Due to bad roads, Ministry of Water and Environment fails to drill Boreholes

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    EnvironmentIn April, I remember I lobbied for some borehole water. Ministry of Water and Environment tried to go and drill boreholes but they could not access the villages because of the inaccessibility of the road. The road funds that we receive for the districts are never enough to construct bridges to access the community.

    We have streams that come from the mountains and when the rivers flood, they cut off ten villages from social services like schools and health centres. Whenever people try to cross these rivers during the rainy season, they drown and even vehicles get stuck in there.

    I pray that the Uganda National Roads Authority helps us construct bridges in Kaiku and Kokuwaum parishes, to enable the community access social services and also save the lives of the people in this community, especially those in Nakapiripirit District who suffer due to heavy rains.

    Sometimes you may not notice the water coming; it may be raining on the other side of the mountain, so the poor person tries to cross – This woman who lost a child was actually coming from a health facility where she had taken the two children who were not feeling well. Unfortunately, she cannot find her four-year-old child. They do not have access to clean water; they drink water from these streams.

    The Ministry of Water and Environment should help us and give them protected wells in the meantime. Otherwise, the issue of the bridges for these two parishes is very urgent.


    Disclaimer: The electronic version of the Official Report of the proceedings of Parliament (Hansard) is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Office of the Clerk to Parliament.

    Wednesday, 4 September 2019

    Parliament met at 2.01 p.m. in Parliament House, Kampala.

    PRAYERS

    (The Deputy Speaker, Mr Jacob Oulanyah, in the Chair.)

    The House was called to order.

    COMMUNICATION FROM THE CHAIR

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, I welcome you to this sitting. There is not much communication today except that we have work to do, so let us do it. There are Members who had requested for the Floor; let them raise their issues and we see how to proceed.

    2.03

    MS SANTA ALUM (UPC, Woman Representative, Oyam): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I rise on a matter of national importance concerning Atipe Health Centre III in Oyam District. Atipe was upgraded from a health centre II to a health centre III and is serving a population of more than 37,000 people. It is the only health centre in Achaba Sub County.

    Mr Speaker, ever since this facility was upgraded to a health centre III, it has only been so on paper; its new status has not been followed with supplies of essential drugs. The Primary Health Care (PHC) funds for medicines and PHC non-wage funds for the health centre have remained at the level of a health centre II. A letter was written by the district to the Ministry of Health concerning the problem but there has been no response up to now.

    What this means is that when some of the essential drugs such as the anti-malarials, anti-Tuberculosis (TB) and Antiretrovirals (ARVs) are delivered, they get finished within one week and the officer in charge of the health centre has to run around to borrow facilities. You know the problem that comes with borrowing.

    On a more serious note, some of the mothers who come with sick children are always turned away. We are losing many children as a result of malaria not being treated because some of these mothers cannot afford to buy medicine from the private facilities. What this also means is that we have many patients on anti-TB drugs and ARVs and when they skip their drugs, it means a lot in terms of resistance. This facility was –

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Can we deal with the urgent matter now.

    MS ALUM: Mr Speaker, I request that the minister in charge of finance comes to this House and explains why this is happening and tells us when this problem will be corrected. Thank you.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: The man of the purse is here. (Laughter)

    2.06

    THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mr Matia Kasaija): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I also thank the Member for raising that concern. I request that, first of all, we handle this matter together with the Minister of Health. Therefore, I ask for leave of about four days. Next week we shall come here. I wish she could give me those details in writing so that I can come up with a proper answer, together with my colleague, next week.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, honourable minister. We do not want an answer in this Parliament; we want the answer in that health centre. We want action there to save those people’s lives. The children are dying. Therefore, you do not have to come back here; go there. Make the money available to the Ministry of Health and they sort out the problem. The honourable member will come later and say, “We are okay now”.

    MR KASAIJA: Thank you.

    2.07

    MR HERBERT KINOBERE (Independent, Kibuku County, Kibuku): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I rise on a matter of national importance.

    Mr Speaker, at Kibuku Health Centre IV, patients get prescriptions from the doctors but they return without medication as a result of lack of medicines in the facility. This is not because National Medical Stores (NMS) has not delivered medicines. However, it follows an incident where the District Health Officer (DHO) of Kibuku was arrested on 27th of April as he was conniving with officers from IntraHealth to steal medicines from the district. These medicines were got on a YY bus in Mukono.

    This DHO was arrested by the State House’s drugs monitoring unit and was taken to Mbale but released after two days. As I speak now, there is no serious investigation going on. He has already reported back for duty. The medicines have not been seen and these were medicines worth millions of shillings.

    We had expected that after these medicines were recovered, photos would be taken and the medicines would be handed back to the facility because they were identified as having come from Kibuku Health Centre IV. However, as I speak now, we cannot tell where the medicines are and we are not even sure about their expiry date and storage.

    Mr Speaker, my prayer is that the Minister of Health comes in and helps in the recovery of the medicines, so that the medicines are taken back to the facility and consumed by the people they were intended to benefit.

