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Wednesday, 05 July 2006
 
Parliament met at 2.45 p.m. in Parliament House, Kampala.
 
PRAYERS
 
(The Deputy Speaker, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, in the Chair.)
 
The House was called to order.
 
COMMUNICATION FROM THE CHAIR
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, I welcome you to todays sitting. In our midst we have a very distinguished delegation from the province of Gauteng in South Africa, led by their Speaker, the Rt hon. Richard Mdakane. (Applause) He came along with the following:
1.  Hon. Uhuru Molowa
2.  Hon. Doreen Senokoanyane
3.  Hon. Mondli Gungubele
4.  Hon. JM Mofokokeng
5.  Hon. Malesela Ledwaba
6.  Hon. Godfrey Tsotetsi
7.  Hon. Sipho Alexander Mkhize
8.  Hon. Rev. Motlalepula Chabaku - she led a match against apartheid in 1956. She is a very important person. (Applause)
9.  Hon. Buyisile Regina Dhladhla
10.  Hon. Kathrine Loise Lorimer
11.  Hon. Gertrude Maama Mzima
12.  Ms Benny Makgati
13.  Mr Mmusi Moraka - manager in the Speakers Office and;
14.  Ms Nokulunga Hogan-Msimang, the protocol officer. (Applause)
 
You will forgive us for the poor pronunciation. (Laughter) They have a House of 73 members and a population of nine million people in that province. I would like to invite you to the Grand Imperial Hotel at 6.30 p.m. for a chat with them in a more relaxed manner.
 
Secondly, I would like to inform the Cabinet that they should be ready to start responding tomorrow. Those ministries where no issues were raised during the debate need not say anything. We shall give the Prime Minister 20 minutes and the Ministers ten minutes each.
 
2.49
MS SYLVIA SINABULYA (NRM, Woman Representative, Mityana): I thank you, Madam Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Presidents State of the Nation Address. I support the motion as moved by hon. Nyombi.
 
Madam Speaker, His Excellency the President made comments on a number of pertinent issues, which are very important to national development. One of the candid issues, which the President talked about, is the need to support the programme to alleviate the power crisis. None of us could underestimate the need to address the energy challenges, which are facing our country. However, as we wait for the 44 months before the dams are put in place, I urge my colleagues to popularise other alternate means of power supply.
 
For example, we need to support solar energy. We also need to support programmes for biogas because our country has plenty of sunshine. If we popularise the use of solar equipment, we shall have gone a long way to alleviate the power crisis we are currently facing. I am glad that there was tax relief given on solar equipment and generators in the new budget. Therefore, it is up to us to popularise the use of these devices such that the country comes out of this persistent power crisis.
 
Madam Speaker, one of the reasons the NRM was able to win the support of many Ugandans was the promise of poverty alleviation and the prosperity for all slogan, which we used during campaigns. Many Ugandans are excited about this programme and we need to give the Minister for Micro-Finance the necessary support to ensure that this money benefits all Ugandans. However, one thing, which we must clarify, is that prosperity for all is not only about micro-finance.
 
In fact, micro-finance is just a section in the entire production and marketing chain. We need to look at the entire production and marketing chain. For instance, we have to look at things like water for irrigation because most of the people are in rural areas. If we are to make them prosper, we have to consider the agricultural sector. Apart from water for irrigation, there is a need for markets for the produce and micro finance will only act as oil to accelerate the whole process.
 

I was happy that the President talked about corruption. He came out strongly to show his commitment to eliminate corruption. Many of our colleagues, mainly those on the other side have attacked Government about its alleged failure to fight corruption. I am now happy that the President stated it and no one is going to doubt the commitment of the NRM Government to fight corruption. (Applause)

 

However, I think we also need to borrow a leaf from countries, which have been successful in the fight against corruption. Corruption is not only in Uganda but also in many other countries. If we could go just a step further and say, When someone is convicted on corruption charges, something should be done about the assets and other materials acquired. I know we as the NRM Government can do it. I am sure the President will soon ensure that we confiscate assets acquired through corrupt tendencies.

 
I would like to applaud the President for his commitment in UPE and the upcoming USE programme. I am convinced that as women we are the greatest beneficiaries of the USE programme, because it is mainly girl children who have been missing out on education opportunities. I read in the papers the Minister of Education saying there will be affirmative action for girls in USE programme and this is an issue, which should be applauded.
 
Madam Speaker, I expected to hear something about maternal health in the State of the Nation Address. Maternal health is a serious concern and as Ugandan women we feel that Government needs to do a lot more. On average 16 women die daily as a result of maternal death.
 
I would have gone on longer but the bell has warned about time. However, if I get another opportunity, I will make more elaboration on the issue of maternal health and the number of maternal deaths, which occur daily in Uganda. We should all come up as Parliament and support Government efforts to stop the scourge of maternal deaths. I thank you, Madam Speaker.
 
2.57
MR FRANCIS MUGARRA (NRM, Ntoroko County, Bundibugyo): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I support the motion because it was well packaged in the State of the Nation Address. It was not a mere fulfillment of a constitutional obligation as insinuated by hon. Wadri last week. I would like to congratulate the President, the entire Cabinet, you Madam Speaker, the Speaker, Members of the Eighth Parliament and in a special way hon. Prof. Ogenga Latigo for winning the race of the opposition. Congratulations. (Applause) 
 
Because of time I will limit my comments to only two issues. On page 6 we have the issue of the Independent Members of Parliament. This has been and will continue to generate debate in and outside this House. I am also happy the President has realised that the provision for Independents causes a big challenge to our multi-party democracy and therefore needs to be addressed.
 
For 20 years, there was a ban on multi-party politics in this country. Our colleagues in the opposition agitated for quite a long time, arguing that it was an infringement of rights of association, but of course the population of this country stood their ground and said no to multiparty politics because of the experience they had gone through in the multi-party arrangement. I am sure those of us who participated in the 1980 elections realised the significant difference in the conduct of the recently concluded multi-party elections.
 
Madam Speaker, to me that ban was a necessary evil and it was justified. That is why you saw hon. Nsubuga narrating many events yesterday. He is now comfortably sharing this House with his former tormentors. Therefore, I think the ban on multi-party politics was a justified move. (Applause) This country decided to go multi-party in a referendum just a year ago. It is, therefore, our responsibility as leaders to ensure that multi-party democracy thrives in this country.
 
We have the responsibility to nurture multi-party democracy because this is what the people have chosen. Some people argue that parties are weak and undemocratic - to justify the existence of Independents. However, in my view it is very unfair to expect parties that have existed for just a year to be strong.
 
Madam Speaker, it takes decades to build institutions and we should bear the inconveniences, the unfairness and make the necessary sacrifices, if we have to, build meaningful multi-party democracy in this country. I would like to appeal to all the honourable members that if we sincerely mean multi-party democracy, we should do all it takes to build it.
 
It is my view that if we are to build meaningful democracy in this country - some people suggest for example that the chairman of the NRM at one time suggested that we could have all members of a party participating in a primary election. This will not solve the problem of emergency of Independents because given the cost involved in participating in an election in this country, not many members would be willing to run two general elections within a year. Having every member of a given party participate in a primary election is in itself a general election. How many of us are ready to run in two general elections within a very short time? It is not going to be feasible.
 
The only way forward is for us to suspend Article 72(4), which states thus: Any person is free to stand for an election as a candidate, independent of a political organisation or political party. If we did this for at least three consecutive general elections, we would make parties stronger, and allow our population to appreciate multi-party democracy. After three consecutive general elections we could allow both systems to run concurrently. However, our population would have had an opportunity to test what multi-party is about. In fact it even instills discipline among our politicians.
 
Recently one of the politicians in the opposition walked out of an Appointments Committee for reasons he knew best but when there were insinuations that his party would discipline him, he threatened to desert the party. I am sure the party could have feared to take disciplinary action to avoid losing a member in the House.
 

Madam Speaker, we want to ensure discipline in our politics. That is why I am suggesting that we suspend Article 72(4) of our Constitution. We shall instill discipline for people to appreciate multi-party democracy. In future we could have both systems running concurrently.

 


I would like to conclude with the issue on page 22  prosperity for all. Madam Speaker, many people have reduced prosperity for all to mere micro finance. I think it is a lot more than just that and some people are arguing for haphazard ways of implementing micro credit. This is not going to help us. It is very important that the sectors concerned come up with a comprehensive strategy for prosperity for all so that we meaningfully achieve what we intended.
 
3.05
MR IBRAHIM MUWULIZE (Independent, Buikwe County West, Mukono): Thank you, Madam Speaker. You could call me Lugazi Sugar Member of Parliament. This is in Mukono District, the place that is home for Metha Group of Companies. This is the empire, which hosts the famous Mabira forest. I am saying this basically for the benefit of fellow new Members of Parliament who may not know where Buikwe is found. When you are driving through Buikwe West, please drive cautiously. This is an accident-prone place where you hear of Kawolo Hospital, which I am now certain is famous for handling accident victims.
 
I wish to congratulate all the Members who made it to the Eighth Parliament. I congratulate the President, you Madam Speaker and the Speaker. I also congratulate the honourable members who made it to ministerial posts whom I am sure have received my personal messages of congratulating them in form of a card. I wish them the best in their appointment.
 
Madam Speaker, I support the motion to thank His Excellency for a good and touching State of the Nation Address. In my view the areas that were touched on are very important especially to the common person. As I have told you, Lugazi is where we have a lot of sugarcane. My people are rural farmers and I feel the Presidents speech addressed agriculture. My place is quite national for it reflects the national image. We have lots of industries. You could talk of the Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited (SCOUL), the Cable Corporation and many others. Lugazi is a home of workers. Therefore, I am quite familiar with workers problems.
 
There is one area which I feel is of great concern to us. This concerns the industry of construction. Here are workers who are taken on by employers; these people are cruelly handled by these contractors. There is no criterion of determining the pay and in fact you can see what is happening here in Kampala. There is so much construction going on and most of these contractors are of alien origin. And even where indigenous contractors are involved our people are handled in very inhuman ways. Their pay is very poor and when they have a problem, their welfare is not considered. I wish we would design a way of how these contract workers are handled. These are people who do not have any pensionable schemes. When they are involved in any form of accidents, nobody cares. I suggest that Government looks into this.
 
Madam Speaker, I would like to address myself to corruption. Corruption is an evil that we are only talking about. However, each one of us here lives with corruption where we stay. Recently we were talking about ourselves, the Members of Parliament. I think a Member of Parliament who cannot think about what is just enough for him to carry out his duty is not an honourable member. I think we should talk about our allowances to enable us serve our people in the best way we can.
 
However, how about the chairman of my village? The LC I chairman is at work 24 hours and yet he has not been thought about. These are people who run most of our home affairs. We should earmark something for these people because they are not catered for at all. We are abating corruption right from the villages and I think we should really look into it. Otherwise, there is something going wrong.
 
Buikwe is a county, which is very wide with remote areas. I do not want to say we are not developed but our infrastructure is quite wanting. This is a place with 29 sub-counties and when you add it to Buvuma with its three others, these add up to 31. We have already requested for a district status. I think that is when we shall get services closer to us. I want this to go on record; we really are wanting.
 
I strongly support USE. We had the UPE programme, which was good. However, the secondary schools are lacking. However, there are some secondary schools, which are yearning to be taken on by Government. I urge Government to help these schools get on board so that we get our policy work out well. Thank you, Madam Speaker.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, I would like you to join me in welcoming the students of St Jude Primary School, Kasana. You are welcome to Parliament. We also have Crested Secondary School, from Luwafu in Makindye. I do not know which side of Makindye the school is located. You are also welcome. There is a group of Italians touring Uganda, up there in the strangers gallery. We congratulate you upon your progress in the world cup.
 

3.14

MS MARGARET ANGUFIRU (Independent, Ayivu County, Arua): Madam Speaker, I thank you for allowing me say a few words in this august House. I support the motion, which was moved by my colleague. I must congratulate His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Uganda for having gone through the recent elections. It was because he performed that people voted him back into office. If he had not performed, he would not have been voted in again.
 
I want to mention some of the few achievements, which my constituents had during the recent past under his leadership. In Ayivu constituency, as far as the health sector is concerned, we have vast units of health facilities all over the district. Because of this, we have improved primary health care.
 
