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Thursday, 5 February 2009
 
Parliament met at 2.45 p.m. in Parliament House, Kampala
 
PRAYERS
 
(The Speaker, Mr Edward Ssekandi, in the Chair.)
 
The House was called to order.
 
COMMUNICATION FROM THE CHAIR
 
THE SPEAKER: Hon. Members, once gain I welcome you to this sitting. At the same time, I want to welcome the ministers from Mengo, the Kabakas government, who are led by hon. Seggona. You are welcome to Parliament! (Applause)
 
2.47
MR ELIJAH OKUPA (FDC, Kasilo County, Soroti): Mr Speaker, thank you. I am rising on a point of public importance. This week, the public, the people of Kasilo, the people of Soroti and the people of this country, have been concerned about the proposals by Umeme to more than triple the power rates and connection fees. Especially for the new clients, if you want to connect power, the charges have been raised from 326,000 to 1.2 million.
 
The other one is on new connections which were at 98,000 but have been raised to 197,000, among other charges. It is the concern of the people of this country, especially the manufacturers for whom this impacts directly on the cost of the goods.
 
I want to beg your indulgence, Mr Speaker, that either the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development intervenes, or we direct the Committee of Natural Resources to handle this matter because this is really an exorbitant increase. Even if Umeme were to raise the charges, there is no way it can raise the charges with a more than 400 percent increment. That is the matter I wanted to bring to your attention, Mr Speaker and Members of this House.
 
THE SPEAKER: So, you want intervention by the government or the committee?
 
MR OKUPA: I first want an intervention and explanation from the minister and this Parliament, Mr Speaker.
 
THE SPEAKER: Is the minister in charge of this sector here? No, but this is something that they are going to investigate and report back. Ok.
 
2.49
MR FELIX OKOT OGONG (NRM, Dokolo County, Dokolo): Mr Speaker, I also want to raise the concern of our people from Lira Municipality in respect to Umeme. Power supply in Lira District has become epileptic. Power is on and off; in a day it can go off five or ten times. The capacity of Umeme to handle power supply in this country is in question.
 
So if the minister is coming here, he should make a clear statement about Umeme. Those days when we had UEB, their work was very efficient and perfect but now Umeme, even in terms of collection, distribution, billing - I think the minister should come here with a clear statement and that statement should be debated by Members of Parliament. But we also need to review the work of, and agreement with Umeme. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
 
THE SPEAKER: No, this is something that the minister is going to handle. The honourable member raised it because of the increased tariffs and now there is another one, failure to supply. I do not think this will attract a debate. (Mr Okello-Okello rose_) But you did not tell me. It is only him who came to tell me that he had a point to make. It cannot be a general debate.
 

2.51

THE SECOND DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER/MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE (Mr Henry Kajura): Thank you, Mr Speaker. The concern which has been expressed about Umeme and the costs of installation - in fact the whole operation is a matter of concern to every user. This is a matter which government has been giving some thought but we had not reached a decision or a compromise with Umeme. These consultations are still going on and I shall advise the minister at the earliest opportunity to come and make a full explanation. Thank you.
 
HON. MEMBERS: When?
 
MR KAJURA: When? Early next week.
 
2.52
MR KASSIANO WADRI (FDC, Terego County, Arua): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I do appreciate the explanation given to us by the Rt hon. Prime Minister. But when he talks of consultations going on, yet Umeme has already taken a decision and it wants to implement it, can we assume that before these consultations are concluded, Umeme will not go ahead and implement what it intends to implement so that the status quo remains as it was before, until government concludes the consultations?
 
MR KAJURA: If they ever proceeded that way that would be against the spirit of consultations. I hope they will not.
 
THE SPEAKER: Ok, Leader of the Opposition.
 

2.53

THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION (Prof. Morris Ogenga-Latigo): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. You gave me an opportunity yesterday to make announcements on the changes in the Front Bench on the side of the Opposition and I requested that I do this today.
 
Honourable colleagues, you will realise that we have had changes in the leadership of the accountability committees and that obviously affected the composition of our shadow cabinet. Just like the national cabinet on the government side, we also had gaps that we needed to bridge and it is my honour to now formally announce and invite my colleagues on my side to occupy the Front Bench which remained empty yesterday (Interjection) they will occupy it. This is just a reshuffle; so, you dont have to swear -(Laughter)- Hon. Omara Atubo knows this; he has been in this game for a very long time.
 
Our Shadow Minister for Education and Sports is hon. Alice Alaso, the Woman MP for Soroti. The Shadow Minister for the Presidency and Anti-Corruption is hon. Fungaroo Kaps Hassan. (Applause) Hon. Fungaroo happens to be a deputy secretary in the FDC Presidents Office. So, we are just putting him in an appropriate place. He is currently in the UK; he will not be able to come here.
 
Our Shadow Minister for Information and National Guidance is hon. Christopher Kibanzanga, MP Busongora South, Kasese District. (Applause)
 
THE SPEAKER: Hon. Kibanzanga, would you like to give a speech? (Laughter)
 
PROF. OGENGA-LATIGO: For the Ministry of Justice, Constitutional Affairs and Attorney-General, we have appointed in an acting capacity, hon. Abdu Katuntu.
 
The Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries is hon. Christine Bako, Woman MP, Arua District. (Applause)
 
The Shadow Minister for Local Government and the most efficient in terms of appearing in Parliament is hon. John Arumadri, MP Madi-Okolo County. (Applause)  
 
The Shadow Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Development is hon. Charles Okello Oduman, MP Bukedea County. (Applause)
 
The Shadow Minister for (Laughter)- this is an equivalent even in the ICC -(Laughter)- the Shadow Minister for Defence and Security is hon. Angiro Gutomoi. (Applause) 
 
The Shadow Minister for Internal Affairs and Human Rights is hon. Hussein Kyanjo. (Applause)
 
The Shadow Minister for Foreign and Regional Affairs is hon. Geoffrey Ekanya, MP Tororo County. (Applause) 
 
The Shadow Minister for the East African Co-operation is hon. Francis Kiyonga (Interruptions) come first.
 
The Shadow Minister for Health is Dr Francis Epetait; he is out of town on a mission.
 
The Shadow Minister for Public Service is hon. Michael Nyeko Ocula, MP Kilak County.
 
The shadow Minister for Gender, Labour and Youths is hon. Susan Nampijja Lukyamuzi, a dangerous substitute. (Applause) 
 
The Shadow Minister for Works and Infrastructure Development is hon. Patrick Amuriat Oboi.
 
The Shadow Minister for Lands and Physical Planning is hon. Nabilah Naggayi Sempala, the woman MP Kampala District.
 
The Shadow Minister for Housing and Urban Development is hon. Matia Nsubuga (Laughter).
 
The Shadow Minister for Trade, Tourism and Industry is hon. John Baptist Kawanga.
 
The Shadow Minister for Water and Environment is Mama Mabira, hon. Beatrice Atim Anywar.
 
The Shadow Minister for Energy and Mineral Development is hon. Ali Kasigwa.
 
The Shadow Minister for Rehabilitation Relief and Disaster Management is hon. Betty Aol Ocan; and the Shadow Minister for Communication, ICT Science and Technology is hon. Louis Opange -(Laughter) 
 
And since our Deputy Opposition Chief Whip was appointed to chair the Committee on Government Assurances, she also occupies the Front Bench and is hon. Judith Franca Akello, Woman MP, Pader District.
 
Mr Speaker, first of all, I thank you for the opportunity you have given me to fill my Front Bench with very competent Ugandans. We congratulate all of them for accepting to join us at the Front Bench.
 
Before I sit down, allow me to also thank those who served the Opposition and this Parliament in the various capacities as shadow ministers, and who will now occupy the Back Bench. I urge my colleagues on the government side to work with these colleagues of mine as Ugandans so that we can build our country together. I thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
 
THE SPEAKER: Thank you very much, the Leader of the Opposition for these appointments and I want to congratulate those appointed and assure you that the institution of Parliament will do whatever is possible to enable you carry out your expected functions successfully. God bless you.
 
Hon. Opange, I think you can see that I have lived to my promise about what I told you yesterday (Laughter)
 
MS KABAKUMBA: Mr Speaker, for the record, yesterday, an issue was raised about the whips and I know that according to our rules, there is no provision for the deputy whip for the Opposition or even for the Government. So to correct the record, that is the internal administrative way of handling the Opposition; it should not be on record of Parliament as you ruled yesterday. I seek your guidance.
 