    Secondly, the DHO who was arrested for being part of the theft of these medicines should vacate office to avoid interfering with investigations. As I speak now, it is only the storekeeper who is being taken for prosecution. The DHO, who signed and stamped on the form, releasing the medicines, is working. I submit, Mr Speaker.

    2.10

    THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mr Matia Kasaija): Mr Speaker, I pray that I handle this together with the previous question.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: This is a standard general question. Can a person who is being prosecuted in court hold office?

    MR KASAIJA: That is a disciplinary question, Sir. (Laughter) We will get the person responsible to take action.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Okay, thank you. Honourable minister, please, guide us. Can you be charged in court and you continue holding your office without having been acquitted?

    2.10

    THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR INTERNAL AFFAIRS (Mr Obiga Kania): Well, I do not know about the investigations regarding that matter and, therefore, it is difficult to tell whether the investigations exonerated the District Health Officer and implicated the other officer. However, the best I can do is to find out the details of that case and see why somebody who is implicated and being prosecuted is continuing in office.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Nobody would like to be on record on this matter, but it is okay; let us proceed.

    MR OBIGA: Thank you.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Let us follow up and find out what is happening.

    2.12

    MS ESTHER ANYAKUN (NRM, Woman Representative, Nakapiripirit): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I rise on an issue of national importance.

    Yesterday, at around 5.00 p.m., a river flooded and washed away a family of three in Kaiku Parish, Kaawach Subcounty. A woman tried her best to save her life and the lives of her children, but her four-year-old child got lost. Up to today, they are still searching for the body.

    We have streams that come from the mountains and when the rivers flood, they cut off ten villages from social services like schools and health centres. Whenever people try to cross these rivers during the rainy season, they drown and even vehicles get stuck in there.

    In April, I remember I lobbied for some borehole water. Ministry of Water and Environment tried to go and drill boreholes but they could not access the villages because of the inaccessibility of the road. The road funds that we receive for the districts are never enough to construct bridges to access the community.

    I pray that the Uganda National Roads Authority helps us construct bridges in Kaiku and Kokuwaum parishes, to enable the community access social services and also save the lives of the people in this community, especially those in Nakapiripirit District who suffer due to heavy rains.

    Sometimes you may not notice the water coming; it may be raining on the other side of the mountain, so the poor person tries to cross – This woman who lost a child was actually coming from a health facility where she had taken the two children who were not feeling well. Unfortunately, she cannot find her four-year-old child. They do not have access to clean water; they drink water from these streams.

    The Ministry of Water and Environment should help us and give them protected wells in the meantime. Otherwise, the issue of the bridges for these two parishes is very urgent. Thank you very much.

    2.14

    THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mr Matia Kasaija): First of all, our deepest sincere condolences to the families of those Ugandans who may have perished in those floods. The rains are hard and the job is quite big. However, we shall do everything possible to ensure that what she said is not repeated.

    The minister in charge of disaster preparedness is here; maybe he can also add another word.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Before the minister in charge of disaster preparedness comes in, since you are leading the Government today, would you like to call the Minister of Works and Transport and the Minister of Health so that one of them can come and respond to these urgent matters today?

    MR KASAIJA: Most obliged.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you. Would you like to say something, hon. Ecweru?

    2.15

    THE MINISTER OF STATE, OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER (RELIEF, DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND REFUGEES) (Mr Musa Ecweru): Mr Speaker, my senior has already committed to calling the Minister of Works and Transport and the Minister of Health. I will compare notes with the honourable member who has raised the matter so that we can look at the humanitarian impact of the disaster and respond accordingly.

    2.16

    MS BETTY BAMUKWATSA (FDC, Woman Representative, Rukungiri): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I rise on a matter of national importance concerning the issue of security and threats to Rukungiri public servants.

    Yesterday was not a good morning in Rukungiri District. A letter was dropped at the office of the State-Attorney Rukungiri District, with a heading “Beware”. The letter had live ammunition wrapped in a white polythene bag to affirm the threats. The letter and ammunition have been handed over to the police for better management.

    However, the officers being warned to get off land matters within Rukungiri District are in great fear. They articulated how they knew these officers’ families, their offices, vehicles, and all that they do daily. The public servants are living under fear and are on the verge of abandoning their work as we speak now because of such threats.

    The threatened public officers directly mentioned in the letters are the Chief Magistrate, Rukungiri Magistrates’ Court; the State-Attorney, Mr Muhereza Mark; Counsel Bwagi Rullonga; Counsel Mark Mwesigye; and the District Police Commander, Rukungiri who are all residents of Rukungiri District.

    My prayer is that the Ministry for Security and the Ministry of Internal Affairs put in place measures to ensure that the aforementioned officers and others not mentioned continue to serve the community without any form of fear and intimidation.

    Secondly, I pray that Rukungiri Police Station is boosted with emergency facilitation to be able to keep watch because of these threats. Thank you, Mr Speaker.

    2.19

    THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR INTERNAL AFFAIRS (Mr Obiga Kania): Thank you, Mr Speaker. That matter is already known to the police and they are doing all the investigations. We have also provided adequate security to those officers. I would like to assure them to go around doing their business without any fear or favour.