I also want to congratulate the President for the government strategy to combat HIV/AIDS and Malaria in this country. There is also the establishment of facilities for management of health services, improvement of maternal mortality and infant mortality rates. I say this because the mothers now attend the antenatal clinics and the children have now been immunised. The immunisation rate has now gone up and diseases like Measles and TB have been reduced. Therefore, these are some of the reasons I support the motion.
 
I would like to mention a few challenges, which the government needs to improve on. These include the target for health facilities to be within five kilometers from each constituency. The health units in my constituency do not have enough personnel and they are also complaining about poor payment. The drugs are also inadequate.
 
Madam Speaker, we also have the problem of appointment of staff. Most of the staff are not appointed by the Public Service yet. We also have trained very many nurses and medical personnel who are not appointed and whose salaries are still very poor. We would also like to request the Public Service to lift the ban of recruitment. If this ban is lifted some of the staff will work hard and health service delivery will be improved in our constituency.
 
About the education sector, I would like to appreciate the efforts Government has put in. I urge the Minister of Education to intensify adult literacy because most of my people do not have the opportunity to study. Because of this, the poverty levels are very high. I believe that one of the ways in which we could reduce poverty is by educating the women. When you educate women, you educate the nation.
 
I also would like to mention that the youth should be catered for. These are very idle for they have no work. As a result many of have been infected with HIV/AIDS. Could we train these youth in income generating activities? Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.
 
3.21
MS GRACE OBURU (NRM, Woman Representative, Tororo): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate His Excellency for going through the rigorous exercise of the campaigns and being elected the first President in a multi-party dispensation. I also congratulate you, Madam Speaker and all honourable members for making it to the Eighth Parliament. In a special way I congratulate the women who represent districts, for they traversed those districts and went through. I think their allowances should be increased -(Interruptions)- am I safe, Madam Speaker?
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, honorable members.
 
MS OBURU: Madam Speaker, the District Women Members of Parliament were directly elected; they did not go through the electoral college. Therefore, they are directly elected Members of Parliament.
 
I support the motion on the state of the Nation Address by His Excellency the President, which was very elaborate and touches lives of the citizens. In his address he talked about many things, apart from the mining of phosphates, which is going on in Tororo. There are deposits in this place, which do not need any feasibility study. When this is done, the poverty in that part of the district would be solved. This would also enhance our foreign exchange earnings. The energy sector should carry out studies to establish the details of mineral deposits in this country.
 
In the social sector, I am happy that the Seventh Parliament passed some of the labour laws even though they are not in yet operational. As my other colleague already mentioned, these laws have not been put to use because the employers take their employees for granted. They do not give them appointment letters. They do not even know how much they earn because they earn one salary this month, and a different salary another month. They cannot even ask about it. The labour laws should come in force so that they address the workers grievances.
 
Madam Speaker, about the war in the North, I am happy to report that I was in Gulu last week; we were there to assess the situation of children in the IDP camps. I am also happy to note that there is a peace restoration process going on. However, we will not address the hunger situation if these people are not allowed to go back to their homes. Therefore, we pray that the peace process goes ahead so that people become productive and address the hunger crisis. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.
 
3.26
MS EUDIA KWIZERA (NRM, Woman Representative, Kisoro): Thank you for giving me an opportunity to stand in this very important House and express myself. I would like to congratulate His Excellency, the President for making it to his high office again. Madam Speaker, I would also like to congratulate you upon being elected to that high and important office, as well as my fellow Members of Parliament. I thank the people Kisoro for trusting me by electing me to represent them in this very big House.
 
I thank the government for developing my district in different ways. I am happy to inform the House that our main hospital in Kisoro District was rehabilitated in two years, with a well-equipped theatre. We also have some ambulances given to the hospital and for all this we thank the government. In every sub-county in Kisoro we have a health centre equipped with drugs and an ambulance to take patients. Kisoro Hospital is blessed with electricity, which comes from Rwanda. We do not have this load shedding, which other parts of Uganda are faced with.
 
Let me have this opportunity (Interruptions)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, members. Please do not heckle.
 
MS KWIZERA: Madam Speaker, let me appeal to the government to put emphasis on the adult literacy campaign. Kisoro is one of the districts where old people still use fingerprints. The illiteracy levels have decreased from 75 percent to 50 percent, which we thank the government for, however we pray that more efforts be put in so that those who cannot read now will make it in the future.
 
We have another challenge in as far as the education sector is concerned. We have very few secondary schools in our district. Children move very long distances and as a result girls have dropped out of school because they cannot make it. I am happy that we are going to get USE. However, it is a pity that Kisoro will not benefit since we do not have enough secondary schools. I request the government to give us more secondary schools. Unlike other districts, we have even private schools.
 
I thank the government so much  you see we live at the border; we just cross and go to Rwanda and to Zaire. However, we thank the government for giving us security and ensuring that we live in good harmony with our sister countries, Rwanda and Zaire.
 

Madam Speaker, I would like to stress the point about our road from Kabale to Kisoro. This road was promised to us 20 years ago but until now nothing has been done. However, we should not look at only negatives. I have started by thanking the government and we have hope that even this road will be worked on. At the moment it is easier to travel from here to Kabale than from Kabale to Kisoro and yet the distance is shorter. By the time you reach Kisoro, you are already tired and sick.

 


We have the potential for a tourism industry in Kisoro. We have some gorilla tracking in the two national parks; if this road is worked on, the number of tourists who come to the district will increase and the income will go up. Therefore, I beg that this road be worked on as soon as possible.
 
I take this opportunity to thank the Parliament that has tried hard to invest in training especially for the new MPs. We now feel equipped and we have gained self esteem to adequately and effectively represent our constituencies. In a special way, I thank UWOPA and UWONET for the training. Thank you.
 
3.33
MS ANNE AURU (Independent, Woman Representative, Moyo): Thank you, Madam Speaker, for this long awaited opportunity to air out my views. I join the rest of my colleagues in congratulating our President for making it to the highest position in this country under the first multi-party dispensation. I thank him for the five ministerial positions he gave to the West Nile region although none of the ministers comes from Moyo District, and none is a woman - I know he has us in mind. Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate you also upon retaining your seat and I congratulate all the Members of the Eighth Parliament especially the Independents who made it without the support of parties.
 
I stand to second the motion moved by hon. Nyombi. I will address myself to five issues. In his speech the President pledged to continue supporting primary health care and give support to non-profit making hospitals. My appeal is about the district hospitals especially those, which were established in the 1960s.
 
Moyo Hospital was constructed in the 1960s and right now it is in a very sorry state. The theatre is leaking and when it is raining operations cannot be performed. For the last two years, we have had no X-ray. When cases of fractures arise, the people are at Gods mercy. I am, therefore, appealing to Government to ensure that those old hospitals are rehabilitated and equipped.
 
On the issue of education, I would like to thank His Excellency for starting USE, although there are other people who are challenging the programme. They are asking questions which should have been asked many years back, about the teacher-pupil ratio and classroom space. I think this Government has done a good job. (Applause)
 
Under the schools facilitation grant, a number of schools have been constructed. Teachers have also gone for training. We do not go to school to just pass exams, but also to socialise and interact with other people. We support the USE programme. It is difficult to start a project but when you start it you know how to go about it. I am an Independent but I will continue to urge Members to support the Movement Government until we attain USE.
 
In my district, admission to universities on Government sponsorship is zero this year. Out of the 1,600 students admitted to the university, none is from Moyo. I request the Minister of Education and Sports to carry out a study so that some policy is put in place to ensure that rural schools also send students to the university on Government sponsorship. In the same vein I appeal to this House to put in place a loan scheme so that the poor rural schools also access university education.
 

Madam Speaker, on security I would like to inform the Minister for the Northern Region that there are IDPs in Moyo District. People from Adjumani who are displaced by Kony went and settled in one of the sub-counties in Moyo District. Therefore, in the rehabilitation and resettlement programme I hope Moyo District will be included.

 


I would like to conclude by saying I am grateful about pension. Let the teachers pension be looked into because they even have a shorter lifespan. I thank you very much, Madam Speaker.
 
3.39
MS NETALISIRE KAYAGI (NRM, Woman Representative, Manafwa): Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I take this opportunity to add my voice to my fellow colleagues who have already congratulated you upon your victory and retention of that seat. Thank you for keeping the candle of women burning. Allow me also to register my sincere thanks to the Seventh Parliament that approved Manafwa District. The people of Manafwa send their sincere thanks to you for bringing their services closer. This has also enabled me to come to this House. Thank you so much.
 
I support the motion on the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency the President. He talked about many issues during this address. People from Manafwa are very grateful to Government for the UPE programme, from which we have benefited. Those who have visited the Elgon zones will agree with me that our people there are living below the poverty line. The UPE programme has greatly helped our people and our children are going to school. My people were worried about where their children would go after the primary level. However, they are now very happy that the government has introduced post-primary education.
 
Our humble appeal to this Government and to the Minister of Education is to honour the Presidents promise during the delegates conference. He promised to construct a secondary school in each sub-county. I appeal to the Minister to put Manafwa District under her consideration.
 
Madam Speaker, permit me to speak about health. In the State of the Nation Address the President talked about health, which we in Manafwa are very grateful for. Our area is mountainous and we used to carry our patients from Bumbo, Bubutu and other very mountainous areas to Bududa Hospital. However, we are grateful that many health centres have been constructed during the NRM regime. Our humble appeal is that the issue of few staff be looked into for the patients are now very many. We request the minister in charge to recruit more staff so that the ratio of staff to patients improves.
 
Lastly, Madam Speaker, we are very happy with the resettlement of the people of the North. I appeal to our colleagues in the opposition to appreciate that this will not take one day. With your prayers and support, the government of Uganda will achieve this.
 
There is this National Parks Programme that has affected my people who were living in those mountainous areas. They were sent away from the national park and they have formed camps in some areas like Bwabwala, in Luwa. The people in Manjiya County have also left this area, which has affected their agriculture. Madam speaker, the people of Manafwa humbly appeal to this Government that the two boundaries initiated in 1983 and 1993 respectively be maintained so that they have some piece of land that they could cultivate. I thank you, Madam Speaker.
 
3.45
MS REBECCA LUKWAGO (Independent, Woman Representative, Luweero): Thank you, Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity. I would like to add my voice to other honourable members who have congratulated His Excellency the President for the victory in the recent elections. I also congratulate you, Madam Speaker upon retaining your seat. I know Rebeccas always do the best and I am sure you will do the best in the Eighth Parliament.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you.
 
MS LUKWAGO: I cannot hesitate to congratulate all the Members of this House who earned themselves ministerial posts, not forgetting the shadow cabinet as well.
 
I support the motion, moved by hon. Nyombi. The President had great concern for the improvement of the social sectors, especially education. He emphasised the improvement of the welfare of teachers and I feel this was a very positive move towards the empowering and strengthening of our education sector in Uganda.
 
However, my concern is about the salary increment from Shs 150,000 to Shs 200,000. Isnt there any way these teachers could be exempted from tax, especially Pay As You Earn, so that they realise a meaningful increment? Isnt there any other method the government could increase the threshold of the salary being taxable from the Shs 130,000 to around Shs 250,000, to help our teachers realise a meaningful increment in the salary pay?
 
I would also like to applaud this Government for the heavy investment it put in the education sector. The enrolment of children has almost tripled. Even the disadvantaged groups, including the disabled, are now going to school. The girl child is also attending school these days. However, my concern is, how do we solve the problem of school dropout rates where many girls dropout mainly because of either feeding at school or their menstrual cycle? You know these teenagers feel very uncomfortable and they do not attend school when they are going through that kind of experience. Therefore, the government had embarked on a programme to help girls get sanitary towels so that these they feel comfortable when they are at school.
 
And two, I would like the government to strengthen or continue helping these girls in a way that the school environment is hygienically well set up for these girls to feel comfortable and attend school.
 
I would also like to look at the classroom to children or pupil ratio, and also the classroom teacher to the children ratio. Some of our schools in the rural areas still have a problem of the very many number of children per class. And when you look at the SFG this financial year, some districts have not got SFG funding, like where I come from in Luweero District.
 
There are some very rural schools whereby students are still walking very long distances to the schools, and others again are still under trees like many schools in the cattle corridor areas. The children are walking very long distances and also they are still under trees. So, when you find that Luweero District did not get SFG funding, we wonder what criteria was used for some districts to get and others not to get SFG funding.
 
