electoral reform bills, and addressing unfilled budget programs will be at the forefront. Concerns regarding fuel prices, health, the economy, and road infrastructure are also expected to occupy a prominent place on the parliamentary order paper.
The 557 members of Parliament, comprising 368 males and 188 females, are poised to address critical issues such as human rights violations, social and economic challenges, and the attendance of both ministers and MPs. Private members’ bills, including the Alcohol Control Bill spearheaded by Sarah Opendi (Tororo, NRM), are anticipated to feature prominently. The bill is currently under scrutiny by health and trade committees.
In addition to legislative matters, Uganda’s readiness to host the 19th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit and Third South Summit from January 15 to 20, 2023, will see MPs attending both events. The NAM Summit’s theme, ‘Deepening Cooperation for Shared Global Affluence,’ and the South Summit’s focus on ‘Leaving No One Behind’ aim to foster international cooperation and address global challenges.
The Rules, Privileges, and Discipline Committee will continue to hear a case against Mitayana Municipality MP Francis Zaake, accused of making derogatory statements against another MP. Opposition party National Unity Platform (NUP) has appointed Joel Ssenyonyi as the new leader of the opposition in parliament, succeeding Mathias Mpuuga.
MPs Eddie Kwizera (Bukumbiri County, NRM), Annet Katusiime Mugisha (Bushenyi, NRM), Betty Aol (Gulu City, FDC), and Dr. Timothy Batuwa (Jinja South West, FDC) shared their perspectives on the upcoming parliamentary focus. Kwizera highlighted the potential need for parliamentary approval for increased borrowing due to revenue shortfalls, while expressing concerns about the unplanned mergers of government institutions.
Katusiime Mugisha emphasized the importance of addressing bad roads, particularly the Mbarara to Kabwohe to Sheema to Ishaka road, and called for the formulation of a tea policy to support the struggling tea industry. Aol underscored the continued emphasis on human rights issues and ministerial attendance, while Batuwa highlighted the need to fulfill unmet promises and address concerns about fuel prices and constitutional amendments.