    Such criminal elements are always in society and they may scare people. However, it is our duty, as police and security people, to secure them. So, appropriate measures have been taken and the officers concerned have been properly secured. Thank you.

    2.19

    MR HENRY MAKUMBI (NRM, Mityana County South, Mityana): Thank you, Mr Speaker. Before I receive a response from the Minister of Health, as you ordered early this week, on our health centre IV, which does not have an operational theatre, I would like to report that a terrible disease has attacked my constituency. Bukooba Village in Magala Subcounty, Mityana South, has been attacked by a terrible unknown disease, which has so far killed about 10 babies.

    The babies die at birth and their bodies instantly turn yellowish – (Interjection) – I wonder why hon. Sebaggala is very concerned about that. We have tried to approach the District Health Officer in vain. We have not received any assistance. The village is in panic. I was there yesterday and we had a village meeting and I could not provide solutions at that time. I promised I would bring this matter to Parliament so that we can get a solution especially from the Ministry of Health.

    To make matters worse, as I was there, two ladies came up and presented to me another problem. I mostly have health centres II; I do not have any health centre III. However, in most of those health centres, there is no vaccine for measles. When I tried to ask from our referral hospital, Mityana Hospital, they also told me they are out of stock.

    This is a very important situation, which must be addressed instantly by the ministry. We want to know why there is shortage of vaccines for measles. When I was in the lobby, I tried to discuss this with my colleagues and they also told me that they have the same problem. This means it is a countrywide problem that must be addressed centrally by the ministry.

    Prayers: I request the Ministry of Health to immediately come down to Bukooba in Magala Subcounty, Mityana South and save my people. Secondly, Mr Speaker, the ministry should respect your recent order. Up to now, nobody has come down to Ssekanyonyi Health Centre IV. Also, let the minister work on the issue of the vaccines for measles. Thank you.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you. Is there any response from the Government?

    2.22

    THE MINISTER OF STATE, OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER (RELIEF, DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND REFUGEES) (Mr Musa Ecweru): Mr Speaker, I would like to commit that I will draw the attention of my colleagues from the Ministry of Health to these issues immediately after this sitting.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, not after this sitting. Do it now.

    MR ECWERU: I will step out at some point and draw the attention of the Ministry of Health to these areas particularly on measles and this strange disease that is killing children, so that they can come and present a response here. I will do that immediately.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you.

    2.24

    MR FRANCIS MWIJUKYE (FDC, Buhweju County, Buhweju): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I stand to raise a very urgent matter of national importance.

    On Thursday last week, the police and the army, commanded by a one Jessica Keigomba, came to Buhweju and chased away small-scale miners, artisanal miners, individual miners and also residents from seven sub counties – Nyakishana, Bihanga, Engaju, Kajani-Kashenyi Town Council, Nsiika Town Council, Bitsya and Buhunga.

    They never consulted or talked to anybody, from the Local Council I (LCI) up to the LC V. They never got in touch with the District Police Commander (DPC) or the Members of Parliament. They are, however, moving around beating up people and also extorting money. If they arrested you, they would ask for Shs 500,000 so that you are released. They have no documents to say they were sent by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development or any other authority. As a result, the people of Buhweju are now living in fear. There is a lot of panic, anxiety and of course a lot of pain.

    Mr Speaker, we would like to know, as the people of Buhweju, whether the Minister of Internal Affairs knows about the deployment of this Superintendent of Police, Jessica Keigomba, and the person claiming to be her assistant called Isaac Kafureka.

    We also would like to know from the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development whether they issued the order that people be chased away. Where do the people go now? They cannot access their homes and some cannot access their gardens. They cannot even do business. Everything is at standstill. Thank you, Mr Speak.

    2.27

    THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR INTERNAL AFFAIRS (Mr Obiga Kania): As a minister, I am not aware but the honourable member has now informed me. I will immediately get in touch with the DPC and also the honourable member to get the details and find out what exactly is happening and why. Thank you.

    MS KAWOOYA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I did not want to come in on a point of order. However, the Minister of State for Internal Affairs stated that he is not aware of what the Member reported and the Member has not reported to him. I do not think that we are supposed to go through the minister.

    The Member has asked a question and the minister says he is not aware. However, the issue that my sister from Rukungiri raised is about the army and the police having joint operations. There is an issue of the police, which is under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and there is also an issue of security. Is the minister, therefore, aware of the two different institutions – one for internal affairs and the other one for security? Since he is not aware, is it in order for the Minister of Internal Affairs not to be aware of what is happening in his office?

    Is the Minister of Internal Affairs aware that all the Ssembabule staff are going to riot because one of the staff of Ssembabule, who is a head of department, has been arrested by security and he is being kept in the police cells, yet he was arrested by a different team? Is he aware?

    MS BEATRICE ANYWAR: Is it procedurally right for the honourable member, who rose on a point of order, to meander and take the point of order from the issue that was raised to the minister to something that has already been ruled on and even go into another issue in her constituency? Is she proceeding well?

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Our rules are very strict on relevance. (Laughter) If you rise on a point of order, be relevant. If you become irrelevant, you violate our rules and the point of order is sustainable against the honourable member for Ssembabule.