I would also want to emphasise some weaknesses in our UPE, which we support and we feel if we do this, it will be the best. We would have the best education system in Uganda if the government can come up with a policy of feeding. Most of these children come to school either when they have not got breakfast or when the parents cannot afford to pack for them food. I think there should be a policy whereby feeding can be funded by the government so that we consolidate the primary education and then embark well and have the very best foundation for the universal post-primary education.
 
The Governments decision to promote sciences is a very good strategy, which we all support. However, we still face shortage of laboratories, equipment, and chemicals especially in the rural areas. What has Government put in place to ensure equity and the promotion of sciences nationwide? I propose that Government sets aside funds to equip schools in rural areas with laboratories and the necessary equipment to balance the rural urban disparities. Thank you, Madam Speaker.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Okay. I just want to let you know that from now, on the fifth minute, the light on the microphone will automatically go off momentarily and then at seven minutes, the microphone will be switched off.
 
3.54
MR ELIJAH OKUPA (FDC, Kasilo County, Soroti): I thank you, hon. Speaker. As I start I must thank the people who voted me and have enabled me to be in this House to day to contribute once again in the Eighth Parliament. Those are the people of Kasilo County. For the first time they made history in that an MP for Kasilo County was elected for the second time consecutively. (Applause) They also made history in that for the first time an MP was elected in the names of Okupa Elijah with over 85 percent in the County. So I thank the people of Kasilo.
 
I must thank the President of Uganda as well because when he came there for the first time that he has been in power, he helped to campaign for me -(Laughter)- because he was on radio and became part of the manifesto - he was misled and misinformed but I forgive him for the misinformation that was given to him. I hold no personal grudge; I thank him for having helped me to campaign because those issues, which he was articulating helped me to win.
 
I have a few issues to raise; one, I had expected some issues that relate to the quality of education of UPE. We all support UPE programme; it is a good programme but our concern is the quality and it is what we need to address to improve. I can give you an example of Soroti District, the mother district of the Teso region.
 
In the last PLE results, outside the municipality they were only nine pupils who got first grade. And out of these nine that came from Kasilo, Serere and Soroti, five of them were coming from Kasilo County. So, the quality in the UPE schools in Teso is worrying. When we talk about Universal Secondary Education, we get worried. Where are we going to get the pupils who are going for Universal Secondary Education? All of us need to improve, whether in the Movement or in the opposition. We need to work hard to improve the quality of Universal Secondary Education.
 
My father was a senior civil servant but I studied under mango trees. I was able to get aggregate 4 at that time under the trees. But today even under the iron roofed schools, it is very difficult. That is why I am telling you only nine pupils got first grade and they were getting aggregate from 10 to 12. We even get more worried about the Teso, Lango and Acholi regions because we get embarrassed. You go and check in all the security organisations in this country, the people who are employed there come from Teso, they come from Acholi, and they come from Lango. Is this the type of people we are going to produce? What is the fate to that part of the country?
 
We must work hard and improve on the quality of UPE. Otherwise we are going to have people who have failed to go for Universal Secondary Education and they will only end up being security guards. It is very dangerous to have people only from one region being security guards  (Laughter)- guarding other people. We must be very serious in addressing these issues. They guard other people as they eat well but are only paid Shs 60,000. It is very dangerous fellow Members of Parliament and we must address that issue.
 
As I talk about the UPE - because if UPE had quality, our children would be in these schools of UPE but today I challenge Members of Parliament here, how many of you have their children in the UPE schools? I know I have now two minutes.
 
Madam Speaker, I expected the President to address the issue of the Arrow Boys and Amuka. During the time of campaigns we brought up this issue because I knew we had passed money here to pay the Arrow and Amuka boys, but the money was not paid. They spent ten months without their salary being paid.
 
When the President was in Soroti he directed Brig. Mayombo to have the money paid and they were paid within one week for six months at least. Where did the money come from instantly? Do they need for us to go for another campaign to raise these issues? As we speak today, they have spent now seven months without salary. I hope tomorrow the hon. Minister of Defence will be able to answer some of these issues. What is happening, these are people who have saved us, they have saved the country from Kony, from the cattle rustlers - we need to be serious and pay these people what is due to them.
 
On the issue of cattle rustling, we need serious, comprehensive plans to address it. I was waiting to hear from this address that this time we are determined to develop Karamoja. If we do not develop Karamoja, this problem is going to continue. I expected to hear when the road from Soroti to Moroto is going to be tarmacked, when power is going to Karamoja; but it is not being said. We must help the people of Karamoja. We can keep talking and talking, but so long as we do not develop Karamoja, there is a big problem. We need to develop Karamoja. Thank you.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you.
  
4.01
MS BETTY AMONGI (Independent, Woman Representative, Apac): Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I want to raise two or so issues. When the President made his delivery of the State of the Nation, I did not hear the President talk about policy options for dealing with poverty. Squarely, between 1992 and 1995, poverty was at 35 percent; between 1995 and 2000 poverty rose to 38 percent and from 2000 to now, poverty has risen to 42 percent. The source is a research from Economic Policy Centre, Makerere University -(Interjections)- if you want more information, I can give you and you read it.
 
Madam Speaker, the situation by region is more disturbing. At the moment, poverty distribution by region: the Northern region is at 66.7 percent, Eastern region 37.3 percent, West 28.0 percent and Central at 20.1 percent. When the President talked he enumerated several policies and programmes for the Northern region and I am asking myself, why are these programmes not addressing the question of poverty in the Northern region?
 
This book is a Government position paper. I want to quote from Our North, a Government position paper published by the Office of the Prime Minister. If you do not have it  but it was distributed to all of us - on page 13 it is giving the distribution of grants to local governments and this answers my question. On health the distribution is 20 percent to the Central, 28 percent to the West, 27 percent to the East and 24 percent for the North. Education; 29 percent for the West, 26 percent for the East, Central has 24 percent and 21 percent for the North. On water; Central has 31 percent, the West has 34 percent, the East has 14 percent and the North has 22 percent. I would have gone on and on but the reason and the purpose for me to quote this is that this book is meant to have shown the programmes addressing the question of the North.
 
This book is entitled Our North, but this book on page 13 is giving us allocations of programmes to Northern Uganda with Northern region having the least allocation -(Mrs Kabakumba rose_)- If you want I can put it for you on the Table; I am reading from this book. Oh, the Chief Whip wants this book; you can have it, Madam Chief Whip.
 
I think there is need to start treating this country equally. I have asked myself  you are talking about NUSAF, there are many programmes that the government has put in the Northern region; there was NURP but NURP stayed since this Government came to power but at the moment poverty is at 66.7 percent. We have to start asking ourselves, where is that money going? That is my point.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, please stop heckling. Allow her to speak.
 
MS AMONGI: Madam Speaker, I think my point is allocation and I hope that this House will look at the question of allocations seriously and the question of addressing regional disparities, which you cannot run away from. You cannot run away from that. There is regional disparity in resource allocation, in appointment and in everything; and I hope we recognise that Uganda is one country and that we must address that if we want to move as a nation.
 
I am glad that the President has accepted peace talks and that he has now opted for this vis--vis the programme of the ICC and the UN. The dilemma we have with ICC and the UN is that they cannot arrest; that is the dilemma. The only option the government has is the co-operation from Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, if they can arrest, and they have failed to co-operate on arresting Kony. Sudan is saying, The only way we can co-operate is through peace talks. I am glad the government has accepted that that is the vital option for the people of Northern Uganda.
 
My only plea is to call upon the LRA leaders and those who can reach them to take the peace process seriously so that we can go home and deal with the question of poverty and deal with other questions, which are facing Northern Uganda. But when we stand here as people from the North and talk about the problem in the North, I want others to listen and help us to address it because we cannot address it if we do not move as a nation.
 
4.08
MR WILFRED KAJEKE (FDC, Mbale Municipality, Mbale): I would like to thank the President for performing his constitutional duty of delivering the State of the Nation Address. As to the quality, it is another matter. I support the motion with observations and recommendations in terms of the statement by the Leader of Opposition in reply to the State of the Nation Address.
 
Madam Speaker, the Leader of Opposition has done much in the statement I, therefore, want to comment on the language of the State of the Nation address. I will start with page 14 where the President says: Even yesterday, we killed seven in Latanya Hills. What comes out of our mouth is what makes or unmakes what we do. When the President, who is the fountain of honour, uses this kind of language - in military science, they say the enemy has been disabled; the enemy has been put out of action (Laughter)
 
Madam Speaker, on the same page, the President says, Has Museveni become soft? There is nothing wrong with becoming soft if it is in the interest of the people of Uganda. After all, you have been a hardliner for the last 20 years and you have not solved the problems of the people of Uganda. So, I agree with the President that he should become soft in the interest of the people of Uganda.
 
On page 13 the President says, I will come to this Parliament and see what to do if Kony comes towards the borders of Uganda. Madam Speaker, I want to thank the President for this statement because number 1, he has acknowledged the fact that he made a mistake in the first place to go to Congo without coming to Parliament. (Interruption)
 
MS NANKABIRWA: Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I do not want to apologise but to call upon the previous speaker to really tolerate my interjection. The honourable member said that the President accepted that he made a mistake when he went to Congo and yet that was not a mistake and that is not the Presidents intention. The law then, did not warrant the President to come to the House. When we made the UPDF Act, we put a provision, which warrants the Commander-In-Chief to come to this House to ask for the indulgence of the House, and I am sure that is why the President this time said that when the situation comes back again, he would come to the House.
 
Is the honourable member, therefore, in order to impute improper motives to the President when he said that the President has realised that he made a mistake and yet the President has never said so. He has never said, Yes, I made a mistake. I am now going to come to Parliament to seek for your support because I made a mistake. Is he in order?
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, I think the Constitution is supreme over subsidiary laws and since 1995 there has been that provision that he should come here.
 
MR KAJEKE: Madam Speaker, I have nothing more useful to add on what you have said. On page 21, on the issue of the power crisis in Uganda, now we understand and we know those who were responsible for this crisis. I understand that it was PAFO in the Sixth Parliament that was responsible for the construction of Bujagali Dam. To the best of my knowledge, PAFO has never been in the Sixth Parliament, it was in the Seventh Parliament.
 
We also understand that there are those who deliberately and stubbornly refused to sign the power purchase agreement to develop or construct the Karuma Dam. Now that we know these people, we should stop lamenting and pointing fingers because we know the people who are responsible for the crisis we are in.
 
Madam Speaker, when the hon. Okello-Okello said that something must be done definitely something must be done and now. In response, an honourable member of this Parliament said that hon. Okello-Okello is talking as if he does not know where we came from. But she forgot to say that before we are reminded of where we came from, we should know why we went there in the first place and if the conditions and circumstances which made us go there are still pertaining, then she has no reason to remind us to know where we came from.
 
Madam Speaker, hon. Okello-Okello was just saying that something must be done now. For instance, is it impossible for us to say that all hospitals and other health centres should be put on constant power? Is that an impossibility? That is very possible. In this House we always experience load shedding and yet State House near here has constant power. It requires only Shs 100 million for us to be hooked to the line of State House.
 
4.18
MR JOHN OGWANG (UPC, Kole County, Apac): Thank you, Madam Speaker, for giving me a chance to talk. What I am going to say here today will be very useful and very beneficial to you. Young girls, listen very well. Our country Uganda is in crisis, we are in trouble. First, I thank His Excellency, the President for his speech. The points I am going to give to you are four: one, unity of the country; we are not united at all. Even you people who say we are united, it took you 20 good years, what have you been doing?
 
Two, the President talked about corruption. Yes, corruption is vague. To do away with corruption, we should start from here not outside. We are all corrupt, including myself.
 
Three, we talk about doing away with poverty. How can we do away with poverty? It is not easy, you need hard work and a little bit of giving. We simply take away from the rich sometimes from the poor but I think at the moment, we are taking from the poor. All these donors running around, the NGOs you see them going to Lira, to Aboke or anywhere, they are not bad people. You need to change them if they are and get some new good ones.
 
The fourth one is money. You gentlemen in the front here are not honest with your money. You do not talk about money; instead you say we have got money. No, the country has not got any money. Madam Speaker, have we? We have not got any money and we are boasting we are rich. We need to work very hard because the money we get is what we borrow from outside even from donors. Money is not there.
 