THE SPEAKER: It was never captured, but you can arrange for your whips, as many as you wish; do not worry about that.
 
3.05
MR FELIX OKOT OGONG (NRM, Dokolo County Dokolo): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I want to thank the Leader of the Opposition for the changes that he has made in his government. I would like to thank those who have been elevated and appointed to be shadow ministers; thank you very much.
 
I have noted one thing which is very important, that there is a good mix of generations in the Opposition -(Laughter)- I think that is the way to go. We need to involve young people in the leadership of this country.
 
I have also noted that the people that have been brought forward are very competent young people. I also hope that the team that we have will be able to engage government appropriately. I think your role is to engage government; and this time we want to engage with you seriously for the benefit of our country. If you are a shadow minister, you must do your job for the country to benefit. You are not just there to occupy that sit, you are there to perform.
 
I know that if we are to build our democracy we have to empower our Opposition. And I would like to propose that in our rules, shadow ministers should also be sworn in so that they are not just appointed and then they just sit there.
 
I was in Ghana when I was a Minister of Parliamentary Affairs 
 
THE SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you may appreciate that you are on the Government side. Your counselling may really be misinterpreted; so I would just advise that you have said enough, so leave them to do their job in their best wisdom. Otherwise, if it were from this side, then it would be okay, but counselling from this side may be taken with suspicion.
 
MR OGONG: Mr Speaker, I was giving you the example of Ghana on how the Opposition and Government work. What I am doing now is for Ugandans, and we have to guide for the benefit of our country. There, opposition shadow ministers work together with the ministers; even in their offices and when they are going for trips, they go together. Yes, it is so because being in opposition does not mean we are enemies; that is what you should know. So, we actually need to have a seminar so that we can train Ugandans to become real democrats. Thank you.
 
3.08
THE SECOND DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE (Mr Henry Kajura): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. On behave of government I wish to congratulate those that have qualified for the Front Bench. (Applause) 
 
I am sure this has been a product of a lot of consultations, a lot of filtration and a lot of deep thought in order to get this wonderful Front Bench that we see. We are very happy and we would be very happy to work and cooperate with you. Every good suggestion will be received with gladness in the spirit of working together. I do not think you need any advice from me, you are mature people. As they have said, you are a mixed group of the young and old, but I think that pertains on either sides. So we should be able to perform (Interruption)
 
MR OTTO: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, and Rt hon. Prime Minister for giving way. I thank you for the kind words of encouragement that you have conveyed to the Opposition. The information I am seeking from you as the MP Aruu County is, when are the ministerial positions on your side due for reshuffle? (Laughter) Yes, in order to fill in the gaps. I have been meeting many MPs who are nervous, preparing their CVs thinking that there are empty spaces to be filled. So couldnt it match together with this new team coming in place? (Laughter)
 
MR KAJURA: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. On the matter raised by hon. Otto, when the right time comes, the bridge will be closed, but not before.
 
PRESENTATION OF PAPERS
 

3.10

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS/ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Prof. Khiddu Makubuya): Mr Speaker, I regret that I am not able to present this paper.
 
THE SPEAKER: Okay, hon. Members, we shall make some adjustments on the Order Paper since this is a Thursday, for private Members business. I think this item No. 9 has been on the Order Paper for so long so after the question for oral answer, that item should come next.
 
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS UNDER RULE 40
 

3.12

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR INTERNAL AFFAIRS (Mr Matia Kashaija): Mr Speaker and honourable colleagues, I have been asked by my colleagues, the Minister of State and Minister of Defence that because of Tarehe Sita, they all have been obliged, by virtue of their duties, to be in Rukungiri where tomorrow we are celebrating Tarehe Sita. Consequently, they have asked me to inform the House that they will be ready with the statement next Tuesday. Thank you.
 
THE SPEAKER: Okay.
 
QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER
 
QUESTION 79/1/08 TO THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS AND ATTORNEY GENERAL
 
3.13
MR ERIAS LUKWAGO (DP, Kampala Central, Kampala): (1) Would the minister present to the House a full list of all the assets that were supposed to be returned to the institution of the Kabaka of Buganda after negotiations as provided under Section 2(5) and 6 of the Traditional Rulers (Restitution of Assets and Properties) Act, Cap 247 and those that have been returned and those that are still being held by the central government?
 
(2) Why has government failed or refused to return those assets or properties supposed to be returned since the enactment of the said Act on 30 July 1993?
 
(3) Is the 9,000 square mailo (former Crown Land) part of the assets or properties envisaged under Section 2 (5) and 6 of the said Act?
 
3.14
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS/ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Prof. Khiddu Makubuya): Thank you, Mr Speaker. In regard to the first question, Section 2(5) of the Traditional Rulers (Restitution of Assets and Properties) Act states that, In the case of traditional rulers other than the traditional ruler of Buganda, the government shall hold negotiations with the traditional rulers concerned with a view to returning them such assets and properties as may be agreed. 
 
Sub-section (6) provides, Sub-section 5 applies to the traditional rulers of Buganda in respect of any asset or property other than those specified in the schedule to this Act.
 
Mr Speaker and hon. Members, the schedule comprises of assets and property of the traditional ruler of Buganda that were not a subject of negotiations and these are:
 
1.  The Bulange
2.  The Lubiri at Mengo
3.  The Butikkiro
4.  The Buganda Court building
5.  The Kabakas official 350 square miles of land
6.  Namasoles ten square miles of land
7.  Banalinyas land
8.  Kabakas lake
9.  Former Omulamuzi and Omuwanikas official residences at Mengo
10.  Land adjacent to the Lubiri on which three Buganda ministerial houses used to stand
11.  All Bassekabakas tombs
12.  Buganda Works Building at Kakeeka
13.  Basiima House
14.  Nalinyas house at Lubaga.
 
Mr Speaker, my information is that government has already returned these properties.
 
In connection with question two, government has neither failed nor refused to return assets or properties supposed to be returned since the enactment of the said Act. The government returned the assets and properties as indicated in the schedule that were not subject to negotiations.
 
The law directs that the traditional ruler and the government will hold negotiations with the view to returning to the traditional ruler such assets and properties as may be agreed. The negotiations are still underway and not yet concluded. It is the conclusion of these negotiations, which will determine what to do with the properties, which are the subject of the negotiations. Before the conclusion of these negotiations, it is premature to say that government has failed or refused to return the assets.
 
In connection with question three, I informed this august Parliament in my ministerial statement to Parliament as a reply to hon. Beti Kamyas question on 06 March 2008 that the 9,000 square miles are not the subject of the Traditional Rulers (Restitution of Assets and Properties) Act. That Act was intended to give effect to Article 118(a) of the Constitution of 1967 and to restore the traditional rulers assets and properties previously owned by them or connected with or attached to their offices but which were confiscated by the state. For clarity, I will give a summary of what I informed this House on 06 March 2008.
 
The current status of the 9,000 square miles is that there are categories of ownership under which it falls. Part of it is now owned by the people who customarily are living on it; these people who are customarily living on the land can be facilitated by district land boards to acquire certificates of customary ownership or freehold titles.
 
Part of the 9,000 square miles is also owned by people who got certificates of title issued by the Uganda Land Commission on the recommendation of district land boards. Since the 1900 Buganda Agreement to date, various controlling authorities of this former crown/public land have been giving out leases and freehold interest to individuals and others. Some leases have been converted into freeholds pursuant to the Land Act, 1998.
 
On the 15,000 square miles, the forests and wetlands, the 1900 Agreement gave powers of management and control to the crown. Section 45(1) of the Land Act, 1998 gave government or a local government power to hold lakes, rivers, wetlands, forest reserves, game reserves and game parks for the common good of Uganda. Whatever remains of the original 9,000 square miles after the Kibaale deduction in the results of allocation by controlling authorities is now vested in the district land boards in the districts of Buganda. You may wish to look at Articles 240 and 241 of the Constitution. It is no longer vested in the Buganda Land Commission.
 
This position is not immutable. The Uganda Constitution was amended in 2005 to provide for establishment of regional governments (Article 178). Section 10 of the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution provides for the establishment of regional land boards which shall be represented in the district land boards. This constitutional position provides a legal framework for re-establishing Buganda Land Board. As part of operationalising of regional government, constitutional and legal arrangements can be put in place for alternative arrangements for the devolution of the residue of the 9,000 square miles.
 