    However, on the issue of the point she raised about whether the minister is in order not to be aware – (Laughter) – I do not know. The minister said, “I am not aware but now that I have got the information, I am going to act on it and also use some information from the honourable member to form the basis of what I am going to do.” That is exactly what he said. So, he confirmed that he is not aware, and for someone not to be aware is only human. I do not know, but I have never been informed that hon. Obiga Kania has some supernatural powers to know everything in the world. Therefore, I make this ruling knowing that he is a human being. (Laughter)

    MR KAMUSIIME: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I see Members are raising very important issues that concern different sectors of Government. However, I am afraid that the Front Bench is not here to answer those issues. This means that probably tomorrow or another day, we have to wait for their responses and this means that we are killing Parliament time.

    We have over 80 ministers and each ministry has over two ministers –

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable member, please, let us use time properly. Hon. Obiga Kania has just answered two questions. I have just ordered that two ministers, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Works and Transport respectively, come and respond to those issues. Can we use the time properly?

    MR KAMUSIIME: That is the procedural issue I was raising. Thank you, Mr Speaker.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Let us proceed. Thank you.

    MOTION SEEKING LEAVE OF PARLIAMENT TO INTRODUCE A PRIVATE MEMBER’S BILL ENTITLED, “THE CONSTITUTION (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2019”

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, you will recall that we have had a fairly protracted discussion on this matter without actually dealing with it, since January. Let me put it on record that I received a phone call from the Attorney-General, who is in London doing arbitration, informing me that this matter is so important that they were required to be here. The Deputy Attorney-General is somewhere in Europe and they are both returning this week.

    Can I defer this matter to next week so that they are available to participate in the discussion of this motion? I told the Attorney-General that I should not be the one raising it. Let him brief one of his colleagues. He told me that he was going to brief hon. Adolf Mwesige to come and raise this matter. However, in the absence of hon. Adolf Mwesige, I do not know who is going to raise this matter.

    2.34

    THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mr Matia Kasaija): Thank you, Mr Speaker. The Attorney-General called me about half an hour ago, informing me, just as he informed you, that he is in London on some other national duty. His deputy is also in another part of Europe doing the same.

    He has asked me, and I am going to do that, to request you, Mr Speaker, that this matter be deferred until next week when both of them will be around to handle the issue. Thank you.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, this is a request – I will allow you to speak. However, this is now eight months. The first notice we received was on 26 January 2019 and the then presiding Speaker deferred the matter to the end of April, to allow the office of the Attorney-General to do the necessary things so that this motion would not be necessary to be presented.

    In May 2019, hon. Niwagaba came back to this Parliament and said, “April has ended and there is nothing; can you put me on the Order Paper?” We still said, “No; give the Government the benefit so that they can present this since there is a proposal and talks about a Constitution Review Commission.”

    Therefore, we tried to give the Government time again, until the reforms that were being sought were brought. These were electoral reform laws or Bills relating to the Presidential Elections Act, Parliamentary Elections Act and the Local Governments Act and the various elections laws that needed improvement in accordance with the ruling of the Supreme Court. That was 1 August 2019 when this matter came up and after the Attorney-General intervened with an elaborate objection, I again deferred the matter without debate and promised to give my ruling on the several issues that had been raised by the Attorney-General.

    I gave my ruling last week and placed the matter on the Order Paper, to the knowledge of both the Attorney-General and his deputy. They both know that these matters are important and they should be here but they are not. Therefore, after eight months, there is absolutely no basis whatsoever to entertain any further delay with this matter. (Applause) As we delay, the periods get shorter and you might not be able to do any amendments or proposals that can come within the timeframes proposed by the Supreme Court in those election petitions.

    Therefore, you put us in a very awkward situation. Yes, he is the Attorney-General and he has made this request passionately, as he talked to me on phone. However, what do we do?

    MR KASAIJA: We are aware of the importance of the subject matter, Mr Speaker. I suggest that this item comes on Tuesday -(Interjection)– Yes! If they do not turn up on Tuesday, then Parliament can take the action they want to take.

    I thought I should do this because I do not know the details, although I was assigned to come here and speak on his behalf. I know the magnitude of the missions on which they are; the Attorney-General is in London arbitrating for Uganda Railways. You know that Rift Valley Railways (RVR) took us to court and we are talking in terms of billions of shillings. Equally, his deputy is also involved in another very big assignment which could cost a lot of money to the country –

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Proceed.

    MR KASAIJA: Mr Speaker, my humble prayer is that we ensure – I will tell them that they should be here on Tuesday. Thank you.

    2.40

    MR WILFRED NIWAGABA (Independent, Ndorwa County East, Kabale): First of all, I would like to thank you, Mr Speaker, for the very wise ruling you delivered last week on Thursday. (Applause) It is one of the rulings that will go down on the record of this august House as being well thought, intelligent and strict to the point.

    I would like to thank you for the patience you have exhibited in handling this matter that has been in this House since January this year. (Applause)

    I have had occasion, as far back as April, to share the content of my proposed Bill and the motion with the Attorney-General. However, from the time I have had occasion to interact with him, the intention of the Government seems to be inclined towards one direction; how can we derail this path?