I think we need to forget all that happened in the past 10, 20, 30 years because this one is a different Parliament. We are under democracy; we are not running a single party system as we did. God knows how many years. We need to start afresh, we work together and if there is a crisis, which faces the nation like now unity of the country, fighting corruption, employment and poverty we tackle it together.
 
To get employment, we need a good economy. We have not got that because here there are two divisions: we have got the eastern part and Northern part of Uganda, and then we have got one in the south on the other hand. How could you say we are united or we have got a good and fast growing economy? Is there any? I have not seen any. We need to work very hard and forget about all the past.
 
4.27
MS BETTY AOL, (FDC, Woman Representative, Gulu): Madam Speaker, thank you very much. As it is my first time to talk in this august House, I must first congratulate everybody especially, Madam Speaker and the women. (Applause) It is not that I do not like men - men are even too many here  but we would like to see a time when women will be as many as men here.
 
Madam Speaker, I also would like to thank the team, which went to Gulu last week - the Uganda Parliamentary Forum for Children - because they saw for themselves. They went to Gulu and Pader. When I talk here, at least they are there to support me and to back me up. When only those of us from the North speak, then people think that we do not like the Movement Government. This is very unfortunate! It is only those who actually move on the ground and see things with their own eyes that begin to appreciate what we people from the North demand.
 
Madam Speaker, I would also like to congratulate the President for the State of the Nation Address, which has given us a background to this debate. Since I am from the North, I will dwell more on security. I will also touch on the land issue and the poverty of our people, the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
 

Before I go to that area, I would like to give a small comment about the leadership institute, Kyankwanzi. We actually love to have that institution operational, but the people who used to come from there were normally labelled, Movement cadres. We are right now in a multi-party dispensation and we are not going to embrace it unless the syllabus or the items they handle there are changed. The indoctrination should not be there.

 

I am now happy that I talk in this multi-party Parliament. But I must say that the Seventh, the Sixth and those other parliaments were actually a kind of one-party Parliament thus a dictatorship kind of governance. [Hon. Members: Order]. You may say order or not, but let us face the truth. When we want our country to move well, we have to speak the truth nothing else but the truth. When we want peace, we need to be truthful; we have to also see to it that justice is in place. We have to see that fairness is there and moreover we also need to be kind or merciful to forgive and then we can always reconcile and peace will be there, but not the way we are doing or the way we have been doing.

 
Back to the security matter, we have been talking about conflict in the North. There is a story in our language we call Afwoyo and Obibi. Afwoyo is the hare. I do not know obibi in English. It is just a kind of a tale. This conflict in the North has actually become like lyelo wi obibi (to shave the hair of obibi you shave this side and that side starts to grow. You try this side and the other side starts to grow). And when we speak people say we are encouraging the war to be there. We said act, do not make utterances because when you make utterances the problem is on the children. They are so vulnerable.
 
The problem is on the poor people who are so vulnerable. Why do you make utterances like, We are going to clear the bandits, give me just two months. You see, those utterances impacted negatively on the vulnerable children. More children were abducted during that short time compared to the time that Operation Iron Fist was not yet there. So, when we talk about this conflict of the North and then we bring in ICC when amnesty is in place, are we not contradicting ourselves? Do we want peace to come for the North? If the North decides that let there be two countries in Uganda, do you say the North is bad? In fact, it is very unfortunate that when we stand and we say, One Uganda, one people it can be challenged very heavily.
 
I want to say something little on the infant mortality rate. I happened to be secretary for health one time when I was in the local council and my Minister of Health was Dr Chrispus Kiyonga. At that material time, infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate for Gulu was the highest. Now HIV, because of the insecurity, is very high. Even if we go back tomorrow, the death rate in Gulu District or in the Northern part of Uganda is going to be too high.
 
Moreover, when you go to the hospitals, even what they call the national hospital, Gulu Hospital - last week but one I took my child there. When they demanded that he was to be taken for x-ray, I had to go to independent hospital. How many people of Gulu District are able to take their children or to go to independent hospital for x-ray? It is very unfortunate and we say at first it was a regional hospital, now it is a national hospital when people who have seen the IDPs actually know for themselves. I am now not going to speak a lot on IDPs.
 
4.35
MS WINFRED KIIZA (FDC, Woman Representative, Kasese): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I wish to take this opportune moment, Madam Speaker, to congratulate all Members in this august House for having gone through thick and thin to make it to this Eighth Parliament. I congratulate you all and I wish to bring you greetings from the people of Kasese. We love you so much and I wish to request you that those of you in the NRM, when you come to Kasese, please pick FDC. Thank you so much.
 
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the President of the Republic of Uganda  (Interjections)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, Members.
 
MS KIIZA: I wish to thank the President of the Republic of Uganda for his State of the Nation Address, most especially where he hinted on the security of this country. We all know that security is the backbone of development, is the backbone of prosperity. You are all aware that in 1996, western Uganda and particularly Kasese District was hit by the ADF insurgency. During that time, government worked hard to make sure that people are secured. I want to thank you for that job well done!
 
However, during the same period, the President realised that in a bid to curb that insecurity, or in a way of avoiding such situations to happen again, there is a need to open the Mount Rwenzori highway, which would aid the security people to take operations on the mountains of Rwenzori, which were harbouring the rebels.
 
It is unfortunate that when he was hinting on security in his State of the Nation Address, most of the concern was centred on the Northern Uganda. It is true that it is the concern of everybody that Northern Uganda should be completely secure and they should live in a peaceful environment like other Ugandans. I appreciate that. But he should have also overseen the other situations from western Uganda, the fact that we are neighbouring eastern Congo, which you all know, is not secure. I pray that the road sector assists the President to implement this pledge.
 
The local government is already in a bid to implement the Presidents pledge put along the feeder roads. I would request that in the meantime, government thinks of taking up those feeder roads so that movement in the mountains can be easy. You are all aware that it would not be only for security reasons: the mountains of Rwenzori are rich in vegetables and they are rich in fruits. It would help to implement the programme of the President of Prosperity for All. It cannot be prosperity for all when others are not having access to markets. When most of you go to markets, you demand for butunda from Kasese. And unless we have access to the markets, unless we have access to these roads, it will not be easy to get these butunda from Kasese and prosperity may not be really for all.
 
Honourable members, I still wish to put it clear that when the President talks of Prosperity for All, it may not be the case in Kasese where other people are landless. Government owns a lot of land in the district and yet people are homeless. When I speak of this, hon. Rwebembera will bear me witness because he has been an RDC for Kasese and he knows what he went through. He is a colleague; he knows he came here to debate for the same purpose. I am talking of hon. Rwebembera because he does not come from Kasese. Hon. Chrispus Kiyonga knows that his people are landless, they are suffering and I know he has been saying this again and again. I still want to remind government that the problem still stands.
 
When we talk of improved methods of agriculture, we are not going to perform in this because people do not have land. So, those technologies may not work. I just pray that you de-gazette part of those lands that government owns in the district and you give it to the landless people in the district.
 
Madam Speaker, I will be unfair to my people and to myself and possibly to NRM if I leave this platform without talking about the Businga issue. The reason why NRM actually lost in Kasese was because it has failed to address the issue that has been a concern for the majority of the people in Kasese, that is, the issue of the cultural institution. When the President was addressing the nation, he really could not even hint on an issue that made him lose elections in an area.
 
I thought I should put it very clear on record that Cabinet - like the President did mention. He wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, which was copied to local leaders in the district that a Bill should be tabled before Cabinet so that this issue is put to rest. I have the letter; I can lay it on Table for those of you who have intentions to look at it. The letter is dated 23 March 2006. It is addressed to the Rt hon. Apolo Nsibambi, Prime Ministers Office, Kampala. Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu Cultural Institution, that is the subject. It is signed by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. I wish to lay it on Table, Madam Speaker, for purposes of record keeping. I thank you.
 
Madam Speaker, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity, but I would like to see the cultural institution of the people of Rwenzori being recognised. I thank you so much.
 
4.42
MRS EMMA BOONA (NRM, Woman Representative, Mbarara): Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I wish to take this opportunity, since it is my first time to speak in Parliament, to congratulate you very much on the achievement and the reappointment to this high post. I wish to congratulate His Excellency, the President for having gone through the elections and the honourable members of the front bench for having won the confidence of His Excellency, the President to be appointed to run the Cabinet with him.
 
I also would like to congratulate my fellow MPs especially those, who like me, it is the first time for them to appear in this Parliament. I know we went through a tough time. My predecessor in one of her verbal artilleries during the campaigns said that they should not vote me because I could not trace my way to Parliament; I could not trace my way to this seat and even sit and even be able to speak in this House. I would like to say that I found my way to Parliament, entered this Chamber and I am now speaking loud and clear. (Applause) So, for any Member who suffered what I suffered, I would like to say congratulations!
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable member, sorry to interrupt you. But it is not proper to talk about people who are not in this House because she cannot come to deny whether she said you cannot walk and you cannot sit. The fact that you are here, it means the people decided to prefer you. That is enough.
 
MRS BOONA: Thank you very much, but my point was taken. I would like to congratulate all for having come to this Parliament with me. I stand to support the motion, which is a clear and precise exposition of government policy by His Excellency, the President. But I have two concerns to raise on education and health as very important and pertinent issues.
 
I wish to thank His Excellency, for the vision of universal primary education, which all of us have seen from birth to fruition. While it is true that under the UPE programme the number of classrooms has increased from 28,000 of 1997 to 75,228 today, and while it is true that the pupil-teacher ratio has increased from 100:1 in 1997 and 54:1 today, and the pupil-classroom ratio from 98:1 and to 50:1 and finally the enrolment has improved from 2.5 million pupils in 1997 to 7.7 million pupils, all these are achievements we are proud of.
 
But I would like to say that there is a lot lacking in the inspection department. I would like to ask the minister, who happens to be here today - I first of all thank her for the recent announcement she made about the crackdown on headmasters having to sign contracts on their performances. I would like to request that the same hard iron hand goes to the inspectors of our schools.
 
I know from the experience as the former LCV vice-chairperson of Mbarara District, we used to have a problem of inspectors preferring to stay in the towns and not staying where the work is. There is an inspector in a county, but then it was difficult for them to do the work they should be doing because many of them preferred to stay in the towns. I would propose, therefore, that the Minister of Education stretches the hand of supervision and inspection further to our primary schools.
 
On health, the Government of Uganda is known for great focus on primary health care, the fight against Malaria and the fight against AIDS. From the records available, 730 health centres were built at sub-county level and 1055 health centres at parish level. The district I represent went further to use the low GDP funds to build more health centres. The problem right now is the problem to do with staff and the drugs. I would like to propose to the Minister of Health that a thorough study be done and we know what happens to these drugs, where the blockage starts from, for the health centres not to get drugs and yet we know the country imports drugs for these centres.
 
My plea is that, we get to know where the problem begins. Is it here in Kampala? Is it at the district? Or at the last point? Most centres will tell you they do not have drugs yet the ministry will say drugs were imported. It is a great concern. It is not good to have structures yet there are no staff and drugs to keep our people alive. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.
 
4.50
DR SAM LYOMOKI (NRM, Workers Representative): Madam Speaker, thank you very much. I think there has been some confusion in the press trying to wish me to be somewhere else, but I represent National Resistance Movement in this House.
 
Madam Speaker, I congratulate you very much for retaining your position. The workers had hoped for something above and we shall continue praying. We only call upon the people of Kamuli to continue voting for you, I know the time will come (Interruption)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you very much!
 
DR LYOMOKI: I thank you for having caught my face after a long struggle. I know that since for the last two terms we have been on the other side, I pray that this eye can get used to our presence this side, Madam Speaker.
 
I thank His Excellency, the President for the State of the Nation Address. For the last 10 years, this is the first State of the Nation Address where the workers can afford to have a smile because of the mention of the Labour Bills. For the last 10 years, this has been lacking; and those of us from the workers fraternity, want to put on record here that the workers are happy with this State of the Nation Address. (Applause)
 
 When on 22 October 2005 I led a delegation from the central organisation of Free Trade Unions to go and articulate to the President this matter and he assured us that the Labour Bills would come to Parliament in the next one month, we thought he was not going to deliver on this promise. But we thank the President for having delivered on this promise and made sure that Cabinet passed these laws and came to this House in record time, given the fact that they had been there for over 10 years.
 