I take this opportunity to thank hon. Lukwago for raising this question. Thank you.
 
3.25
MR ERIAS LUKWAGO (DP, Kampala Central Division, Kampala): Thank you, Mr Speaker. Allow me to take this opportunity to thank the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs for having taken time off his busy schedule to respond to this question. It is unfortunate that it has taken too long. I raised this question way back in July 2008 but all the same, I thank you for responding.
 
The gist of my question was not all about the assets that are listed in the schedule and the Act. Those are well known and they are not in dispute. It was rather about properties that were supposed to be returned to the institution of the Kabaka.
 
THE SPEAKER: Would you like to put supplementary questions?
 
MR LUKWAGO: I am giving a background to my question, Mr Speaker. I still maintain and request, hon. Minister, would you give us a full list of the assets that were the subject of negotiations? You have stated that negotiations are underway; negotiations over which assets? This is a clear and precise question. What are you negotiating about - not the properties that were returned. That is number one.
 
Two, the question of negotiations; may we know the team that is negotiating with the Kabakas government from the central government? We know who is heading the team that is negotiating with Kony. The head is hon. Rugunda. If negotiations are underway, who is heading the government team that is negotiating with the Kabakas government? And may we know as to when those negotiations will come to an end? Is it in 2011 or 2020? May we know the timeframe - because it is taking rather too long!
 
Finally, the 9,000 square miles; Minister of Justice, you did say the properties that were supposed to be returned are those properties that were being controlled by the Buganda Government prior to the 1967 Constitutional Order. Isnt the 9,000 square miles part of the property that was returned to Buganda government upon independence in 1962? If so, wasnt this part of the property that was confiscated from Buganda government and is supposed to be returned under this Act?
 
On the question of the properties under negotiations, hon. Minister, you are silent on the sub-county and county headquarters. These county and sub-county headquarters are not mentioned here in the list. I have here with me a letter, which I want to lay on the Table from the Prime Minister dated 09 July 2002, addressed to the President and it specifically talks about the county and sub-county headquarters. The timeframe that was given in this letter by the Prime Minister was three years with effect from 1 January 2003 and to end by 31 December 2005. And this is the commitment that was made by government. So the question is (Interjections)- I cannot read the details here because of time but the question was, these sub-county and county headquarters were to be returned to the government of Kabaka by 31 December 2005 and failure in doing that the arrangement was that they would enter into a tenancy agreement.
 
So, the deadline passed. Why havent you returned the sub-county and the county headquarters, well beyond the deadline that was given by the Prime Minister in this document to the President?
 
Secondly, do you still possess those county and sub-county headquarters legally or not? And finally, are you paying rent for these sub-county headquarters or not? I beg to lay this document on the Table, Mr Speaker.
 
THE SPEAKER: I do not know whether hon. Lukwago you will allow me to assist you. The proper supplementary questions should have been: have the negotiations envisaged under the Act taken place? And if they have, on what assets? That is the question. You state whether the negotiations have taken place because if they have not taken place - well there is nothing. I think that is how you should have asked these questions.
 
MR LUKWAGO: Mr Speaker, I thank you for the guidance but I did ask as to whether the negotiations are going ahead and I went ahead to demand for the head of that team that is negotiating and I demanded for the assets which are a subject of negotiation as we talk now; and when would the negotiations end? I have raised all these questions and I just want to back up the questions by laying on the Table this document which clearly shows that government set a deadline which deadline they never complied with, and I wanted the minister to respond to it. I thank you, Mr Speaker.
 
3.32
MS ROSEMARY NAJJEMBA (NRM, Gomba County, Mpigi): My simple supplementary question is, at what stage are these negotiations? If you are negotiating with Mengo, at what stage are you?
 
3.33
MR HUSSEIN KYANJO (JEEMA, Makindye Division East, Kampala): Thank you, Mr Speaker and I thank hon. Lukwago for putting this question to the minister. I would like to thank the minister for his response in this regard.
 
On page 5, the minister talks about the current status of the 9,000 square miles as being in categories of ownership under which it falls and he says part of it is now owned by the people who are customarily living on it. He goes ahead to say that these people can be facilitated by district land boards to acquire certificates of customary ownership or freehold titles. I want to know from the minister: where is Buganda in this arrangement? Where is the consent of Buganda in this very particular arrangement? Was this part taken over by government or what?
 
3.34
MS FLORENCE EKWAU (FDC, Woman Representative, Kaberamaido): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. On page 5 of the ministers answer to this question, you mentioned the wetlands as one of the common goods we have in this country. As Attorney-General, what advice do you give to government since fragile eco-systems are becoming subject of abuse like we had the Temangalo wetland? (Laughter) What advice do you give to government to help defend and protect these fragile wetlands that are being a subject of abuse? Thank you. (Laughter)
 
3.35
MS BETI KAMYA (FDC, Rubaga Division North, Kampala): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I find difficult to thank the minister but all the same I thank him. The only way that we shall solve this problem is to solve it because it will not go away. It is 35 years since this property was grabbed -
 
THE SPEAKER: Hon. Kamya, are you asking a supplementary question?
 
MS KAMYA: Mr Speaker, I am coming to the question.
 
THE SPEAKER: These are our rules: when you stand after a question has been answered, you only direct a supplementary question. There is no debate, there is no explanation. You just put your supplementary question.
 
MS KAMYA: Much obliged, Mr Speaker. I would like to know from the minister when and how the NRM Government acquired this property because as far as I know, it was grabbed by the UPC Government and I do not know whether the NRM Government assumed all the ills of the UPC Government.
 
MR OKELLO-OKELLO: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I would like to correct the record. UPC Government has never grabbed anybodys property. Instead, it was UPC Government which returned all the Asian properties that were grabbed. (Laughter)
 
MS KAMYA: Thank you, hon. Okello-Okello for that information. But that makes my question even more important. May I know when and how the NRM Government acquired this property and from who? I would also like to know from the minister how long it will take because other peoples properties were returned? The Asians got their property, people who lost property during the wars have almost been compensated; they have got their properties. Why is the issue of the Buganda property being handled in a different way and taking this long? I would like the minister to give us information and if he can, as he answers this question, to give the time line for when we expect to conclude these negotiations.
 
THE SPEAKER: But hon. Kamya, that is the main question of hon. Lukwago. He is complaining why is it taking so long? Therefore, it cannot be a supplementary question.
 
MS KAMYA: But, Mr Speaker, I wanted to know the specific time line. He wanted to know why. I wanted to know exactly when - the time line.
 
3.39
MR JEROME KADDU MUKASA (Independent, Mityana County South, Mityana): Thank you, Mr Speaker. Let us assume negotiations are still going on. However, as we speak now, some of the property we expect to be returned to the Buganda government is being given away, some by Uganda Land Commission and some at the district level. My question to the honourable minister is: if you reach an agreement with the Buganda government and you have given away the property you were supposed to return to the government of Buganda, what shall you be returning to them?
 
I will give one example. In my constituency in Mityana South, the Ssaza headquarters, which has the official residence of Buganda Ssaza chief, Mukwenda, a land title in the names of Mityana local government district was given away. Now it is freehold belonging to Mityana District Council, LC V, and that is part of the property supposed to be returned to Buganda. My question is: what shall you be returning to Buganda after giving away the property you are negotiating to return? Thank you, Mr Speaker.
 
3.40
MS NABILAH SEMPALA (FDC, Woman Representative, Kampala): I thank you, Mr Speaker. My supplementary question to the Minister is on the status of the distribution of the 9,000 square miles. The only tenable explanation about the way it has been divided is that there is the Kibale deduction; but why is all the giving away of ownership only concentrating on freehold titles? It means that this land is perpetually being given away to whoever wants to own it. When they bring up the issue of customary ownership, this issue of the 9,000 square miles is understood by the people of Buganda as their own customary land. So, why is the giving away of this land mostly concentrated on freehold titles, honourable minister?
 
3.42
MS ROSE NAMAYANJA (NRM, Woman Representative, Nakaseke): I thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I have two questions. One, I would like to find out from the Attorney-General the status of the negotiations, if any, particularly in regard to Kigo Prisons. I believe it is one of the properties under this subject.
 
Secondly, I would like to find out the legal position or government position in regard to some districts in Buganda giving back Mengo properties. Some are willing but do not know the mechanism or the legal status. What is the position in as far as these districts that are giving back these properties is concerned and for those that are willing but do not know the mechanism?
 