    This motion is at debate level for all members of Parliament who will exclude the Attorney-General because he does not have a voting right; to debate, vote and give or deny me leave –

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, he can debate.

    Mr niwagaba: Yes, he can debate but cannot vote. If the Attorney-General has any other input, we still have a long way to go in terms of considering the Bill, if it is presented by bringing amendments and all the like. Prolonging this matter for any extra minute is infringing on my right as a private Member to bring the Bill. There is no reason whatsoever, why members of Parliament should not be given the opportunity now to debate my motion as presented.

    It is for those reasons that I beg this august House not to allow the request to adjourn this motion for any other reason at all or the reason stated by the Attorney-General. Let the Members debate my motion. If I am granted leave, we can still meet with the Attorney-General along the way and his input will be included.

    Besides, he had already raised preliminary objections, which were overruled. I do not know what else he wants to speak in this particular debate.

    My friend, hon. Kasaija, withdraw your request and let the Members debate the motion as presented. They will either grant or deny me leave. The presence of the Attorney-General is of no consequence in this particular debate. I beg to move.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, in the public gallery this afternoon are pupils and teachers from Mary Queen of Peace Mixed Day and Boarding Primary School in Gulu District. They are represented by hon. Reagan Okumu and hon. Betty Aol. They are here to observe the proceedings so, please, join me to welcome them. (Applause)

    2.44

    Mr Ibrahim ssemujju (FDC, Kira Municipality, Wakiso): Thank you, Mr Speaker. At the beginning of the discussions on this matter, it appeared to have been a responsibility of Government but they did not take it up. I remember the presiding Speaker advising them that if they did not, then Parliament would have no option.

    I thought, going by your earlier ruling that when Members stand here, they should be relevant, that the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, is to thank a Member for helping Government to first of all deal with issues raised by the Supreme Court but also taking over the responsibility that should have been theirs. I did not know that he would come and say that the only thing he has been assigned to say is that the ministers are away.

    This Government even has a minister responsible for constitutional affairs. I do not know whether he was put there and then Government discovered that he was not able.

    If a minister responsible for constitutional affairs cannot come and speak on behalf of Government and you are relying on two people you have assigned elsewhere; supposing there is a very serious matter in this country that needs to be handled by Government, do you go on holiday until the two have returned?

    Hon. Matia Kasaija, I think you are misrepresenting Government and you owe this Parliament an apology. (Laughter) Government has about 80 cabinet ministers including one who is specifically assigned for constitutional affairs whom he is not mentioning.

    Presenting this as if it is a personal matter of the Attorney-General and his deputy whose performance has also been questioned by another minister who said one of them belongs to a mafia group –(Laughter)– it was raised by a minister you are supervising; your colleague in the ministry. (Laughter)

    Therefore, I would like to request you to allow us debate this matter because – (Interruption)

    Mr kasaija: Mr Speaker, is it in order for an honourable member to impute ill motives about me coming here to represent my colleague and also to insinuate that there are people under my supervision who are mafias, which I am not aware of?

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, I have listened to the submission of hon. Ssemujju Nganda, which to a large extent could be disagreeable to the honourable minister’s position but that cannot be a basis for a point of order.

    The honourable member was clear about what he was saying and the issues were factual. He said that a minister who you work with has made allegations publicly that one of the officers we are talking about is a mafia; that is public knowledge. (Laughter)

    Therefore, I do not know how else to rule on this matter. In fact, if I were you, I would not have raised a point of order but since I am not you, it is okay. Let us leave it at that.

    Mr ssemujju: The point I was making is that if the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development came here on behalf of Government to say that Cabinet has issues with this matter and there is a Cabinet sitting, which will happen on Monday and he would come to report on Tuesday, is a matter we can understand.

    However, to say that two Cabinet ministers are away and Parliament cannot transact business and this is how you run Government – so there is no Government position but two individuals have their own positions.

    Mr Speaker, I know that in the past, you have guided on matters of giving Members permission to present Private Member’s Bills. Just as a matter of procedure, you allow someone to go and draft and then engage in what ordinarily is a lengthy process.

    Mr prayer is that you do not allow the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to prevent Parliament from transacting a business they have found very difficult, even after the recommendations of the Supreme Court, to transact. Thank you.

    Mr nandala-Mafabi: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The procedural issue I am raising is that during debates on financial matters, the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development is never here. (Laughter)

    However, when it came to debating issues to do with the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, he is here. Is it procedurally right for the minister who dodges financial matters, which are in his docket, to come during debate on legal matters concerning Constitution amendment?

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, the honourable Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development is not here to discuss constitutional matters. He is here to relay the message that both the Attorney-General and his deputy are not in the country. That was his entire assignment. (Laughter) And I think he has delivered well on that.

    2.51

    MR THEODORE SSEKIKUBO (NRM, Lwemiyaga County, Ssembabule): Thank you, Mr Speaker.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: And I urge honourable members to smile before they speak. (Laughter)

    MR SSEKIKUBO: Most obliged, Mr Speaker. The matter we have is about one of us seeking leave of this House to present a Private Member’s Bill. However, the critical aspect of it is about the Constitution amendment.