Madam Speaker, we still have a gap, and this is the area of public service negotiation. I am under instructions from the workers to present a Private Members Bill in the next two weeks entitled, Public Service Negotiation Machinery Bill because for over 10 years, we have been struggling with Ministry of Public Service to enact this law. For the last three years, we have been told that this Bill is in Cabinet.
 
We would not even have a problem, for instance, the teachers, I participated in the negotiations and we agreed on the Shs 200,000. But because these discussions were verbal, there was no machinery for negotiation, the understanding of the workers was that, it was Shs 200,000 to take home. Now when it comes to payment, the money is taxed. So, we do not know whether to be happy or not; the workers are in a dilemma because we lack machinery. We just go there and discuss things in verbal form and in the process you cannot even enforce some of these agreements.
 
We therefore, Madam Speaker, call upon this Parliament, that when this Bill is brought, it is expeditiously handled so that the workers can have a say, so that we can avoid the unconstitutional moves where government continues to pass a budget ignoring Article 40 of the Constitution, which gives workers a right to collective bargaining and negotiation power. We also call upon the Parliamentary Commission to recognise that there is a commission also for workers, not only for Members of Parliament because the staff here have always been relegated to the periphery.
 
Madam Speaker, on the issue of social security (Interruption)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Two minutes.
 
DR LYOMOKI: It is clearly stated in the State of the Nation Address that there is going to be health insurance for salary workers in the formal sector. We definitely welcome this position but we have a lot of concerns that the consultations have not been adequate. We also see another form of deductions or taxation on the workers and there is lack of harmonisation. The workers think that we should have a holistic approach, talk about National Social Security Fund and talk about the consideration or the aspect of medical insurance, but not to come with another type of deduction. We have not even resolved the issue of National Social Security Fund, which we think should expand to include all the traditional components of social security.
  
We also think that this type of health insurance should cover the whole nation because you cannot talk about free health services and at the same time talk about health insurance. You are going to have two issues: one, you will have workers who might have good services but if the same workers are going to the same so-called free services then they will be charged while the other members of the cooperation will be getting free health services. So, our view is that, we should have a wide range of consultations. We should harmonise the various tenants of social security so that medical insurance can be part and parcel of the wider aspect of social security.
 
Madam Speaker, we know that there are many gaps in the area of skills for workers in this nation and as we go for the East African integration, we need to give adequate attention to the skills of the labour force. But when you look at the State of the Nation Address and the budget speech, nothing much has been tackled in this area. Our provisions for labour should be followed up adequately given the fact that for many years we have had problems. We have been having bad labour laws, which have fortunately been modified and, therefore, we are going to see a situation where the employers will have to face the reality of the new labour laws.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you.
 
4.58
MR BARNABAS TINKASIIMIRE (NRM, Buyaga County, Kibaale): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Honourable members of Parliament, let me take this opportunity to congratulate all of you and our dear Deputy Speaker for having been re-elected to her seat.
 
First of all, I want to thank the President for having addressed us and highlighted very important issues especially noting that we had some kind of peaceful elections. On this note, I also want to thank the Electoral Commission, which did this noble cause of bringing all of us to this House. Nevertheless, I also want to note that in the event of our elections, there were some few irregularities. So, some kind of review should be done such that the Electoral Commission can hold very fair elections next time.
 
Madam Speaker, we are talking about the IDPs going back to their respective villages, which is a very good idea; but the government should make sure that the people are protected as they go back to their respective villages. Soldiers continue to keep in those places or policemen to make sure that this Kony man does not go back to destabilise them and again create IDPs.
 
I want to thank the President for his well-constituted Cabinet. He did a good job although I observe that certain interest groups were left out like the persons with disability and the youth. They have Members of Parliament here and we would wish to see a Member of Parliament from the youth being appointed a minister.
 
I also want to thank the President very much for highlighting that his government is observing the rule of law. It is true that we are going a long way in observing the rule of law especially in Kibaale District. For the first time the Constitution was respected and for the first time the law was respected in Kibaale District. We thank the President and all the law enforcement officers like Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura who did a very good job during our elections. We thank him very much.
 
On the peace talks which are going on, we really appreciate and we would ask government to commit more resources and time such that we reach some kind of good settlement without going back to war.
 
In the State of the Nation Address, the President advised us to go for a holiday from politics. Let me hope he meant that he is taking a recess from the activities of campaigns and we are going to implement our manifesto. Indeed, if he meant that, the people of my constituency are dearly waiting to see the Kagadi district, which he promised on 9 February 2006 come a reality. We made a psychological contract with him and when I read through the budget estimates, it was not there.
 
There is some kind of psychological torture that has started hitting my people and, Madam Speaker, they have requested me to ask government to provide an answer as to why their district is not in the budget. And if it is not for this year, when is it going to be established such that their souls are settled?
 
Indeed, Kibaale District is quite big. In my constituency, Mpefu sub-county in Ndaiga parish, when you talk of reproductive health, you are living in utopia. Women cannot produce from the health centre, which is around 30 kilometres on top of a hill. By the time you get a woman from the escapement to deliver in that health centre, which is on top of the hill, she would have died. We feel that when this district is created, such people will be reached effectively and government policies like UPE, USE, reproductive health and so many others will have an impact.
 
Lastly, I come from the Kingdom of Bunyoro where we are expecting to reap from oil. So, the people of Bunyoro and the Kabumba have asked us, as Members of Parliament, to demand for a share (Laughter)- that can help to uplift them from the poverty they have been living in since time immemorial.
 
5.06
MR STEVEN KALIBA (NRM, Fort Portal Municipality, Kabarole): Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I rise to strongly support the motion raised by my sister, hon. Sarah Nyombi, and I thank His Excellency, the President for the clear and precise exposition of government policy, which was contained in the State of the Nation Address. I have just three observations to make:
 
First of all, I would like to say that the people of Fort Portal Municipality have instructed me to thank His Excellency, the President for completing our road, Fort Portal-Mubende- Mityana Road. (Applause) They have also instructed me to thank His Excellency, the President for his visionary leadership that has ushered in a lot of developments in this country.
 
Madam Speaker, as you realise, I have some Members of the opposition in my constituency - members of FDC. Last weekend, when I was in Fort Portal, my people asked me to thank the President for allowing them to share the bonna bagaggawale programme because they have formed groups and they are seriously expecting to benefit. You know, during the campaigns, there was a terminology tt that when you are not there, you are not there. But they are very happy to see that the policy is engulfing everybody despite ones political affiliation.
 
I want to comment on education as we prepare for universal secondary education or for universal post primary education. I want to first of all, thank government for the UPE programme, which has so far been very successful. My brother, hon. Okupa, was challenging us here. I want to be on record that, I have benefited from universal primary education because my children have gone through Njara Primary School, a UPE school in Fort Portal Municipality. (Applause) And, hon. Okupa, I do not remember you studying under a tree. Anyway, I agree that we have problems of quality, but I am sure those problems will be addressed and they will end.
 
In that Njara Primary School where my children went through, they used to sit on the floor but through the school facilitation grant, desks were made and storied teaching staff quarters were constructed and the school is growing from strength to strength. So, I want to appeal to Ugandans to be very optimistic that UPE will grow from strength to strength and will see us go to universal secondary education.
 
I would like to appeal to the Ministry of Education specifically, the Minister in charge of Higher Education, to immediately start preparing for the graduates of universal secondary education. There was a project to open up a university of Uganda when hon. Abel Rwendeire was the Minister of Higher Education. I would like to appeal to the Ministry of Education to start preparing for that big influx that will be joining universities. Opening up the university of Uganda would be one of the strategies of further liberalising higher education. We are going to do it at secondary, let us prepare to democratise education at university level.
 
Finally, in the interest of time, I would like to draw the attention of Members on page 35; His Excellency, the President was thanking the Seventh Parliament for passing very good laws. But I am a bit uncomfortable with Article 80(4), which required public servants to resign their jobs 90 days before nominations. Just to borrow the Prime Ministers terminology, that law was lugubrious for some of us who were public servants. We had to run for eight months without salary. In fact, since October last year, I just got my salary last week. So, that was very selfish of the Seventh Parliament and colleagues will agree with me that we move to reconsider that bit of the law.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you. Hon. Baliddawa.
 
5.14
MR EDWARD BALIDDAWA (NRM, Kigulu County North, Iganga): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise to add my voice to the honourable members who have expressed their appreciation to the President for the State of Nation Address.
 


The people, that I represent, have asked me to appreciate the President for the good programmes that he has initiated more specifically the UPE programme, which has triggered increased enrolment in schools not only in my constituency, but also in the whole of Busoga sub-region.
 

I would like to note that in the NRM manifesto, coupled with the Presidents speech, there is a clear commitment by the government to increase the quality of education and to improve the infrastructure in terms of classrooms. Currently, there are 840 government-aided schools in 760 sub-counties, which leave a deficit of 240 sub-counties that do not have a single government-aided school. I would like to submit that the bulk of these schools that are unlucky are in the Busoga sub-region.
 

I will give an example. In my own constituency consisting of four sub-counties, two sub-counties do not have a single government-aided school. In the neighbouring district of Namutumba, formerly Busiki Constituency, three sub-counties do not have a single government-aided school. In Budiope Constituency, Kamuli District, there is no government-aided school at all. Luuka Constituency, which has seven sub-counties, three of the sub-counties do not have a single government-aided school. It is on this note that I would like to implore the Minister of Education to seriously look into this disparity.
 

The reason why I am raising this is in view of the Presidents commitment to have science-based education in this country. My worry is that, as we embark on USE and science-based education at the university, most of the children from Busoga might not benefit from that since they do not have laboratories.
 

Madam Speaker, on another note, I would like to share something that happened to me this week on Monday. I was in my constituency and as I was interacting with the community, I was besieged by a group of youth, who came waving a newspaper and pointed at a picture and a story. In this story, it was reported that the Minister of Micro-Finance, while in Luweero, donated 100 acres of land and Shs 5.2 billion. I was interested in the story. The youth of my constituency have specifically asked me to invite the Minister of Micro-Finance to visit my constituency in a hope that during that function, they will also be able to get the Shs 5.2 billion and 100 acres of land.  
 

I appeal to the honourable Minister in charge of Micro-Finance to come out very clearly with a proper criterion so that we can be able to explain to our people. It does not help us to continue telling our people that money is not there, then the following day they read in papers that others have got Shs 5.2 billion.
 

We need to move together as a country; we need to appreciate the fact that there is no money and my people will appreciate if everybody is treated in the same way. The issue of micro-finance is getting out of hand. This is a pledge that we in NRM made to our people, and our people are eagerly waiting. If there is no money, let us explain to them unless we look for alternative ways to keep them busy.
 

On that note, Madam Speaker, I thank you so much and in the same vein I would like to congratulate all colleagues for having made it to this Parliament. May God bless you!

 
5.20

MS JULIET SEKITOLEKO (NRM, Woman Representative, Kibaale): Thank you so much, Madam Speaker. Since this is my first time to speak in the Eighth Parliament, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you so much on behalf of Sekitolekos family for the overwhelming support you gave the family during the difficult time when we lost our father. Thank you so much, honourable members and God bless you!
 

Madam Speaker, this is a unique Parliament. I was in the Seventh Parliament and I believe the Eighth Parliament is unique. This is the first multi-party Parliament after the Movement government. I think we should be in position to show a good example; we should be in position to support the State of the Nation Address and support the President because he has pledged and he has got all the commitment to build a multi-party system. So, it is upon all of us, whether you are in NRM or in the opposition, to build a multi-party government.
 

This is a Parliament that is so different from the Seventh Parliament. I remember so well when we were faced with a crisis of the referendum in the Seventh Parliament. Some of the Members were saying, we take a vote here and the President was of the view that we take it to the people, which was a good option because all the people feel they own this multi-party system. My people in Kibaale up to today are still worried whether the multi-party system will work. It took me courage and time to convince them to vote the way they did to bring back multi-party governance.
 

