By Emma Mugejjera
RT. HON. REBECCA Alitwala Kadaga, Speaker Parliament of Uganda who doubles as Kamuli district woman MP was hosted on Rubaga Miracle Centre owned Channel 44 tv by senior talkshow host Moses Kanala from where she minced no words about the untouchable corrupt government officials.
Speaker Kadaga said Parliament is enacting laws but there are un touchable who don’t want to know about laws and have continued breaking them.
“Our role as Parliament is to make laws. We don’t enforce them. As Parliament, we don’t have our police. Enforcing and implementation is not our duty. Yes we have made many laws but the un touchable are breaking them. So what do you want us to do?” Asked Kadaga.
This was after, Mr. Moses Kanala put it to the Speaker that she sent a team of Members of parliament to investigate illegal sand mining in Lwera wetlands located along Kampala Masaka road and those involved, were stopped by Parliament but they have continued mining.
“Rt. Hon. Speaker, some of our people think your Parliament is just a barking dog. And you cant even bite mere sand miners?” Asked Kanala.
In her response, Kadaga said, “As for me, I use my pen and brain. I lead parliament to make proposals on such matters. If those with powers to implement choose to fold their hands, why do you put the blame on parliament? We have perfectly done our job and everything is captured in the Hansard. History will judge us right.”
Kadaga said, those who think they are above the law are the ones underlooking parliament. She wondered why corrupt big fish are not brought to books showing fears on government – will to end corruption in Uganda.
KADAGA DODGES MBABAZI’S POMA QUESTION
On some laws enacted by Parliament, Mr. Kanala told Speaker Kadaga that they are made in bad spirit.
He cited some like former Premier Amama Mbabazi’s Public Order Management Act (POMA) which he said, it intended to block opposition meetings.
“Look at some laws made by your Parliament. Little did Rt. Hon. Amama Mbabazi know that at a certain time he will fall a victim to his own law. What does Mbabazi think now?” Kanala asked.
“Go and ask Mbabazi.” Kadaga replied. “Where will I find him?” He shot back. “Isn’t he in Kampala? Go look for him.” Kadaga said.
MAIDS IN MIDDLE-EAST
On Uganda maids who go to Middle East for jobs but end up being tortured and some killed, Speaker Kadaga said parliament is looking at putting aside funds to help Uganda’s Embassy in the Arab Countries work on Ugandans who are tortured and want to return back home.
She said, as Parliament, they are working tirelessly to make sure, there are genuine agreements between the two countries so that, Ugandans who go for jobs it is clear on how much they will be paid, what are the working conditions and when are they returning.
Smartly dressed in Ekitengi, Kadaga talked about members of Parliamentary Equal Opportunities who visited these Arab countries to see the conditions under which Ugandans are working.
“I also visited Abu Dhabi and directed the ministry of Gender and Labour to monitor companies taking our children abroad to see whether they are genuine.” Said Kadaga.
She hailed a proposal of government to fully get involved in taking Ugandans to Arab countries, pay for all requirements because some youth don’t have the required sums of money required.
WE WILL NOT REDUCE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION FEE – KADAGA
The Speaker who was received amidst tight security was asked to comment on Uganda Shillings 20 Million presidential nomination fee which is likely to block many youth of 18 years to contest for president in 2021.“The amended article 102 (b), years for one to stand for president was cut to 18yrs. Tell us Speaker, where do you expect a youth at that age to get that nomination fee from? Why did you hike the nomination fee for presidents from 8M to 20M and for MP from Shs 200,000 to 3M? Isn’t this discrimination?” Asked Kanala.
In her response, Kadaga said the nomination fee for MPs needs to be reduced, “But one to stand for president of 40M Ugandans, you can’t fail to raise 20M. When these presidential and parliament reforms were passed towards 2016 elections, I wasn’t around. I wouldn’t have allowed such MPs’ nomination fee. We are going to look into it.”
On a question of democracy, Kadaga said, “We have democracy that every after 5 years our country goes for a General election. You stand and either win or lose. People decide on who to lead them. If that is not democracy, tell me, what is that?”
Asked about how relevant is the East African community (EAC) to Uganda, Rt. Hon. Kadaga said it helps so much to boost the economy.
She however talked about reports of Tanzania and Rwanda blocking the sale of Uganda Sugar to their countries and Burundi in 2018, blocking the entry of Uganda Scouts for a camp in this country.
Asked about why Parliament didn’t buy the idea of East African Passport, Kadaga said they were not fully convinced about how this idea came up, which agreements were made prior this move and who brought the project.
“So we decided not to buy into it and me am still using my Uganda passport.” She said.
Kanala put it to the Speaker that the Parliamentary Appointments committee which she heads that is mandated to vetting those appointed by the president, is fond of clearing many without requirements like academic qualifications and that is why, it is done behind the camera.
Kadaga however denied this allegation, saying, “On working behind cameras, I personally asked committee members to allow journalists in but they refused.
About clearing those without qualification, it is not true. In the last cabinet appointment, we threw away five names of would be ministers.”
When Mr. Kanala put it to Speaker Kadaga that Ugandans were disappointed by the tabled MP Katuntu Bank of Uganda probe committee report because their expectations were not met, she said, “As Parliament, we did our work of investigating and will come with proposals. Then give everything to those who are supposed to implement. After six month, we expect them to give us feed back about our recommendations.” Said Kadaga who repeatedly said, wasn’t in position to debate COSASE report on tv.
She talked about the natural death of Kasese report when UPDF army attacked Omusinga’s palace leaving many dead.
“If you tell someone to work on that report and that person doesn’t come back to you, what do you do?”Asked Kadaga. Kanala put it to Madam Speaker that, MPs who were working on Kasese report were intimidated and chose to move out of the deal.
Callers saluted Kadaga for her efforts in Kamuli to extend clean water, solar power, tarmac roads and other developments beneficial to the masses.
Pr. Robert Kayanja, after the show, thanked Kadaga for serving Ugandans and gave her a book as a gift.