    I would like to urge the House that the Constitution amendment and matters regarding the amendment is in reference to the entire House. Even if it is hon. Niwagaba, the mover of the motion, this matter is central to all of us. That is why it is not the NRM constitution or FDC constitution but it is the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda. It, therefore, should be appealing to both sides of the aisle.

    Let us not look at it as a Niwagaba motion; we shall have missed the point. Let us grant leave and let us not –

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, we are not yet there; we are still on his request.

    MR SSEKIKUBO: Yes, Mr Speaker, you are right. For us to sit in the House and it is properly constituted and we fail to proceed, when the motion was presented, the seconders were given opportunity and the Attorney-General was given opportunity, I would imagine we shall be running away from our duty. Let us look at it because even time is not our best ally. The more we procrastinate, the further the delays we are making on this floor, which is not helpful to this country.

    Therefore, Mr Speaker, the Attorney-General was in this House when you gave your ruling and he accepted and took it. Now, where is this second thought that has emerged from the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development saying that we wait coming from?

    The ball was set rolling by your ruling and that ruling was well received. There are camera and television recordings. Even the Attorney-General accepted and took it in good faith; where is the problem?

    Mr Speaker, let us not fail in our duty. Today, we are here as the Tenth Parliament, we have done it before. Hon. Magyezi must be a happy man and everybody is happy that he delivered his motion. Now, there is this second one. A precedent was set and if we run away from the precedent we set ourselves, it would be a great injustice to this country. (Interruption)

    MR NANDALA-MAFABI: Thank you, hon. Ssekikubo for giving way. Mr Speaker, not more than a week or two, there was a Constitution Amendment Bill and the person who moved it is here – hon. Mawanda from across the Indian Ocean. (laughter)

    It was brought and we immediately agreed and gave him leave to go and work on the amendment on Bank of Uganda issue. Mr Speaker, the ruling of the Speaker that time was that even Parliament agreed. We now have a Supreme Court ruling and we have not worked on it.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are on information.

    MR NANDALA-MAFABI: Yes, Mr Speaker. The information I am giving is that the reason that time was that Parliament had worked on it and there are very many rulings. The information I am giving is that the Amendment Bill we are talking about is even a directive from the Supreme Court.

    MR SSEKIKUBO: Thank you hon. Nandala for the information. Mr Speaker, the rules are clear. Ministers are mandated to sit in this House and I think the framers of these rules were far-sighted. They knew that such a situation would arise where there is business to transact and as a must, ministers ought to be in this House to enable us to move.

    However, in this instance, the minister’s presence at a critical time was achieved; we do not need that anymore. The Floor would be set now for the Members – let Members pronounce themselves, Mr Speaker. We are here. Let those who say leave should not be granted come out with their own reasons.

    The way I am reading the mood in this House, we are ready and this country is ready. Let us move and not debate out of fear and let us not fear to debate as well. We are set, we want to seek this animal, we want to look at this animal called the Constitution and we look at it again. If there are those areas we need to treat, it is this House to do that. I stand here for Lwemiyaga and I would even entreat my colleagues that let us not fear. This is the time and I think the country is waiting– (Interruption)

    MR RUHUNDA: Thank you, honourable member, for allowing my simple clarification. Mr Speaker, I have heard hon. Ssekikubo mention many times the word fear. I see that we are in a democratic environment; this is Parliament. The attempt of tabling a motion is something that I see as normal because this is our job.

    I really do not like to inculcate fear in my legislative duties. What messages are we sending to the people out there? I would love to see a motion being tabled, I use my head that God gave me to reason and we see how the country moves.

    HONOURABLE MEMBER: Mr Speaker –

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable member, I have said several times that, please, do not use the microphone until you are allowed. You interfere with the recording and the records of Parliament. When you stand, I can see you even if you do not say a word, please.

    MR SSEKIKUBO: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The fear was really the insinuation by the honourable minister by him saying that the House is not ready and that we wait for Tuesday. Otherwise, I would encourage him. He is a historical member of this country and of this House, so, there would not be any reasons whatsoever. This is the right path and the correct one.

    I see no contradiction, Mr Speaker. We are fortified by the stance you took, the ruling you made and everybody was happy. We are ready to move on and grant that leave if the matter is allowed,if the matter is allowed. I thank you very much.

    3.01

    MR JONATHAN ODUR (UPC, Erute County South, Lira): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I am also here to persuade you and Members that we proceed with the consideration of the motion.

    As mentioned by hon. Nandala-Mafabi, as a House, we risk sending a wrong signal. Last week, there was a motion to bring a Private Member’s Bill to this House and the Attorney-General did not raise any objection. However, we are dealing with the same matter. The Attorney-General did not communicate that since we are dealing with the Constitution, they should be here. We considered it very well.

    It is now my submission that since the private Member, once granted leave, will work very closely with the Office of the Attorney-General, they have time to input and also ensure that all the legal issues that will be in the amendment will be complied with.

    Therefore, I would like to implore Members, particularly you, Mr Speaker, that we are ready and we can proceed and take a decision. Once the decision is taken, then, we can –(Interruption)

    MR KASULE: Thank you, honourable member. If I heard you properly, you intimated that you are going to work very closely with the Office of the Attorney-General. Therefore, can we take it that it is a combined effort between Government and you to bring a Private Member’s Bill? Is it a fact that you are going to work with Government on this matter?