We should thank the President because in his State of the Nation Address, he showed that he respects the rule of law and the Constitution because Article 1 says, Power belongs to the people. Therefore, yesterday when I listened to my honourable colleague, Beti Kamya, saying that the President of Uganda has broken every law in the Constitution, I was amazed, surely honourable member we should give credit where it is due.
 
I also realise that the President is God fearing when he quotes the book of Genesis and reminds us of the fourth commandment where God created the world and on the seventh day he rested. In his words, he was also telling us to do everything at the right time. Now, since politicking is over, we should go ahead to develop our country. Uganda belongs to all of us whether in Opposition or in NRM.
 
I have sat here and listened for the last four days and my colleagues in the Opposition have been criticizing, which is good, but give ideas and solutions. If you keep on criticising and you do not give the front bench solutions, what do you think they will do? It is better to criticise, give solutions and I know the NRM Government, which I support and the people of Kibaale will definitely listen.
 
It is time to work and I would like to thank my good Government and the Minister of Energy, hon. Migereko - unfortunately he is not here, for the power. Some of us have grown up, married and died in Kibaale without ever seeing power. But I am so grateful that a few months from now we shall have power in Kibaale district.
 
I would like to remind Government that we are still locked up in a dusty place - there is no single trace of tarmac in Kibaale. But since our biggest problem was power and we have solved it together, I know that power will definitely come to Kibaale.
 
Since my time is limited, I would like to end by thanking you again honourable members for the overwhelming support you gave to the whole family. Thank you so much and God bless you.
 
5.26
MS MARIAM NALUBEGA (Independent, Female Youth Representative): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I am independent but dependable and that is how I am going to remain. I would like to congratulate all my colleagues. I also want to congratulate myself for having graduated from the Gallery of which I was a member. I want to support the motion moved by hon. Sarah Nyombi with a few observations.
 

First, I want to comment on the issue of the IGG, the President said that the IGG has been given absolute powers to prosecute. There is one issue I would like to talk about the IGGs office: Right now most districts are suffering because of debts arising from court cases. The IGG authorised district councils to interdict CAOs and the CAOs who were interdicted took the councils to courts of law and the case was not in favour of the district councils. Now district councils are suffering to pay the CAOs when actually it was the office of the IGG, that of the President and the Solicitor Generals that authorised the district councils to take that kind of arbitration. I appeal to the President, now that he has authorised the IGG to prosecute, let the IGG be responsible for all the outcome of the prosecution.

 
On bonna bagaggawale, the youth of this country constitute the highest percentage of the population but in his speech, there is no where he reflected as in where and how is going to help the youth who are most affected with poverty and employment, diseases and lack of employable skills. He is talking of micro financing in terms of facilitating people to invest in agriculture not to do subsistence agriculture but commercial. The youth do not have land, they do not own assets, and how are they going to benefit from micro finance.
 
Madam Speaker, the President has been suffering with the youth, actually they have not been voting for him, majority of them, simply because they are suffering; they do not see the outcome of the government. I am calling upon the President and the party in leadership to address the issues and needs of the youth and young people or else they will continue voting for the Opposition simply because they are not satisfied.
 
We have a programme of exporting labour under the Ministry of Gender; the President did not talk about it. This programme has been going on and it is still going on, being accessed by a few youth who have connections in the offices where that programme is managed. We want that programme to be accessible by every youth so that our youths can get employment, can export labour and get to know how this process is being done.
 
We are talking about poverty and unemployment and we are looking at the social sector where they are talking about UPE. We have the Youth who have passed the age of UPE, they have not gone to school, they are illiterate, they have no skills, why arent you talking about vocational training, intensive technical training for these people who cannot go back for UPE nor USE, what is the way forward for them?
 
The President talked about health insurance. I welcome it - actually I was very pleased about health insurance and social protection, but as he noted and in many other reports that are coming out, the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is rising and stagnating at a high percentage.
 
HIV is a dangerous disease, I have read through the policy statement of the Ministry of Health and even in the Budget Speech, but the alternative and strategies to address this issue are really inadequate. Look at the ARVs that are running out day and night and there are so many Ugandans who are on ARVs. The global fund has been mismanaged, so what is the other way forward to approach that?
 
The maternal and infant mortality rates are so alarming and yet we have no provision of emergency obstetric care. Young mothers are dying in labour. We have no programmes to address the health of young people, Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health - the health friendly services for young people. These mothers who are dying in labour are young mothers of 16 to 28 years - that is the statistics. These are young people who go to hospitals and are just under looked. They are just ignored, so we need services that are going to save this generation because they are the ones causing that high percentage of maternal and infant mortality rate.
 
5.33
MS JANET OKORIMOE (NRM, Woman Representative, Kotido): Madam Speaker, I would like to start by congratulating everybody in their various capacities for the various successive elections they have gone through. I want to start by thanking the President for his State of the Nation Address, which was delivered to us on the 8 June 2006. In the same vein, I would like to thank the NRM Government for what it has done to make Uganda a better place for us all to live in.
 
I just have a few remarks to make starting from Page 3 of the Presidents address where he observed that Uganda is our country and we know it very well. I would like to agree with this statement but add that whereas some Ugandans know Uganda very well, the majority just pretends to know it.
 
In one of his addresses to people at Speke Resort Munyonyo, the President observed that a majority of Ugandans do not even bother to know the tribes in Karamoja but they have mastered all the European teams. People shout Arsenal, Manchester United when they dont even know their country. What Ugandan are we?
 
The reason we have failed to address the problems in Karamoja is because we do not know Karamoja. The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, Third Schedule recognises 65 tribes in Uganda but of the 65, 10 are in Karamoja. You can imagine people just know about one tribe in Karamoja! We are 10, so it is not a mistake when I say we are a united kingdom, it is really a united kingdom -10 tribes in Karamoja!
 
We have been complaining of cattle rustling, and yet we do not even know who is rustling. We have even failed to know who a cattle thief is and who is a Karimojong legislator. We have been generalising issues, and that is why we are getting derailed from real issues affecting Karamoja.
 
The problem in Karamoja is a big question, which is failing to attract a conclusive solution, the onus is on us Ugandans, and if Karamoja is not developed you know what happens. Of course (Interjection) Madam Speaker, can I be protected.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, order.
 
MS. OKORIMOE: Of course, we know that where there is disharmony like it is now in Karamoja they will always look for where there is harmony. They are gifted in walking, if it were not because of the River Nile, they would even reach West Nile. So, I am just trying to educate Ugandans that as long as Karamoja is not developed, we still have a problem. During the French Revolution, one great historian said, When France catches a cold the rest of Europe will sneeze. And when Karamoja catches a cold the rest of Uganda will sneeze. So, let us try to focus our attention on Karamoja.
 
We thank Government for the disarmament exercise that is going on in Karamoja; before it started we were grouping it among the unfulfilled pledges in Karamoja. We the political leaders are very supportive of it because the gun has done more damage within Karamoja than among the neighbours.
 
If I can tell you now the ratio of widows in some areas in Karamoja is at a rate of 20 widows to one man (Interjection) yes, I tell you, what do you know about Karamoja. It is at a rate of 20 widows to one man, most men have already been cleared. So when somebody stands in this House and says disarmament is not the right thing that is not right. Except that as we disarm we want our Karimojong to be protected so that we are not at the verge of extinction we are a very small tribe and very important.
 
The other thing I wanted to comment on is where the President said when he went to Northern Uganda, all places were grass thatched and he wants to pay attention to Northern-Central Uganda who will benefit from permanent houses. He only forgot to say that when he came to Karamoja it was also lum everywhere.
 
So, as he thinks of building permanent structures in Northern Uganda, we the Karimojong are also expecting. We know after disarmament we shall settle down. I call upon all Ugandans to be positive about Karamoja. The reason you are negative is why even the Minister for Karamoja affairs resigned. So, Madam Speaker, with these few remarks, I want to thank you very much for this opportunity.
 
5.41
MR JOSEPH MUYOMBYA (NRM, Youth Representative, Central): Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. Permit me to congratulate the President for having duly fulfilled his constitutional obligation of giving us the State of the Nation Address as bestowed on him by Article 101 of the Constitution. Let me also congratulate my colleagues of the Eighth Parliament who made it to this august House for having been worthy the peoples votes. I congratulate you.
 
Madam Speaker, a lot has been said on the Presidents address to the nation, however, for emphasis sake let me dwell on just two issues: One, on defence and security, I would like to thank the Seventh Parliament for having found it necessary to increase expenditure on defence. This was quite visionary of them because after that expenditure is when we have seen a more proactive Army, an Army that is not reactionary but which is pre-empting the movements of the rebellion. It is after that increase that we have seen the Army finally defeating Kony and bringing peace to the North. Now our brothers in the North can rest and enjoy peace like the rest of the country.
 
Now that Kony has been defeated (Interjections)- yes, he has been defeated; and now that he is asking for amnesty, which he is likely to be granted, he should be the last person to commit atrocities and he walks away scot-free. He should be the last person in the history of our country. We should not tolerate and we should not inculcate into our country a culture of committing crime with impunity regardless of whether this person has been given to us from God or he has escaped from hell. People should be accountable for all their actions.
 
Let me also to thank the President for having conceived the idea of Universal Secondary Education and the Cabinet for having accepted it. Universal Secondary Education is a definitive milestone in the future development of our country. People have been criticising it and others want to kill it even before it is born. But, I call upon every patriotic Ugandan not to kill Universal Secondary Education, but to criticize it in order to improve so that it is good at the time of its implementation.
 
We have so many youths that would not have gone to school or are not likely to go to secondary school because of lack of funds. However, Universal Secondary Education is going to empower these youths to become better citizens and contribute to the development of our country. We should not kill this programme, but we really work hard so that it takes off. I thank you, Madam Speaker.
 
5.45
MR STEPHEN KASAIJA (NRM, Burahya County, Kabarole): Thank you, Madam Speaker and honourable members. I congratulate all the Members of Parliament for having been elected by the people, which shows the confidence that the people have in you. And I would request us to really cooperate and give Uganda an image; it deserves just to add on to what President has been doing. I thank the President so much for the State of the Nation Address, which was so elaborate and so clear. He deserves another kisanja.
 
Honourable members, I again thank the President for having made Mityana-Kabarole Road, which has enabled my people benefit. I also thank the President for working on the Kasese-Kabarole Road. But then my request is that during these five years, the government works on Kabarole-Kamwenge Road, Bundibugyo-Kabarole Road, and then we shall be a very happy people. Otherwise, we support the NRM because it has done a lot for this country.
 
For those who cannot see it, then I say the retention of Kyankwanzi is necessary because if someone  honourable members, if someone cannot appreciate the way the President and the way Uganda has moved since 1986, then that person needs to go to Kyankwanzi and understand the history of this country.
 
Concerning Kyankwanzi still, members have expressed concern that they need their ideas to be put in the syllabus of Kyankwanzi. That has no problem, but we appreciate that so far what it has done is commendable. Let the government allow the opposition to put their ideas in the syllabus of Kyankwanzi because they are also stakeholders in this country. But my appeal and request is that you go there.
 
I get dismayed when some honourable members say that Uganda did bad to go to Congo, but fail to condemn Congo when it attacked Uganda in 1997. If hon. Kiyonga was here, he would agree with me that Ugandans did not invite Congo to come here, and I have not seen anybody from the Opposition condemning Congo. It is not good - I have condemned it definitely.
 
I would also ask you to condemn so that we know that you are patriotic, otherwise you are here condemning President Museveni and the UPDF, but not condemning Congo. So, our going to Congo was really called for. Honourable members, if today Uganda was invaded at night - God forbid  then I would not expect the President to call the Parliament to sit here and debate over that war. We have to protect our people first then come and tell you. I think that is the right thing, honourable members.
 
On the issue of poverty, it is unfortunate that previously we have been moving on well, but because of the reasons the President gave in the State of the Nation Address, Uganda is economy is declining. But we should appreciate that it is unlike the 1970s and 1980s where people did not have a sense of direction. We are able now to measure and say we are 38 percent below the poverty line, but those days people were in darkness, they did not know.
 
Concerning the issue of the disparity between regions. This is historical really. We should not blame President Museveni for the poverty of the North. We should not blame anybody. It is a bit historical. Historically, the North was left out by the colonialists, then come Obote I, Northern Uganda did not move on well, come the Amin regime, Northern did not move on well. So, the problem is not essentially with NRM or with President Museveni. The issue is a bit historical.
 