THE SPEAKER: Hon. Members, as earlier said, we could have made this simple. First of all, we would find out whether there have been negotiations. That is how you start. If the answer is no, then the question of returning as a result of the negotiations will not arise. However, if the negotiations have been concluded, you ask him the kind of agreement they have reached. That is the best way to get a good answer. Without establishing whether there have been negotiations, we may not really get what we want. Maybe we may ask the Attorney-General whether there have negotiations and on what.
 
3.44
MS MARIAM NALUBEGA (Independent, Female Youth Representative): Thank you, Mr Speaker. On page 6, the Attorney-General talks about the regional government. The amendment was done in 2005 and this is 2009 and there is no provisional law that is going to operationalise the regional government. How does he envisage this situation where the Buganda Land Board that is being re-established will operate? I want to also know the status of Buganda Land Board.
 
I also want to know from the Attorney-General whether in this country we still have land that does not belong to anyone. When I was at a budget conference of one of the district councils, one of the activities of the district land board was to allocate land that does not belong to anyone to those who need it. I want to know about that.
 
3.45
MR CHARLES GUTOMOI (Independent, Erute County North, Lira): Mr Speaker, I would like the honourable minister to answer the following questions: one, in his attempt to answer question one, he has mentioned other traditional rulers other than those in Buganda. May he tell us which traditional leaders are in question?
 
Secondly, which properties are involved?
 
Thirdly, when will the negotiations commence with other traditional leaders?
 
Fourthly, why cant you carry out negotiations at the same time with the leaders of Buganda?
 
THE SPEAKER: Hon. Member, the question before us is for Buganda. If you want to ask a question for other traditional leaders, you bring your question, but this is for Buganda. (Laughter)
 
3.46
MR MATHIAS NSUBUGA (DP, Bukoto South, Masaka): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I would like to direct this to the Minister for Local Government. In 2007, we were in Masaka when the Masaka District authorities returned the properties of Buganda government. I am very sure you were present then. Many other districts continued to do the same but the Minister for Local Government stopped these districts from returning the properties. Can the Minister of Local Government today tell us how he issued that directive?
 
THE SPEAKER: Hon. Member, there are legal issues entangled with this subject. On the question of saying districts returned properties, you have to see whether they are competent to effectively return. I think when we talk about the return of these properties there must be somebody with powers to return. The district councils have no legal capacity to effect the transfer. They can do it politically and say, Politically, we have done it but legally they do not have these powers. Maybe it has to be the district land board but not the district councils. This is hoodwinking.
 
The district land board of an area can because it can give you a title. So if you are to return these properties, those district land boards have to do the effective transfer to whoever they want to return the property to.
 
MR MATHIAS NSUBUGA: Thank you. Mr Speaker, I get disturbed because you were present, I was present and many Members of Parliament from Masaka were present when Masaka District returned the land title to Buganda government. Was that hoodwinking or was it real?
 
THE SPEAKER: It has no capacity! The district of Mpigi or Mukono have no legal capacity. If they returned, who is going to sign the transfer? The district cannot but the district land board of Masaka or Mukono can do so. Hon. Lukwago was referring to it; I was part of this. So if the return has to be done, it has to be done by a body that has a legal capacity to effect a transfer.
 
I also think that when you are reading the events of 1993, you have to take into account the events of 1995 and you have to take into account the events of 2005, which drastically affected the Constitution. That is how you can find a solution.
 
3.50
MR ABRAHAM BYANDALA (NRM, Katikamu County North, Luweero): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. From what we know, Buganda is interested in the 9000 square miles. The minister has said it very clearly that as part of the operationalisation of regional governments, constitutional and legal arrangements can be put into place for alternative arrangements for the devolution of the residue of the 9,000. Can he educate us on that, please?
 
THE SPEAKER: I think we have exhausted the supplementary questions. Hon. Attorney-General, can you now answer the questions?
 
3.51
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS/ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Prof. Khiddu Makubuya): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I would like to thank my honourable colleagues for the interest they have taken in this matter.
 
The negotiations are provided for in the law under which this question was raised. They are provided for there. They are provided for in respect of all possible properties which are not scheduled in that law. Those which are scheduled in the law were supposed to be returned without negotiations and they have been. Those which are not scheduled are subject to negotiations.
 
What are you negotiating about and where is the list? I would like to say that the negotiations involved the identification of these very properties. If somebody has a ready list, I will be grateful to receive it. I know that any process of negotiations starts with the identification of the subject relating to such negotiations. The law just prescribes general principles but the specifics have to emerge out of particular claims and the responses to them.
 
Mr Speaker, I was only asked these specific questions and I have given what I could find. For those additional questions that have been posed, I will need your guidance on this matter. Do I get these questions from the Hansard and answer them? They are new questions and some of them do not arise out of this.
 
I have no problem in preparing answers to them if it is your guidance that I should produce them. Otherwise, the Rules of Procedure would have required that they be posed specifically and so on. However, if you guide that I should pick them from the Hansard and answer, I have no problem with that. I will answer them. They are not part of the original question nor are they, by necessary implication, part of it. (Laughter)
 
THE SPEAKER: Learned Attorney-General, I think the supplementary questions which did not come up, which should have come up to help us understand this should have been: are there negotiations in terms of the law that was quoted by hon. Lukwago? If there are negotiations, on what properties and subject? Have they been concluded or they are on-going? I think this is what we need. Unfortunately, these did come from any of you although I suggested them to you many times. We needed to know whether there are any on-going negotiations or they have been closed.
 
The other question is: has the arrangement of 1993 been affected by the constitutional amendments that have been witnessed since then and if so, how? These are the questions.
 
PROF. MAKUBUYA: I thank you, Mr Speaker, for those interventions. However, may I indicate that if you ask about Kigo Prisons land, for example, I can come with a specific response? I am not carrying it today but I can establish a specific response and come with it provided I am guided on the approach.
 
THE SPEAKER: Would you like to be given some time to bring us those answers on issues like the negotiations, what has been achieved and what type of negotiations they have been? Can we talk of next week for you to give us your answers?
 
PROF. MAKUBUYA: Mr Speaker, the answer that I have given is within my authority and I have had no problem composing it. However, some of the issues being raised are beyond my authority. So I would have to have (Interjections) yes! Therefore I need time. One month is good enough, Sir.
 
THE SPEAKER: Ok, within one month you will come up with those answers.
 
QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER
 
QUESTION 87/1/08 TO THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC PLANNING
 
3.59
MR SIMON ROSS EUKU (UPC, Kalaki County, Kaberamaido): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to pose a question to the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.
 
Question 87/1/8 is already on the Order Paper however, I received communication from the minister informing me that according to the communication they had got for the week, there was only section one of the question and that section two and section three were not on the Order Paper of the week. So, he is asking that this question be asked again next week so that he is given an opportunity to answer it comprehensively.
 
THE SPEAKER: Are you amending your question?
 
MR EUKU: Mr Speaker, the question I have asked is 87/1/8.
 
4.00
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Dr Ezra Suruma): Mr Speaker, when we were preparing the answer to this question, we only had part one which is concerned with sustainability of our external debt. On arriving here, I realised that there were two other parts to the question for which we do not have answers and therefore we did not prepare an answer. I am requesting that given the importance of this question, we be given an opportunity to prepare for the additional two parts of the question and we provide a full answer to it.
 
THE SPEAKER: I think he has a point. He only got one part and there are two parts and therefore he wants more time.
 
MR EUKU: Mr Speaker, I need comprehensive answers and since the minister has requested that, I do agree. I also ask your office to give us an opportunity now to include this question on next weeks Order Paper.
 
THE SPEAKER: Ok, let us give you more time so as to answer the questions as listed here.
 
MR NANDALA-MAFABI: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I am seeking clarification. This Order Paper is prepared by the Clerk to Parliament in conjunction with your office. We also submit our questions to the Clerks office. How did it come here in totality yet the Clerk sent only one part of the question to the Minister?
 
THE SPEAKER: I will find out from the Clerk. (Laughter)
 
MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT TO CONGRATULATE HIS EXCELLENCY THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF UGANDA FOR THE UPLAND RICE INITIATIVE
 
4.03
MR DENIS OBUA (NRM, Youth Representative, Northern): Mr Speaker and hon. Members, I beg to move a motion for a resolution of Parliament to congratulate His Excellency the Vice-President of Uganda for the upland rice initiative. The motion is moved under Rule 43 of our Rules of Procedure.
 