    MR JONATHAN ODUR: Thank you very much. Rule 12 of our Rules of Procedure is very clear that once a private Member is granted the opportunity to introduce a Private Member’s Bill, the relevant Government department in this case, should help. We expect that department to help us. I thank you.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Are we going to continue with this? Can I rule on it? Let us have hon. Byandala.

    3.03

    MR ABRAHAM BYANDALA (NRM, Katikamu County North, Luweero): Thank you, Mr Speaker. These amendments in the Constitution that we are discussing are very important for this country.

    Hon. Nandala-Mafabi has told us what happened and that shows you the intensity of these amendments. For example, the one of hon. Mawanda that the Attorney-General okayed. For this particular one, the Attorney-General has insisted that we wait.

    Mr Speaker, we have been waiting for over eight months. For this reason, I condemn, in the strongest terms, the Attorney-General and his deputy, for not having come here all these months to come and we debate this very important issue. (Laughter)

    I think the Leader of Government Business should have a word with them. If necessary, Mr Speaker, as somebody knowledgeable, you could also talk to them and give advice.

    As I said, we have waited for more than eight months. The Attorney-General has talked to you and said that next week, they will be present and we debate the issue. What is the problem with waiting for one week, when we have waited for eight months? Let us give them the final chance. Let them come next week and we debate this issue. I thank you, Mr Speaker.

    3.05

    MS ANIFA KAWOOYA (NRM, Woman Representative, Ssembabule): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I rise on a point of guidance because I am seeking clarification.

    I heard you vividly say that, as our Speaker, you are also concerned that this matter has taken very long. When I read your face and the way you explained to the House, I saw that you also want to have this matter addressed. It looked like you were ready to hear the matter.

    The honourable members have said that precedence has always taken place. There are areas where private Members have raised issues, like when we did with Female Genital Mutilation.

    What I would like to know is why this private Member’s issue is being treated differently from the other Members, who were granted leave. In those circumstances, when the minister was not there, we debated the matters. When they came back, we continued and reconciled the issues.

    Isn’t it within your mandate now to make a ruling, Mr Speaker? You could say that, “Now that they are delaying us and have taken London trips, the Member should come here and present the issue.” The ministers could find us debating and we move on. Everybody said that they trust your ruling.

    When you are chairing, personally, Mr Speaker, I have always seen any directive you have given come to pass. It is real. Can you think of this, give us a ruling and we debate? That is what I want.

    3.08

    MR SOLOMON SILWANY (NRM, Bukooli County Central, Bugiri): Thank you, Mr Speaker. If I recall very well, we were here on the Floor of this Parliament in 2017 and our argument was that you cannot refuse a Member to take leave.

    Therefore, I do not see any reason whatsoever why we would block a Member, who is just seeking leave of this Parliament, from bringing a Private Member’s Bill.

    Let us give the Member the opportunity to get leave, go and bring the Bill and then we see what is involved in it. Afterwards, we can discuss at that level. I do not see why we should block a Member from seeking leave. We should maintain the precedence that we already laid on the Floor of this Parliament. I beg to move.

    3.09

    MS LOWILA OKETAYOT (NRM, Woman Representative, Pader): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I do not know whether Government, specifically the Prime Minister now represented by hon. Kasaija, takes the activities and the time of this House seriously.

    Following your ruling, Mr Speaker, it was very clear that this issue would be coming on the Floor of Parliament. I thought the Government, in its planning, foresaw that not to frustrate activities of Government and this House, decided that a minister would have a deputy or a state minister. This is such that when one is out on other duties, one would remain to ensure that we move on.

    I really failed to understand this situation being defended by the Prime Minister now that both these two important people are out of the country and therefore, we cannot proceed with business.

    I think the Government is not taking our time seriously.

    Mr Speaker, for this matter, I propose and concur with my colleagues who are saying that we proceed and debate this motion because we cannot just be bogged down due to lack of proper planning. Thank you.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you very much, honourable members, for your guidance and contribution on this important matter. It is my time to speak. The honourable member proposed that I should advise the Government. The Constitution says that the Chief Government advisor is the Attorney-General not the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker. (Laughter) Therefore, even my advice can be over ruled by the Attorney-General except the rulings I make here. He has no authority to intervene with the rulings I make here except under the rules.

    Honourable members, I know where the Attorney-General is coming from. From the time this motion was moved in January, the baton was passed to the Attorney-General, for four months to do something so that it should be the Government responsibility to present this Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 2019, especially along the lines proposed by the Supreme Court and within the timeframes also proposed by the same court.

    From that time, it started appearing as if the Attorney-General was the one on trial. For four months up to end of April, he was on trial and did not do anything about it. When the matter was resurrected in May, he was on trial because he was put on the spot to respond to this matter but he did not respond. When these matters came at the beginning of August, he was on trial and so, the Deputy Attorney-General made an attempt to make objections and try to show presence of that office in the matter that we are debating. So, I understand completely why this last attempt is being made, to request for this matter to be discussed next week.

