The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Jacob L’Okori Oulanyah, has urged Members of Parliament to base their legislative, appropriation and oversight roles on research, which he says is the only way policies can be correctly formulated and approved for the better governance of Uganda.
The Deputy Speaker made these remarks while officiating at the launch of Parliament’s Research Week organised under the theme “Using evidence to strengthen Parliament,” which will include a four day series of activities organised by the Research Directorate of Parliament.
“Nothing happens in this country unless it has passed through Parliament; this requires that the positions we take are properly researched and are the right ones,” said Rt. Hon. Ouanyah.
He added that debating on the basis of instinct rather than research can only be done by those that are not part of the planet.
“If you are formulating policy, you ask questions like; what is the problem? Is the solution the right one? Were there alternatives? That is what Parliament should ask, rather than basing on instincts which even animals have abandoned,” said Oulanyah. He implored the Research Department to be professional and offer candid advice whenever sought by Members of Parliament.
In a speech read for her by the Deputy Clerk Legislative Services, Mr. Paul Wabwire, the Clerk to Parliament, Ms. Jane Kibirige said once legislators effectively use the Research Directorate, the quality of legislation will greatly improve.
“Once research and evidence drive the order of Parliamentary business, then the quality of representation will improve tremendously,” said the Clerk, adding that research and evidence are critical in facilitating Parliamentary debates.
Earlier at a news conference, Hon. Cecilia Ogwal (Dokolo), a Parliamentary Commissioner, said the Research Week is significant and will be used to further appraise new legislators on the workings of Parliament.
“This is a very special event for us and due to the dynamic nature of the 10th Parliament characterised by over 83% of new comers, this opportunity will be used to expose new legislators to the workings of Parliament,” Ogwal said.
Parliament’s Research Director, Mr. John Bagonza Mugabi, said the four day series of activities will include exhibitions by 25 different firms, institutions and also include topical discussions on Bio-safety and Biotechnology, the Bailout of bankrupt companies by government and the use of evidence in policy making. It will be closed on Friday August 26, 2016 at Hotel Africana with a symposium on using research in policy making.
The launch ceremony was graced by the Chief Government Whip, Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu (Kiboga); the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Hon. Elioda Tumwesigye (Sheema County North); Parliamentary Commissioners Hon. Peter Ogwang (Usuk County) and Hon. Cecilia Ogwal (Dokolo) among others.