THE SPEAKER: Is it seconded?
 
HON. MEMBERS: Yes.
 
THE SPEAKER: Ok.
 
MR ARUMADRI: Thank you, Mr Speaker. In my considered view, the motion which is about to be tabled is superfluous because a public officer who is handsomely facilitated by the taxpayer is expected to show accountability. In orthopaedics -
 
THE SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I will allow you to make a contribution to the debate when the motion is moved. (Laughter)
 
MR DENIS OBUA: Mr Speaker and hon. Members:
WHEREAS the National Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy, No. 14 (a) and (b) requires the state to endeavour to fulfil the fundamental rights of all Ugandans to social justice and economic development and to, in particular, ensure that all developmental efforts are directed at ensuring the maximum social and cultural wellbeing of the people of Uganda, and that all Ugandans enjoy the rights and opportunities and access to food security among others;
 
AND WHEREAS His Excellency the Vice-President of Uganda, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, way back in 2004 initiated and popularised the upland rice project which has since improved the food security and income generation in rural poor families;
 
AND WHEREAS the project started with 4,000 farmers in 11 districts, it now engages over 30,000 farmers in over 32 districts of Uganda;
 
AND WHEREAS the Vice-Presidents upland rice project is applauded by the rural poor as having transformed their lives in its short lifespan, the Vice-President also received a United States Congregational Gold Medal in recognition of his efforts to promote household income and food security;
 
AWARE THAT the Vice-President dedicated the golden award to all rural people striving to get out of poverty and live a more humane life through improved agriculture and plant production;
 
ALSO AWARE that eradicating extreme poverty and hunger is the first among the United Nations Millennium Development Goals which must be attained by the target date of 2015;
 
NOTING that this initiative is in line with the objectives of Prosperity For All, using the principle of economic trinity where each homestead should be made a centre for residents food production or security and family and commercial production;
 
FURTHER NOTING that modern agricultural innovations, if properly applied, are key to national development and can be a vital tool in the fight against poverty;
 
CONSIDERING that the Vice-President has been traversing the country seeking practical ways of eradicating poverty;
 
NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that:
 
1  Parliament of Uganda thanks, applauds and congratulates him for popularising the initiative and for the award he received on behalf of the people of Uganda.
 
2.  Parliament of Uganda calls for more support from the government and development partners to be rendered to this initiative to ensure that all farmers around the country who can benefit from growing upland rice can access it.
 
3.  An adequate budgetary allocation be made in the financial year 2009/2010 for the promotion of upland rice countrywide.  
 
Mr Speaker and hon. Members, I beg to move. (Mr Tanna rose_)
 
THE SPEAKER: Since he has just read the motion, let him make a contribution then you will come in.
 
MR OBUA DENIS: Mr Speaker and hon. Members, as Obua Denis who represents the young people, looking at the face of poverty in this country which is extremely young and youthful; and looking at the numerical strength of the number of young people who live in rural areas in this country; and looking at the impact that this initiative of popularising upland rice has brought to some of them, I have a strong conviction that it is important to recognise and support the positive contribution of people when they are still alive and in service. This is the spirit upon which this motion is moved.
 
In 2004 as part of the poverty alleviation programme, His Excellency the Vice-President piloted and started popularising the growing of upland rice. There was overwhelming demand from people who visited his Kakiri rice farm in Wakiso District. His ultimate goal was to improve food security in this country and income generation in rural poor families. He started slowly but surely expanded from 11 districts to now over 32 districts to boost the then low production. It is a fact beyond reasonable doubt that upland rice has proved to be a strategic crop necessitating massive promotion and massive support by the Government of Uganda.
 
This Parliament recalls vividly that on 30 June 2008, the report of the Budget Committee on the supplementary expenditure for the financial year 2007/2008, Schedule No.2 was presented, considered and adopted by this House. I think the chairperson who read it then is also here. With your permission, allow me to read verbatim what is contained on page 9 of this report:
 
In respect to procurement of upland rice, the committee believes Uganda as a country has not exploited the initiative by His Excellency the Vice-President, Prof. Bukenya, to fight poverty and ensure food security through upland rice. In the view of the committee, upland rice has proved to be a strategic crop that government should promote massively than is the case today.
 
As Parliament scrutinises the budget estimates, the committee recommends that in the next budget, more resources should be availed towards the promotion of upland rice. His Excellency the Vice-President should be highly commended for providing exemplary leadership in the promotion of upland rice which rice has become a household name. 
 
This document was presented to this House and I think for purposes of proving me right or wrong, I beg to lay this report on the Table such that we go through it. It was presented, considered and adopted on 30th June. I beg to lay it on the Table.
 
It is also a fact beyond reasonable doubt that the demand for rice in this country has gone high, and we need to produce enough to meet our domestic demand and also meet the demand for export. This initiative, hon. Members, of popularising the growing of upland rice has succeeded. Let us look critically at resources that were allegedly embezzled under NAADS. If such an initiative, which is good for our rural people, can be promoted why dont we as a House support it and as government take over it and promote it?
 
This initiative is very good in the fight against rural poverty. This initiative is in line with the principles of Prosperity for All. This is practical prosperity for all; it does not just preach but practices. It is also in line with Millennium Development Goal No. 1 of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.
 
Hon. Members, the fact of the matter is that we need to empower people economically. We need to reduce the gap between the poor and the rich most especially in our rural poor families. It is my humble and honest appeal, with very high gratitude, that we support this motion if we really have the rural poor people at heart. Mr Speaker and hon. Members, I beg to move. Thank you.
 
4.08
MR SANJAY TANNA (Independent, Tororo Municipality, Tororo): Mr Speaker, I rise to second the motion. Honourable colleagues, allow me to highlight a few issues that will cap what my honourable colleague has just mentioned.
 
When His Excellency the Vice-President started this so-called initiative to popularise upland rice growing in Uganda, which then predominantly grew paddy rice, several members - even some amongst us - ridiculed him and belittled him for his efforts. Some referred to him as a peasant and some people referred to him as a minister of rice. However, I urge that we adopt and support this motion today.
 
In support of the motion, I would like to say that in 2004, statistics available show that Uganda had close to 80,000 hectares mainly under paddy rice. Today as we speak, we have well over 200,000 hectares both under paddy and upland rice and it is actually available for us to see. Around 2004, these various rice fields we have produced over 90,000 metric tonnes of paddy rice. Today as we speak, we are producing about 500,000 metric tonnes of paddy rice. That means there is an absolute increase in the production of rice.
 
In the year 2005, figures show that we were producing about 8,000 metric tonnes of rice. Today, we are producing about 330,000 metric tonnes of rice. This has turned Uganda from an importer of rice to an exporter of rice. Honourable members, we are all aware of the implications of that. That means there was a tremendous decline in the importation of rice.
 
In the year 2004, we imported close to 42,000 metric tonnes of rice. Today, Uganda exports more than 190,000 metric tonnes of rice. Honourable colleagues, this is an effort achieved in the last five years. This translates to a net saving of foreign exchange to the Ugandan coffers in excess of US$ 50 million.
 
Honourable colleagues, I urge you to support the motion on the table today in its entirety. I urge you to support His Excellency the Vice-President because there are several countries out there that are suffering. Today, we are not only self reliant but we are exporting within the region and the market is still by far available to us.
 
MR ODIT: Mr Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for giving way. He raised two technical issues: one is on paddy rice and the other one is the upland rice. Which one should the Government of Uganda focus on, especially now that paddy rice demands a lot of wetland for production and upland rice is the one which demands the normal agricultural land?
 
MR TANNA: Mr Speaker, if only my colleague had allowed me to finish! Around Tororo and Butaleja, for example, we have the Doho Rice Scheme in place and the infrastructure is in place for them to continue producing the paddy rice. Around Bugiri, we have the Kibimba Rice Scheme, which is currently producing both paddy and upland rice and they are both doing well. So, wherever the infrastructure is available, paddy rice should continue.
 
Today as we speak, rice prices have more than tripled within the last five years. Today the international rice markets have tripled from the year 2004 and as a country we are benefiting a lot. Not only have we achieved food security within the districts which have taken up the rice growing, but like I have just said from the statistics we are also a net exporter.
 
Honourable colleagues, the motion is in two parts. One is to recognise the efforts of His Excellency the Vice-President. The other is for Parliament to encourage and allocate more resources so that it can be popularised in the regions that are planned to be covered within this financial year, for example, the Teso sub-region and the West Nile sub-region. There are other parts that are also within the framework.
 