I urge Members here to come together and address the issue of poverty in the North. We should not shift blame here and there. Museveni came in 1986, Movement came in 1986, but poverty had been there. This is why my sister talked of luum. It is not Museveni who has brought the issue; instead he is part of the solution. Other than making him part of the problem, make him part of the solution.
 
Honourable members, our elder there talked about the issue of corruption. Essentially, most of us are corrupt. Before I came here to the Eighth Parliament, I was somewhere in Kabarole and I was observing what was happening. How come an honourable Member of Parliament gets money to go and visit the constituency and yet spends five years without even going to their constituency to tell them what to do? You come only to talk and talk, but you do not go down.
 
I can assure you that in my constituency- it is on record that I traversed that area educating people about poverty before I even became a Member of Parliament. I urge my brothers and sisters here to go down. We should not only blame people for being corrupt when we are corrupt. They give us the money, we pocket it and we do not go to the people. I think it will take a concerted effort to fight poverty.
 
Madam Speaker, Members of Parliament, I am really privileged to be with you here. I welcome you to Burahya County. We share part of the Rwenzori Mountains, there is the Rwenzori Game Reserve and the people there are very welcoming. I wish you good deliberations and a good stay for the five years as we cooperate to build Uganda. Thank you very much.
 
5.53


MR ASUMAN KIYINGI (NRM, Bugabula County South, Kamuli): Thank you, Madam Speaker. This being my first address let me take this opportunity to congratulate you all, honourable members, upon your success in the February elections. In a special way, I wish to congratulate those who made it to the Front Bench from both the government and the Opposition side. I congratulate those who have been nominated for the different leadership roles and responsibilities in this august House. My colleagues, the Back Benchers here and there, I salute you.
 

Madam Speaker, we have been debating the State of the Nation Address for some time now. A lot has been said, which I do not have to repeat, but I wish to make some three or four observations.
 
Most of the speakers who have found so many things missing in the Presidents address have come from this side. Of course even this side has had people complaining about what is missing in the Presidents address, but the President was delivering a State of the Nation Address, he was not presenting a Ph.D. thesis on Ugandas problems. Therefore, we should take it in that regard. He was using English, which is a poor language. I would have expected much more if had used a richer language like Lusoga, Luganda, Runyakitara or for that matter Luo, but he used a poor language and he did his best.
 
Madam Speaker, on the issue of poverty, the human development indicators in my constituency are in many cases below the national average. Bonna bagaggawale programme is therefore eagerly awaited.
 
I would definitely associate myself with the views expressed by my colleague, hon. Baliddawa. My people are predominantly subsistence farmers, with peasants who account for about 80 percent of the population. The major cash and food crop is maize. Currently, a kilo of maize is Ugshs 100. The farmer needs about 30 sacks of 100 kilograms each to take a child to a modern secondary school per term. Very few farmers can harvest that much in a season, given that land has been fragmented and it is getting tired by the day.
 
Land for modernization of agriculture has not had any visible impact on the ground. The NAADS programme, which is one pillar of the plan, is in only one sub-county. It is the hope and prayer of my people that the revival of co-operatives and the great extension under the bonna bagaggawale scheme promised by the government would alleviate their condition.
 
Regarding the schools, given the above scenario, UPE and now USE are highly cherished programmes by my people. I would say NRM was voted to power and I won the election largely because of these programmes. We do appreciate Governments commitment to these programmes. We however require better built classrooms and qualified teachers.
 
My colleague, hon. Oduman, questioned the wisdom of making primary education universal. He said primary education should be for the poor exclusively. Madam Speaker, we are all poor people and require this education subsidy to be able to cope. I support over 20 orphans at various levels of education. They all call me father. If they are to be excluded from the bracket simply because I, their sponsor, is not poor, I would not be able to put on this relatively decent coat. Primary education therefore should remain universal.
 
My people welcome Governments best approach in introducing Universal Secondary Education. However, for this to succeed there must be schools. Government has not constructed a single secondary school in my constituency. There is only one Government-aided school in the whole constituency, contrary to the government commitment to have at least one Government-aided school in every sub-country.
 
Since construction will take some time, I request Government to supplement the parents/communities efforts and have the schools already in place become Government-aided. At least two of these schools, namely, Bulopa Senior Secondary School and Kabukye, have reasonable standards to warrant being Government-aided.
 
Madam Speaker, regarding disease, malaria accounts for 42 percent of the disease burden in my constituency, and for over 20 percent of the deaths. I therefore welcome the government efforts to eradicate malaria through the use of DDT, if this is what it requires to get this menace out of the way. The only problem is that the consultations and studies are taking rather too long. Government should expedite them.
 
Regarding planning, I wish to suggest that as a country we should stop this short-termism and dashboard management of the economy. Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP), which is guiding our plans, is inadequate. It is only a three-year plan. We need to have five to 10 and even 30-year plans for this country. The constitutional institution set up for the purpose, which is National Planning Authority (NPA), is not adequately funded.
 
Finally, Madam Speaker, I wish to draw the attention of members to the Presidents appeal on Page 27. He says, So I stand for UPE, for USE and for science-based education. Let those who have been opposing this line stand up and be counted or accept that we are right and support us. It is a pity that some people, particularly on this side, have persisted. I am standing to be counted among those who fully support the Presidents line on UPE, USE and other matters. (Applause)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you.
 
6.02
MR DAVID EBONG, (Independent, Maruzi County, Apac): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity. Allow me to bring to your attention a looming genocide in the process in Maruzi constituency if Government does not act. I have formally raised this matter of the standoff between the Bahima herdsmen and the Langi. Like the United Nations, when they raised the issue of the impending genocide in Rwanda, the United Nations turned deaf ears.
 
I still inform this Parliament of the Republic of Uganda and Government to act on this situation. We have a well-intentioned offer to work out a framework where we deal with this problem once and for all. However, the problem with Government is that, after raising this issue formally they seem to be too busy to act on this matter, which otherwise is very important.
 
Having said that, Madam Speaker, I might mention I am an independent representative to the Parliament. When my vital interest is challenged, I think I should act in my own right as mandated in the Constitution, Article 72(4) and (5), which causes the independent representatives to exist in this Parliament. I saw the President very focused in his State of the Nation Address on the question of independent representatives in this Parliament.
 
Some Members of Parliament want to copy and paste the western democracy. They say that under the Commonwealth Rules of Procedure, there are supposed to be two sides. This is what we should fight against as Africans. We also have our own democratic agenda, and we must set our own democratic principles.
 
I still implore Parliament, as provided in the Constitution, to work out a framework for participation of the independents. We need to deal with this issue. We need to work out a framework. We would not want to see people fighting to get out of the state system. We should rather fight to get into the state system. Having said that, for those who are still on the corridor of decision-making on the issue of independents, get it right today that we exist by provision of the Constitution.
 
Madam Speaker, allow me add my voice to the commitment of the President to engage in fighting corruption. When the President commits himself, I do not want to take it that he is only speaking for the sake of it. I think the President has expressed commitment in the most sincere terms possible. It is now for Parliament to provide the impetus for Government to act on corruption.
 
The challenge of building ethics and integrity is greater today than ever before. Uganda, among other developing countries in Africa, is losing billions of shillings to corruption tendencies. According to the Global Report, what we are losing to corruption is six times more than the resources the developing countries are receiving. I think it is our moral imperative to do everything possible to prevent this form of theft from continuing.
 
Fighting against corruption I know is a process that calls for moral authority to sustain results. When we talk about a results-based fight, this means we should have a yardstick to measure how much we are achieving in the fight against corruption. It is the biggest gap I still see. We have not developed systems of tracking how many cases of corruption have been reported to Government and how many have been handled to a conclusion. This system is not there.
 
I sympathize with this Parliament. I know the prerogative of ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in the performance of Members of Parliament also depends on effective remuneration. However, when the hon. Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda suggested an independent body to deal with that, Members of Parliament rose up in chorus. Maybe you are about to do that now because I am talking about it. I think that is what issues to do with integrity look like.
 
We should look at our age and stand our ground and be committed to fighting corruption. When we talk about establishing an independent body to deal with issues of remunerating Members of Parliament, I think we would stand to be counted as people who put in place a framework to ensure effective implementation and integration of issues of ethics and integrity in our governance.
 
I thank you, Madam Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. I look forward to contributing more effectively on issues of good governance for the good of our people and empowering the very poor of the poor in this country. Thank you.
 
6.09
MR ELIJAH KYETUNDA (NRM, Busongora County North, Kasese): Thank you, Madam Speaker. Since it is my first time to stand on the Floor of Parliament to deliberate on matters of nation building, allow me to first introduce myself. I must thank everybody for the offices they have assumed particularly you, Madam Speaker, for retaining your seat. It was not easy. I think it must be because of the performance you had in the previous Parliament. I thank you.
 
I must congratulate the honourable ministers. We were with most of them in Munyonyo when they were also humble Members of Parliament, but all of a sudden after one week they are Cabinet ministers. I must congratulate you upon assuming those big offices. You are now front bearers and I must congratulate you for that. This means that credit goes to His Excellency the President for having picked these wise men and women to take up those seats. On behalf of fellow Members of Parliament I request you, Cabinet Ministers, to be like O.Bs in schools. We were with you as humble Members of Parliament, when we come to your offices, please receive us warmly.
 
Madam Speaker, many issues have been tackled. I will just hint on two. I congratulate the President for the State of the Nation Address. I am very grateful and I must also appreciate the Budget, which was presented by him through the Minister of Finance. When it was presented I realised that Kasese had benefited fairly in as far as road construction was concerned.
 
On behalf of the people of Kasese, I must congratulate the NRM. I must also congratulate the ministers for having done this. I thought I would say this in the presence of the Minister of Transport, but I think he has (Interjection)- oh yes, yes, much obliged. Even then, like Oliver did say, we have had a fair share but honourable minister it would not be a crime to request for more.
 
I am here to speak on matters connected with land. Like my colleague, the woman Member of Parliament for Kasese, did say, Kasese is one of the very few districts that are cut head and tail. This is to the benefit of all the citizens of this country. We have a national park at the top, Rwenzori National Park. Many of you who have been there know that. We also have Queen Elizabeth National Park at the bottom. So we remain in the middle.
 
In the middle we have very many Government institutions, which we are proud of because they are here for the good of this country. However, a contentious question, which I know the President in his own wisdom knows about but possibly just omitted, is that we have three Government prisons in the same district. This has not happened in most of the districts of this country. At least I have gone to many of the districts of this country, which are even bigger in size than Kasese. Now that I am in Kampala, I am yet to establish with the DPP whether it was because we have the highest crime rate in the country or it was an oversight somewhere.
 
It is on record that we occupy only 37 percent of the land in the district. The rest is occupied by other things. There are also other small forest reserves even where there are no trees, and water bodies are also there. Why should they be called forest reserves? I recommend that they either be called soil reserves or grass reserves because there are no trees in most of those places. I request the Ministry of Lands to also look at that issue.
 
Finally, Madam Speaker, since time is against me I will not repeat the painful history Kasese District has gone through. Most districts are celebrating golden jubilees for their schools, but for us we shall possibly celebrate in 2078. I think by that time many of us will have succumbed to Gods call.
 
I am privileged to be with the Minister of Education. Much as we have affirmative action for women, youth and the disabled, the Minister of Education should put in place a programme of affirmative action for districts like Kasese, which have actually fallen victims of such circumstances.
 
In my constituency, I have only one Government school, so this challenges the practicability of USE. Where will our children go to school? We should congratulate the private investors for the few schools they have put in place (Member timed-out)
 
6.16
MRS LOY KIRYAPAWO (NRM, Budaka County, Pallisa): Madam Speaker, allow me to thank the President, the Cabinet and the Seventh Parliament, which gave Budaka a district status. It was not easy. It was a real tussle. It was like somebody asking you to push down Mt. Elgon, but you did it. I thank those who were in the Seventh Parliament.
 
Madam Speaker, I stand to support the motion and commend His Excellency for the State of the Nation Address in which he ably tried to tackle most of the important issues. I want to make some few observations.
 
One, I request Government, and particularly Ministry of Finance, to look into the plight of those people who have been working at the Movement Secretariat. They should be sent off honourably.
 
