History of Parliament

 
First elements of a legislative organ can be traced as far back as the turn of the century, when in 1888 the then Imperial British East African Company started some kind of administration in Uganda. Although this company was a private one, its charter authorized it, inter alia, 'To undertake the duties of general administration, imposition and collection of taxes and administration of justice in areas under its control'.

There is no doubt that in doing this the company acted as the agent and for the benefit of the British Crown. Hence the first traces of legislation were manifested in the various pieces of regulations passed by the company.

The year 1902 marked a very important landmark. In that year an Order-in-Council was passed; and under this ordinance new provisions for the administration of Uganda were made. It also designated an official responsible for administration; the Commissioner. Article 12 of the ordinance empowered the Commissioner to make ordinances for the administration of justice, raising of revenues and generally for the peace, order and good government of all persons in Uganda.

In effect, the 1902 ordinance established a system of legislation through the promulgation of personal decrees by the representatives of the British Crown, namely the Commissioner. This system continued up to 1920.

In 1920 another order in council was promulgated. It made provision for yet another important landmark in the legislative development of Uganda. A legislative body was created and it designated its own membership. The body was to be called the Legislative Council, otherwise known as the LEGCO. At the time all its members, seven in number, were to be Europeans. These were; The Governor, Sir Robert Coryndon who was the President of the Council. The other official members were the Chief Secretary, Mr. E.B. Jarvis; the Acting Attorney General, Mr. A.B. Howes; the Treasurer, Mr. A.E. Boory; and the Principal Medical Officer, Dr. C.A. Wiggins. There were also two unofficial. Mr. E.H. Levis and Mr. W.S. Garnhem (who was deputizing for Dr. H.H. Hunter). The Council first met on 23rd March, 1921, in the High Court Chambers, then at Entebbe. Later meetings were held in the Library of the Chief Secretary's Office. Henceforth personal decrees ceased and laws were made by the Governor, assisted by the Council; which consisted of officials.

Composition of Parliament

 
Article 78(1) of the 1995 Constitution prescribes the composition of Parliament as follows:

  1. Parliament shall consist of :

    1. Members directly elected to represent constituencies;

    2. One woman representative for every district;

    3. Such numbers of representatives of the army, youth, workers, persons with disabilities and other groups as Parliament may determine; and

    4. The Vice-President and Ministers who, if not already elected Members of Parliament, shall be ex-officio members without the right to vote on any issue requiring a vote in Parliament.

  2. Upon the expiration of a period of ten years after the commencement of this Constitution and thereafter, every five years, Parliament shall review the representation under paragraph(s) (b) and (c) of clause (1) of this article for the purposes of retaining, increasing, or abolishing any such representation and any other matter incidental to it.

  3. The representatives referred to in paragraph (a) of clause (1) of this article shall be elected on the basis of universal adult suffrage and by secret ballot.

  4. Parliament shall, by law prescribe the procedure for elections of representatives referred to in paragraphs (b) and (c) of clause (1) of this article.


The 9th Parliament of Uganda comprises of:

238 Constituency Representatives

112 District Woman Representatives

10 Uganda People's Defence Forces Representatives

5 Representatives of the Youth

5 Representatives of Persons with Disabilities

5 Representatives of Workers

13 Ex-officio Members


Parliament is presided over by the Speaker, and in his absence, by the Deputy Speaker both of whom are elected by Members of Parliament from their number.

 

About Parliament

 

Parliamentary BuildingThe Parliament of Uganda derives its mandate and functions from the 1995 Constitution, the Laws of Uganda and its own Rules of Procedure.

The Constitution contains articles which provide for the establishment, composition and functions of the Parliament of Uganda and empowers Parliament "to make laws on any matter for the peace, order, development and good governance of Uganda", and "to protect the Constitution and promote democratic governance in Uganda".

The term of Parliament is five years from the date of its first sitting after a general election. The current Parliament (9th Parliament) started in May 2011 and ends in May 2016.

Functions of Parliament

 
The functions of the Parliament of Uganda are:

  1. To pass laws for the good governance of Uganda.

  2. To provide, by giving legislative sanctions taxation and acquisition of loans, the means of carrying out the work of Government.

  3. To scrutinise Government policy and administration through the following:

      1. pre-legislative scrutiny of bills referred to the Parliamentary committees by Parliament

      2. scrutinising of the various objects of expenditure and the sums to be spent on each

      3. assuring transparency and accountability in the application of public funds

      4. monitoring the implementation of Government programmes and projects

  4. To debate matters of topical interest usually highlighted in the President's State of the Nation address.

  5. To vet the appointment of persons nominated by the Presidentunder the Constitution or any other enactment.

Address

 

Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.

Plot 16-18 Parliament Avenue

P.O BOX 7178, Kampala, Uganda.

Tel: +(256) 377 000/150.

Fax: +(256) 414 346 826.