MR NANDALA-MAFABI: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, and I want to thank my colleague, hon. Tanna, for giving way. If His Excellency has brought an initiative and he is a leader in government, does it mean that everybody who brings up anything from the Front Bench must be recognised and it costs us a whole day mentioning it here and there?
 
MR TANNA: Mr Speaker and honourable colleagues, I leave it to the wise judgment of the honourable colleague who has raised this as to whether to recognise him or not. However, like hon. Denis Obua said, in my own opinion it is high time we started appreciating when somebody does something correctly and he is still alive, rather than eulogising after the person has left and enumerating their achievements. It is extremely important for us members in this House. We normally stand up to criticise within our own judgment what we feel is wrong, and it is important that we stand up to recognise and appreciate the positive efforts that have led to the achievements that I have enumerated. I thank you, Mr Speaker.
 
4.24
MS CHRISTINE BAKO (FDC, Woman Representative, Arua): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker and Happy New Year. I want to thank the honourable Commissioner for having brought this motion. However, I want to inform this House and the entire country that it will be unfortunate for us to turn the Vice-Presidents position into that of just promoting rice. That brings up a fundamental question: where is the Minister of Agriculture and where is hon. Hilary Oneks budget on issues to do with agriculture?
 
First and foremost, where is the agriculture policy in this country? We are running this country with a laisser-faire attitude. A whole ministry of agriculture that supports 31 percent of the GDP does not have a policy as I speak, and the ministry is being run on project basis. How can we move forward as a country when what employs a big percentage of the population has no policy?
 
When the Vice-President is promoting rice, specifically upland rice, what is the mandate of the Ministry of Agriculture? We are talking about actually serious production in this country. I appreciate the effort that the Vice-President has put in place but I think he is displaced and totally misplaced. This is the job of the Ministry of Agriculture. If it had a policy running as I speak, I would then be very happy to say that the Vice President took partial responsibility to do something extra in addition to what the Ministry of Agriculture should have done.
 
All the statistics given by hon. Tanna, who supported the motion, are blatant lies. I come from a household where the head of cereals production in this country is one of my best friends so I know. In fact if you looked at this, you would see that this reads: International Rice Research Institute so I am not more than informed, I believe in it and I know it.
 
As I speak, regarding issues of seed, this Upland Rice promotion is very selective. Not so long ago, I moved around in my constituency. Ask me how many of these farmers are producing rice for it to become a food security crop and indeed an excellent commercial crop. We appreciate that.
 
As I speak, we have degenerated to 50 percent of household food insecurity. Where is this rice that they are talking about? Instead of this being a commercial crop and therefore a household food crop, it has turned into a political crop. That is why vice president has to be reduced to a partial minister of agriculture in charge of rice, which is very unfortunate.
 
Constraints like seed, water for production, real production constraints, availability of fertilizers and understanding the research in cereals is lacking. Therefore, how can we come here and stand on the Floor of Parliament in this country in the 21st Century to say, Thank you, Mr Vice President for having done the job, which is not being well done without a policy backing by the Minister of Agriculture?
 
As regards the domestic demand for this crop, if you survey the market, the most expensive rice on the market is super and it goes for Shs 2,800 per kilo. That means that if each household in this country were to have at least a third of an acre for rice production, we wouldnt be talking about this unrealistic and very miserable statistic of metric tons produced in this country -(Interruption)
 
MR LOKERIS: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank my sister for giving way. There is an English term called supplementary effort. Just to initiate something is a difficult process. If a programme is there and somebody comes with supplementary effort in order to make the thing move faster, I dont think he should be condemned and this is what we are saying. We are saying that this idea is so superb that somebody has come to put in supplementary effort.
 
All of us have two legs but there are people who use their legs better than others like Inzikuru. All of us have legs but we dont use ours like Inzikuru does or like other footballers do. So when they do their job and use their legs better, we have to thank them and say, thank you very much, you have run very well, you have defeated so and so.
 
All of us are just seated here with ours comfortably. If the Vice President comes as he has done- He has come to Karamoja and this year, we shall produce rice and feed those who do not want to appreciate the supplementary effort of the Vice President.
 
I would like to say that this programme to supplement the existing agricultural programmes is a very good one. Thank you very much.
 
MR OKUMU: Thank you, Mr Speaker and I thank the honourable colleague for giving way. The information that I want to give is that in the Acholi sub-region, people started growing rice before I was born and it has become a staple food. What people need are implements to expand production and we wish that implements are given to them so that they can increase production and be able to - Acholi sub-region alone can supply enough rice to Uganda without us wasting money to import rice from other parts. Unfortunately, these rural people have never been appreciated and noticed. I thank you.
 
MS BAKO: Thank you very much, honourable colleagues for the information. My colleague in my former portfolio, I wish to thank you and state the fact that you need to be informed that one time there was a Vice-President who was also the Minister of Agriculture. If you wanted the Vice-President to be reduced to a partial Minister for Agriculture, wouldnt it be prudent upon the appointing authority to do that? Is this an implication that you do not trust your current Minister for Agriculture so that the Vice-President had to supplement his efforts in promoting rice? If not, then go and address the real production issues in this country because it is not just about rice.
 
In West Nile region, people were growing rice. In Yumbe there is a lot of Yiba rice. You have no research on what Upland Rice needs in terms of its scientific traits -(Interruption) 
 
MS NAJJEMBA: Yes, rice was being grown in some parts of the country but that was in the wetlands and that is why we had Bilharzia. What we are talking about is Upland Rice and not rice in wetlands. Thank you. (Mr Kabwegyere rose_)
 
MS BAKO: Mr Speaker, I am not ready for any disasters. There are disasters here -(Interruption)
 
MR KABWEGYERE: Mr Speaker, in this House we have to respect each other. Information is useful. The honourable member cannot doubt that the production of rice has increased with the effort of the Vice-President. That is a historical fact whether the honourable member has mobilised her people to grow more rice or not. Whether there was rice grown centuries ago, there has been an improvement in the growth of rice in this country since the effort of the Vice-President.
 
Is the hon. Member therefore in order to say that if the Ministry of Agriculture is not putting effort in growing rice or bananas or beans, nobody else should put in an effort?
 
THE SPEAKER: You see, you have stated certain facts in as far as you are concerned that there is an increase. I do not know whether she is aware that there is an increase; it is only then that I would make a ruling.
 
MS BAKO: Mr Speaker, indeed there may be an increase in the quantities of rice locally produced in this country but not so long ago, when he was a young man, I still believe the honourable minister realised that there were places like Mubuku rice growing scheme and you knew the state of agriculture in this country then possibly even much better than I do.
 
If you square down the two, you had possibly a population of 15 million people then; we are talking about 30 million people today and we are producing 190,000 metric tonnes. If you did your maths well you would find that if we were producing at least 50,000 metric tons when we were 15 million people and 190,000 metric tons are being produced today when we are 30 million people, you are actually not producing anything in real production terms.
 
MR ODIT: Thank you, Shadow Minister for Agriculture, for giving way. I think the minister on the other side does not seem to be aware that there is a government framework called PMA and under PMA, there are certain programmes, which have to be implemented through NAADS on zonal basis. I do not know whether government has a specific zone for growing rice. For that reason, it is very difficult to appreciate the Vice Presidents effort if he is just going on rampage all over the country to spread rice in places they have not zoned for rice production. Thank you.
 
MS BAKO: Thank you. It gets very disturbing because the constitutional mandate of the Vice President is not limited to promoting upland rice growing in our country. I would have been happier if a motion was brought here to give credit to the Vice President given his constitutional mandate. But unfortunately, the Vice President has been either politically displaced into this Ministry of Agriculture to promote upland rice growing in the country.
 
It rings a bell in my mind whether therefore his office is not so busy enough for him to do his constitutional mandate and perform his roles and therefore goes to promote upland rice growing in the country. Yet on a personal note, I would wish to thank him for his efforts but as government, I think there is a total mess up of the Ministry of Agriculture.
 
Therefore, as we try to debate this motion that I do not support in any way, I want to make it clear that this country has been reduced to a begging nation. Today, if you went to Masaka, even those for whom you pay fees, they still would come to you for pocket money. This country has been reduced to people who just live on nothing but sachets of alcohol.
 
