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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 A System Error Occur. Please reload page