The second observation I want to make is on education. I have listened to people talking about education. I want to commend the President for helping those children who would fall out after universal primary education. I want to tell all Ugandans that UPE and USE are not for people like us. They are for those people who cannot take their children to Budo, Gayaza, Nabumali, Tororo, Kiruhuura or Budaka. It is for those poor people.
 
Universal primary education has done a great job. At least ever since 1997, those children who did not get a chance to step on the veranda of a school or even see a blackboard are given that free chance. Parents of those children are happy and that is why they gave Museveni the votes- (Applause)- So, we should also use Universal Secondary Education.
 
Universal secondary education is not for us. If you are able to take your child to Budo, do it, but let that person who cannot do it take advantage of this. Whether you are on the government side or the Opposition, I urge you to support such programmes because UPE or USE will not discriminate. They take all the children of Uganda irrespective of who the parents support. They are not dismissed from schools.
 
I am sure those children are better off than my aunt who never saw a veranda of a school. She cannot write. She can be told to put a thumbprint on a cheque or on a voucher of 2,000/= or 20,000/= instead of 200,000/=. She does not know how many zeros are in a thousand, ten thousand or one hundred thousand. I am proud that at least these children will know that. They will live a better life than my aunt who never got that chance.
 
Another issue I want to talk about is prosperity for all, bonna bagaggawale. Let us explain to our people. You are not paying school fees for a child who is going to primary, where you would pay for seven years. They are telling you that you are not even going to pay school fees for a child who is going to secondary school for four years. Seven plus four, how many years are those? Those are eleven years. Why cant you save that money and maybe buy a cow or start with chicken. I have even done it. You buy a hen, it lays eggs and you get more chicken. You get a goat, the goat also does the same and you get more goats, or you get a cow. This is in eleven years and you are not even paying graduated tax.
 
Let us look at these programmes in a positive way. They are going to help all of us whether you are on NRM or another ticket. That is why I am trying to ask all honourable members and politicians at all levels to look at these programmes in a positive way.
 
The other issue is, let us stop lamenting and start working. There are some of us who come into this House, you spend five years and do not even have a house in your constituency. You are a very good orator here and everybody knows you internationally, but in the village where you come from, the people you represent do not even have a house where they can come and say our honourable Member of Parliament, this is the problem. I think we should stop and start assisting our people we represent. When we are talking to them, we tell them I am going to help you to develop this area but when you come here then you start lamenting and de-campaigning those Government programmes.
 
Lastly, let us accept that when you go for politics you expect to either win or lose. Losers should accept to lose honourably just as those who win honourably. It is the people who have the mandate. If they say it is this person this time, accept that. You go to court, even in court you are defeated and then you start saying somebody rigged; did you also rig to come here? I leave that for you to ponder upon. I thank you, Madam Speaker.
 
6.24
MS ERINAH WANGWA, (NRM, Woman Representative, Mbale): Thank you, Madam Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to speak in this House for the first time. I support the motion on the Floor thanking His Excellency the President for his State of the Nation Address.
 
Allow me to state that I am a promoter of families and family values. Things like children and women violence, divorce and disunity in the families really cut deep in my heart. I was elated when in his State of the Nation Address the President mentioned bonna bagaggawale targeting the household. With bonna bagaggawale going to the household level, there is hope that families can have their daily basic needs met. It is these daily basic needs that actually determine whether a family is wealthy or not, and therefore, whether a nation is wealthy or not.
 
I am proud to say that I have seen the government working hard to serve the people at the grassroots level. In 1998, for example, there was a report that revealed that 1.6 million people die every year in the developing countries, including Uganda, from diseases that are related to smoke as a result of using our tradition three-stone firewood cooking stoves. I also noted that these were mainly women and children.
 
But I was very happy when I visited our own Ministry of Energy and learnt that they had developed a simple energy saving stove that is non-smoke. All we have to do as parliamentarians is to hook on to these services and take them to our constituencies, targeting the household.
 
Madam Speaker, I know corruption is a thorn in the flesh of the government, but let us give the government credit. His Excellency in the State of the Nation Address listed down all the bodies that will help him fight corruption. I would like to say that corruption is not only an evil of Government. It is an evil of individuals who have lost their morale and spiritual values.
 
Therefore, I call upon the minister responsible to enlist the services of our spiritual leaders to help us fight corruption. If they are mandated, they will note the consciences of those corrupt leaders and lead them back to be the upright leaders that we want in our nation.
 
Madam Speaker, as I conclude, I would like to congratulate you and all our top leaders for having retained your positions. I also want to congratulate my fellow parliamentarians for having come to this august House. Thank you very much. (Applause) 
 
6.28
MR HUSSEIN KYANJO (JEEMA, Makindye Division West, Kampala District): Madam Speaker, honourable members, congratulations to all of you for having been successfully elected to this House. I thank the Almighty for giving me this opportunity to be here this evening to deliberate on the State of the Nation Address that was given by the President. I am the only JEEMA in this House. (Laughter)
 
Madam Speaker, allow me to add my voice to the many that have thanked the President for having been able to come and present the State of the Nation Address. We are here to plug holes that were in the speech and I think we will not contradict each other in that respect.
 
I want to start on Page 7. I was extremely moved by the President when he was, for the first time, happy to preside over the government and the multiparty dispensation. I was pleased because quite consistently the President was saying that multiparty was bad. The President went ahead, on that same page, to recognise and specifically say he was happy that the Parliament had considered the status of the leader of the Opposition. He also expressed willingness to work with the Opposition. That was good.
 
What the President was not reminded to say on that day is that, the members from the Opposition side also made a contribution. He sounded like it was the Movement, which planned, arranged and decided that there would be an Opposition and a Government side. I think that was not accurate.
 
On Page 9 where the President talked about constitutionalism and the rule of law, I was equally fascinated and it deserves a lot of credit. If you see a president who was one time thinking about going for war but now talks in terms of the rule of law and constitutionalism, I think this is equally good news.
 
I want to appeal to those that go close to the President, especially those that advises him, that he should avoid constitutional dictatorship. You begin by force, in the middle you use money and at the end you use the magic of numbers. Instead of following the written Constitution, you change it and follow the changes that you want to follow.
 
Madam Speaker, on Page 10, the President thanked the Seventh Parliament for passing transitional bills into law and posting the rest to the Eighth Parliament. The people I represent in Makindye West were a bit pleased by the progress in the Seventh Parliament, but they were extremely unhappy with changes that saw some of the things that were not agreed upon by the entire population.
 
They say that it should be possible for this Parliament to find time and revisit two areas more specifically: One, the matter on the regional tiers and two, the lifting of term limits. They will be very happy the day we shall go back to report that we have revisited these areas and have cleaned them.
 
Madam Speaker, I was not sympathetic with the President when he said that United Nations was specializing in superficiality. It is under the area of security. I think this was not clearly guided. The United Nations is an organ that is there for the well being of the international administration. We have got an ambassador designated specifically for this reason. So to come into the Parliament of a country and say that they are specializing in superficiality is, to say the least, diplomatically unbecoming. I think if these areas were flashed properly, the speech of the President would be quite nice.
 
I was also very uncomfortable with the Presidents dual reference to Sudan. When he refers to the Northern Sudan, he seems to refer to the unfriendly Sudan, the enemy Sudan, and when he refers to Southern Sudan where Dr Salva Kiir is leader, he refers to the friendly Sudan. He should be reminded that Dr Salva Kiir who is the President of Southern Sudan is at the same time the Vice President or probably the historical enemy of the Northern Sudan. So, we should not put his position in jeopardy by throwing two different voices to the same Sudan.
 
On the economy, Madam Speaker, I was impressed by the efforts put in by the President and the programmes, which have been put up to alleviate the problem of power. But as you all know, honourable members, if you have scarcity you cut down on the cost. It is not logical, for example, to continue crying about the scarcity of energy and then you have got close to seven organisations working in the area of energy. You have got Electricity Regulatory Authority. There is the one dealing with distribution. We have got the third one dealing with generation. The fourth one deal with transmission, and then you have got Umeme on this side, Eskom and then the government of Uganda. I think we need to revisit these areas, clean them up and see whether we can have power.
 
Madam Speaker, allow me to also thank the President for bringing, and quite smartly too, the area of USE. We shall be in full support of this programme, because it has been nicely presented. (Applause)
 
My strong recommendation is that we should not think about clean USE without revisiting two major areas. I am happy the Ministry of Education is represented. Reopen the national teachers colleges so that we can increase the number of teachers, because a number of them were closed.
 
Two, reactivate the recruitment process of teachers. Our teachers are running to Rwanda, Britain and to the United Arab Emirates. Why do we throw away useful resources and then we stay and cry?
 
I have gone on so long. I am quite thankful, Madam Speaker, that I have been able to say this. Thank you. (Applause)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you.
 
6.35
MS BEATRICE ANYWAR, (FDC, Woman Representative, Kitgum District): I thank you, Madam Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to make my first speech in this House. I would like to also join my colleagues in thanking the President for fulfilling his constitutional obligation of presenting this speech to the nation to which we are actually responding.
 
Madam Speaker, I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate you particularly, especially as a woman, for having retained your chair -(Applause)- In that respect, I congratulate my other colleagues who have made it through thin and thick to the Eighth Parliament.
 
To start with, my biggest issue is peace. Peace is something that goes without say, especially for people like us who for the last 20 years have been yearning for peace. This was drawn to me today when I saw the headline in the newspapers when the President was showing a change of heart by giving the terrorist Kony, as it is said, full amnesty. We take this as a golden chance. Let it be real so that our people can go back and also sleep. They have not been sleeping.
 
On that note, I would like to make a passionate appeal also to Kony the terrorist to take this opportunity and grab the chance for the sake of the peace of our people. Let it be done to its logical conclusion. Let it not stop in the papers. Let us all make efforts to make this a success.
 
I would like to also take this opportunity to thank all Ugandans who have seen and felt the pain of our people and stood by us morally, spiritually and also by contributing items. It is because of such concern that the issue of peace concerns all of us. It is said that when you are sinking even the grass passing by, you will grab it. Please, honourable members, join us to achieve this peace.
 
Secondly, Madam Speaker, I would like to talk about the programme of the President for resettlement. As peace seems to be coming, it gives us hope that our people will go back home. Because of the prolonged war in the North, our people have been kept in camps. They have lived a life that is unbearable. Basic necessities have been in shortage. As we all know, the lives of the women and the children especially, are at stake because 20 years of being confined in that state is really very sad.
 
As the government prepares the people to go back with the assurance of peace in the background, I would like to say that the government should take the initiative to involve all the stakeholders in this process of resettlement. The beneficiaries of this resettlement should be consulted and involved for its successful implementation. In this respect I am referring to the issue of the modalities, for instance, how the people will go back home and how they will settle down.
 
In the background, we the Acholi have been a proud tribe. We do not live together with our children under the same roof because of respect and culture. We have to let the young boys and girls sleep separately. Now re-settlement is coming, the mabaati are being promised, how will this be catered for? Shall one roof contain males, females and cows together or shall we have some difference? That is something we hope the government will involve us in. We hope we shall be consulted so that we have a separate arrangement, so that we sustain our own culture.
 
Secondly, Madam Speaker, on the conditions the President was mentioning, of people building walls, I would say that the people are too poor. We do not have the timber and cement. How shall we build all those before the mabaati reach the people? (Member timed-out.)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, I invited you for a social evening and it is time. I cannot continue detaining you but I have a proposal for tomorrow, to enable more members contribute. We have two hours of private members time. The business I have received in my view will not take more than 30 minutes. So, if you do not mind, we could use the other one and a half hours for members to contribute before we hand over to the government. That is if you do not mind, honourable members. So, we shall continue with the debate tomorrow and also hand over later to the Executive.
 
Honourable members, I wish all of you join us for the social visit with our guests from South Africa. The UJJCC, that is Metropolitan Lwanga, Cardinal Nsubuga, Archbishop Orombi, have invited all of us at 4.30 p.m. on Friday at Parliamentary Gardens. They are going to launch the publications of the performance of the Seventh Parliament and expectations of the Eighth Parliament. It is on Friday. Let us not abandon the religious leaders that afternoon. The House is adjourned to 2.00 Oclock tomorrow.
 
(The House rose at 6.44 pm and adjourned until Thursday, 6 July 2006 at 2.00 pm)
 



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