It is a begging nation; a food insecure nation; a nation where Ugandans have a lot of hopelessness because the agriculture that used to make the ordinary person useful no longer means anything to anybody in this country and instead, people are reduced to permanent beggars. Therefore, when they see you legislators in the countryside, they are saying, Can I have some Shs 100?
 
This rice growing to be in the Ministry of Agriculture is the most sensible thing to do. We must take the Office of the Vice President as a very serious office with its constitutional mandate and responsibilities instead of trying to displace responsibility to any portfolio given to appease people on regional basis. I thank you.
 
4.39
MR ERASMUS MAGULUMAALI (Independent, Kooki County, Rakai): I thank you, Mr Speaker. I thank the mover of the motion and I am glad about the attention and the heat the debate has generated. Let me from the start also thank the Vice-President for having traversed this country to promote upland rice.
 
But I would have loved to amend the motion, if I were given permission, to add that the Vice-President has not only advocated for the growing of upland rice because I have got a living example; he visited my constituency, Kooki, in Rakai District and talked about a variety of projects: goat keeping, bee keeping, mango production, matooke production and even production for export.
 
But again let me be honest  I am very African, we give thanks where it is due. The Vice-President has gone out to meet the lowliest placed people in the countryside encouraging them to indulge in income generating projects, urging people to send their children to school and so many other things. I do not know who has not seen the Vice-President in his/her constituency.
 
It is that very special effort; a person of that stature going out there to the grassroots people urging them to grow food to fight food insecurity, talking about income generating projects to alleviate poverty - I think we need to thank the Vice President for that effort.
 
In view of the events, I would not like to limit myself to the Vice-President only because for upland rice, you can only grow it when you have water. I also want to thank the Minister of Water for having tried to see that water is provided all over the country.
 
But at the same time, the Minister of State for Micro-Finance just recently launched a project whereby the Micro-Finance Support Centre is going to finance people. Now, this is a collective effort if the Vice President is going out, if the Minister of Agriculture is going out - but each of us here is a power centre. Wherever you are, whatever you happen to do, you should mobilise the people around you to do everything possible to come out of poverty. If the Vice-President is doing that, I think it is incumbent upon us to thank him for having carried out this noble cause.
 
4.44
MRS MARGARET BABA DIRI (NRM, Woman Representative, Koboko): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I would like to thank the honourable member who has moved the motion to thank our Vice-President, His Excellency, Gilbert Bukenya. The Vice-President deserves to be given praise and thanks for what he has done as regards the popularisation of upland rice growing.
 
I would like to inform this House that the Vice-President actually has a hobby of farming. By the fact that he has a hobby of farming does not negate his work of being a Vice President. He started this work in his own farm, he found that it has worked, then he expanded it to his constituency, he found that it has worked, people have benefited. That is why when he had to popularise it to other districts of Uganda and also to all other parts of Uganda in future- I think this is one thing all Members of Parliament should emulate. We should be able to do something which is recognised, which is useful to all the citizens, to improve our food security and our economic status.
 
The Vice-President is one person who has given his time, his energy and his resources to ensure that people of Uganda improve their economic status through production of upland rice; and indeed he will move to other districts if he has not been there. And I commend the Vice-President for really looking at districts, which are very rural and very poor to go to them first.
 
I would like to give one example of Koboko, which is one of the rural poor districts and also Karamoja. Karamoja which has never been growing rice, today we can see big plantations of rice, which was considered as delicacy, eaten only on Christmas and big occasions, today it is eaten every day at our table. So, this is the work of the Vice-President, which actually we must commend him for.
 
Mr Speaker, rice is a very important crop in that it fetches a lot of money. Those who have engaged and followed his advice definitely, they have realised money and they are going on to produce. So we need to encourage him to continue. I want to say once more that by the fact that he is a Vice-President does not stop him from sharing what he has learnt and what succeeded.
 
If I come back to Koboko, Koboko is one of the districts that have benefited from rice growing, he went there twice, he moved in all the sub counties in Koboko district, which no Minister of Agriculture has done -(Applause)- he has talked about agriculture, he has talked about rice growing.
 
So if somebody has done something like that, why not praise him and thank him? Now because of his popularisation of rice growing, our people of Koboko are now growing rice. Through NAADS we have managed to get rice hurler which is now hurling our rice and we have plenty of rice which we are now able to eat and also export to Sudan and Congo. That is the work of the Vice President. So we thank you for that.
 
On that note, I would like to request the Ministry of Agriculture through NAADS to support the growing of rice in two ways. One, we need a mechanised farming. We have been given three walking tractors. Surely, the whole Koboko District, we have three walking tractors. What can they do? And with the cost of fuel, we cannot now use it. We cannot farm much. So we need a running tractor, not walking tractors. So that is what the people of Koboko are demanding. I am sure even the other parts of Uganda.
 
Then we also need better rice hullers. Most of the rice hurlers we have are those which cannot sort out stones from rice, broken rice from rice which is not broken, as a result when the rice is served, you bite nothing but stones. So we need those hurling machines which separate clean rice so that when we export our rice, it is becomes the best Uganda rice. That is the request I am demanding for the people of Koboko. I would like to thank the Vice-President for the wonderful job he is doing. God should bless you and you continue to work.
 
In addition, I like his simplicity. (Laughter) When he was in Koboko, he was able to greet everybody; he was the person of the people. That is what I like about him. Please, continue. Thank you.
 
4.51
MR STEPHEN KASAIJA (NRM, Burahya County, Kabarole): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I stand to thank the mover of the motion and I have no problem in supporting it. The growing of upland rice is a noble thing in this country. However, there are a few things that have come to my mind as the motion was raised.
 
One, we are talking about the Vice-President. Fine, he has done a commendable job, but the Ministry of Agriculture is not featuring anywhere. This means that there is something fundamentally wrong with the ministry because the ministry should have taken lead but now we are looking at the individual.
 
MAJ. (RTD) RWAMIRAMA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I want to inform the Member on the Floor that there is nothing wrong or fundamental wrong with the Ministry of Agriculture. What is wrong is with the motion? While he has promoted agriculture, we have actually done the work through NAADS, our extension services and provision of the technical and also seed.
 
THE SPEAKER: Hon. Member, the gist of this motion is the Uganda for Upland Rice Initiative. Who started it? It is the initiative for which we are thanking the Vice-President. It could be that the Ministry of Agriculture is also doing the other thing, but the initiative is the cornerstone of this motion, in my view.
 
MR KASAIJA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I agree with you, but then really when you look at it, the way the motion had been moved, I would really agree with the minister that there is something fundamentally wrong with the motion. Because we should not look at this country through individuals; we should stand to thank the government because there is a department, and the hon. minister is doing very commendable work. So it means we are not building institutions, but we are building individuals.
 
There are other previous ministers and Vice-Presidents, for instance, late hon. Babiha, did very commendable work in this country, but he was not seen in isolation from his government of that time.
 
So what I am discouraging is looking at individuals. We would stand and say, His Excellency the President of this country has really done a lot of work, but should we all the time be thanking individuals? Let us look at institutions, look at their strength, look at the weaknesses and then we give credit.
 
If we move like this, then it would take us forever because we will go on thanking everybody, instead of looking (Interjections)- protect me, Mr Speaker. Instead of looking at the problems in the ministry, I know the ministry has a lot of problems because I sit on the Committee on Agriculture, the minister will agree with me. But here we have wasted a whole afternoon looking at an individual.
 
As a Member of Parliament, I have no problem with the Vice-President; I have no problem with the motion but I have a problem with looking at individuals, and I would move and say, motions of this kind really should not again appear on the Floor of Parliament if Members agree. But for today, hon. Obua, I am supporting you. Thank you.
 
4.55
MR SIMON OYET (FDC, Nwoya County, Gulu): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I rise to support the motion. Maybe we needed to start by clarifying something. What do we lose by thanking His Excellency the Vice-President for this initiative? This is a very good initiative. It is pro-poor; it is for the rural poor who are actually the beneficiaries and the growers of the upland rice.
 
If we are to take things politically, I would be one of the persons to get up and actually attack His Excellency the Vice-President because when he came to Amoro, he left all of us behind and he spent four hours in the bush, trying to survey the land and see whether they can benefit or not. But because this project will benefit the farmers, I rise up to support the motion. (Applause)  
 
Nwoya County alone last year produced over 24 metric tons of rice, even when we were still getting from IDP camps to our homes. Now the question is: how do we make this initiative a real initiative? How do we move from mobilising the community to the actual production of rice? That is where we should really be focusing.
 
Mr Speaker -(Interruption)
 
MR OKOT OGONG: I want to inform the hon. Oyet that when I was growing up, Acholi used to be the basket of upland rice. That was the time when I was growing up, and that time the Vice-President was not there.
 
MR OYET: Thank you, hon. Okot Ogong, for your information. I want to inform you that my mother was married with the money from upland rice. But as national leaders, we do not need to focus on Acholi; we need to look at the country at large. (Applause)  
 
I have been to Western Uganda where rice is obtained from the supermarket. I have been to Karamoja where rice is obtained from the supermarket and we need a way from that kind of development -(Interruption)
 
MS NAMAYANJA: I thank you, hon. Member for giving way. I would also wish to give information that actually when I was growing up, there was no rice in Semuto and Kapeka sub-counties in Nakaseke. But as I talk, Semuto sub-county and Kapeka sub-county are the leading growers of upland rice and the level of economic activity in Nakaseke is different in those two sub-counties from elsewhere in the district.
 
MR OYET: Thank you for that information. Mr Speaker, the question which we need to address is whether this initiative is being linked to any other presidential initiatives.
 
In December last year we went to Western Uganda with the Committee on Finance to see the presidential initiative on bananas and industrial development, where Shs 11 billion was given to put up a factory for matooke.
 
In the spirit of promoting upland productions, we wish government could give such equal attention to such initiatives and put up a factory that will help our people; the farmers, to export the rice because what we can produce is more than what we can consume. What we are lacking are the export mechanisms and we really need to look at mechanising the upland rice productions and that is what we should really be focusing on.
 
MAJ. (RTD) RWAMIRAMA: Thank you, Mr Speaker and the member for giving way. I want to inform the Member holding the Floor that actually the Ministry of Agriculture has a task force under the Commission of Agriculture Production and Marketing that is specifically dealing with rice.
 
MR OYET: Thank you for that information. It is unfortunate you are informing the House today. We have never seen this task force coming to Amoro, going to Karamoja to mobilise the farmers on rice productions, which shows that there is some problem within the ministry and it is high time you woke up and put the task force to do their work.
 
Finally I want to say that we really need to appreciate the initiator for the good ideas. Not many people can come out with good ideas but the few who can sacrifice and even commit themselves to push the idea and make it benefit the nation must always be acknowledged and appreciated.
 
We know very well that His Excellency the Vice-President has a constituency to look after. He has obligations to represent his people and he has the obligation to represent the nation as the Vice-President (Interjection)- if it is good information I will take it. (Laughter)
 
MR NANDALA-MAFABI: I always give you friendly information. The information I want to give you is that you are right. Everybody who contributes something good should be acknowledged. And if you want to think that when anybody does something good we should bring a motion here, then this is where the problem is. I will give you an example. For the past 10 years Bugisu Cooperative Union has been a disaster. I went there and I pulled it out (Laughter)- so should you bring a motion here for that? These are some of the things we want to bring up (Laughter)
 
THE SPEAKER: Hon. Nandala, how do you know whether I do not have a proposed motion to thank you? (Laughter)
 
MR LOKERIS: Mr Speaker, I appreciate what my immediate neighbour, hon. Nandala-Mafabi has said. First of all, the government mobilised the money to revamp Bugisu Cooperative Union. When honourable heard the money was there, he went and stood and he became the chairperson. We thank him for being chairperson when he heard the money was already available. Thank you.
 
THE SPEAKER: But if I may really ask, hon. Member, what is contentious in this motion? What is contentious? That there is no initiative, that he should not be congratulated, what is the contention?
 
MR OYET: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. You see when we talk of recognition and acknowledgment of peoples contribution, we definitely do appreciate and also acknowledge your contribution in Bugisu sub-region.
 
In a similar way I want to acknowledge and appreciate the good initiative of the Minister for Primary Education for abandoning cattle rustling and now focusing on upland rice production; and we must really continue acknowledging and recognising such good initiatives and now they are living in good harmony with their neighbours.
 
As I conclude, Mr Speaker, I want to urge my colleagues to congratulate His Excellency the Vice President and to urge government to put more attention on this initiative because it will help the rural poor. I thank you.
 
MR ODONGA OTTO: Motion.
 
THE SPEAKER: Motion? What is the motion?
 
5.05
MR ODONGA OTTO (FDC, Aruu County, Pader): Mr Speaker, I rise to move a motion that since we all seem to be grateful including yourself that the question be put on this subject and we proceed. I beg to move.
 
THE SPEAKER: I put the question to the motion.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
CONSIDERATION AND ADOPTION OF THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE REPORT ON THE AUDITOR GENERAL FOR THE YEAR ENDED 30TH JUNE 2002
 
5.06
THE CHAIRPERSON, PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE (Mr Nandala-Mafabi): Mr Speaker, as you recall this report was presented to the House on 8 April 2008 and it is now due for debate.
 
THE SPEAKER: So the report was presented for debate?
 
MR NANDALA-MAFABI: Yes, Mr Speaker, this is the report. It was presented.
 
THE SPEAKER: Hon. Members, as you have heard from the chairman of the committee, this report was presented but it was not debated. Of course, it was saved on prorogation. Now the debate is open. I do not know whether you are in position [Hon. Members: No]. So if you were not in position, it would mean that next week you are put on notice and that you go and check your papers so that on Tuesday or Wednesday we are able to debate it. I think that is what we can do.
 
PRESENTATION, CONSIDERATION AND ADOPTION OF THE REPORT ON THE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, ANIMAL INDUSTRY AND FISHERIES ON ASSESSMENT OF NARO ACTIVITIES IN THE CONTEXT FOR THE MODERNISATION OF AGRICULTURE
 
THE SPEAKER: Where is the chairperson? Well, then that means that again this will come next week. You are put on notice. Did you get the copies?
 
HON. MEMBERS: No.
 
THE SPEAKER: They were not tabled yet?
 
HON. MEMBERS: No.
 
THE SPEAKER: I think the chairperson should be alerted so that this can be considered next week. Well, I think what has happened to item No.6 is going to happen to item No.8. Did you present it, hon. Mafabi?
 
MR NANDALA-MAFABI: Yes, Mr Speaker, this one was presented on 1 April 2008 and you recall you decided to make a sub-committee and we do not know what has happened. But as far as Committee on Public Accounts is concerned, we are done with our part. This is about Butabika land.
 
THE SPEAKER: No, no, I note it was presented. I can tell you that this was in respect of land in Butabika. I think it was specifically dealing with that issue. But the committee had recommended cancellation of titles and we wanted the legal committee to look into it and establish whether it is possible for the committee to order the cancellation of land titles.
 
I can tell you my position is that in such a case the land titles can only be cancelled on orders of the judiciary. But I do not know why the committee has not come up with a report. The chairman I think is hon. Peter Nyombi, he is not here. Let that particular committee come with a report. But essentially that is the issue.
 
A committee of Parliament cannot order a cancellation of an issued title because there are grounds under which titles can be cancelled and this is the work of the court. That is the law.
 
MR NANDALA-MAFABI: Mr Speaker and hon. Members, there were a number of recommendations as far as that report was concerned. One of the items was Butabika land; there was more public land in Bugolobi; and in other areas. So what you are looking at is just a small component. It would have been ideal that the House debates this report and takes a decision on this issue.
 
THE SPEAKER: Yes, however, although we are Members of Parliament, we should know that there are limits to what we can do and what we cannot. Our powers  you cannot say the sky is the limit; we must operate within our limits. Unless we realise that, I foresee a problem to the extent that one day we might pass a judgement on an election petition because the courts have delayed.
 
So it is my duty to guide you where I think we are stretching beyond our mandate; that is all. But if you think we do everything, right. Otherwise, you should bear in mind that history will not judge us right. The rule of law means exactly that.
 
Anyway, let us wait for hon. Nyombi; we will proceed with the report again next week. That means we have come to the end of business as listed today.
 
But as I indicated - when we were welcoming the shadow ministers who were ushered in today, I asked them the venue. I am happy to report to you that the Chief Whip of the Opposition has told me that at the end of business today, please go to the venue, which is in  yes, you are invited. With that we come to the end of todays business. The House is adjourned until Tuesday at 2.00 p.m.
 
(The House rose at 5.11 p.m. and adjourned until Tuesday, 10 February 2009 at 2.00 p.m.)



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