    However, I was very clear in my ruling last week. Why I am clear nobody should ever misread me. I said: “At the next sitting of Parliament, this motion would be brought.” That is why it is on the Order Paper today. However, the honourable member came and because he was away, he said: “No, can I present it?” I said: “No, this is a substantial matter and it must be properly contained on the Order Paper. I will not amend the Order Paper to accommodate such matters but they should be there on their own rights so that everybody has notice.” It is because of this notice, that we are receiving these phones calls and pleas.

    Anyhow, there is nothing new. It is a motion for leave and it has been with us for eight months. Let us dispose of it today. (Applause) Honourable member, please proceed.

    3.14

    MR WILFRED NIWAGABA (Independent, Ndorwa County EAST, Kabale): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I had earlier presented my motion and my seconders had made their submissions. I would like to thank you for that wise ruling. For selfish reasons, the Deputy Speaker is my classmate. I have all the –

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable member, are you trying to say it is because of that? (Laughter)

    MR NIWAGABA: Well, just to emphasise the wisdom you have had ever since I first met you in 1991. Your knowledge of the law cannot be surpassed and I appreciate. I will invite honourable members to look at my motion in the interest of Uganda as a country; that the proposed Constitution amendments are not targeting any particular person or group of people. They are met to benefit this country in its quest to continue on the democratic path. I would like to invite all of you, including hon. Byandala and hon. Kasule to support my motion. When we come to the contents of the Bill, I will be available to accommodate each and everyone’s interests for the sake of good governance, democracy and our cherished country’s future.

    Therefore, I invite you all to support my motion and that I be granted leave and then we proceed to help the country to move forward in its quest for democracy. Thank you.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you very much. Honourable members, this motion has been presented, spoken to, seconded and a question was proposed for its debate whereupon that is when the objection came from the Attorney-General. So, I, again present this motion to you that leave be granted to hon. Wilfred Niwagaba, to introduce a Private Member’s Bill titled, “The Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 2019.” That is the motion for your debate and debate starts now. If there is no debate, I shall put the question.

    3.17

    MS JACQUILINE AMONGIN (NRM, Woman Representative, Ngora): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I would like to commend the House for having approved this motion for an honourable member to bring, on the Floor, the Private Member’s Bill, in regard to the Constitution amendment.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, we have not approved the motion. It is what we are debating.

    MS AMONGIN: Mr Speaker, I think this should have come yesterday because as we head towards elections, which is not very far, the whole country is looking at the direction that Parliament is going to give to the people. All these will be guided by the amendments that will be passed by this House. There are areas that need to be improved and addressed when addressing the Constitution amendments in this House.

    It is very important that these amendments come earlier although it has been brought by a private Member. Otherwise, I would have thought that this should have been brought earlier by the Government side so that all issues would have been addressed in advance. Otherwise, as you are aware, the temperatures are heating up and with time, there will be no Members in this House to address most of the key issues. I think this is very important – because the issues of the Constitution amendment, issues of representative, elders and youth have their own issues that we need to bring on board. At the same time, we need to do wide consultations so that by the time we address these issues in this House, they should have been unanimously agreed upon by the electorates so that we do not see any more fights in this House like we had before. It should be a harmonised debate that has come from the electorates.

    I am sure the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs will do the needful to all parts of the country, to ensure that the views of the people are harmonised and well-articulated. I beg to move.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you.

    3.20

    MR CHARLES NGABIRANO (NRM, Rwampara County, Rwampara): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I stand to support the motion that we grant leave to the member.

    Sometime back, Government moved some amendments and recently, we granted leave to hon. Michael Mawanda. So, today, it is imperative that we also grant leave to hon. Niwagaba so that in this state of time, we look at all those integrated proposals.

    It is a bit regrettable that these amendments are coming in piecemeal but the best we can do is for us to put them on one plate and ensure that we go through them and finalise them.

    Leave does not create any terrible situation for us because leave means that matters are being brought to us and we shall discuss through our relevant organs, including our own caucus here. I, therefore, do not see any danger in granting leave.

    I would also like to say that I support this because I am compelled by very important amendments, which I have read through in his proposed Bill and which had not been brought by Government or the hon. Mawanda.

    It is important that the proposed amendments be discussed thoroughly by us so that we can conclude this matter and help Government to comply with all the requirements, including the Supreme Court ruling.

    I beg that we support the move and grant leave to hon. Niwagaba. Thank you.

    3.22

    MR IBRAHIM SSEMUJJU (FDC, Kira Municipality, Wakiso): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I think we spent time inevitably discussing and showing our support for this motion. I would like to make a short appeal to the minister responsible for finance.

    I remember, in 2017, when we had a similar motion here for Constitution amendment, on the day that matter was debated here, the certificate of financial implication was issued on that very day. I commended the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development on the level of efficiency that he showed in that matter.

    When we were processing that Bill in the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, the minister had been present throughout the debate. However, at the end of the day, the minister who was in Parliament had issued a certificate of financial implication. I realised that ministers do not have to be present everywhere. He was in Parliament but a certificate was being prepared and I think all he did was to append his signature.

    My appeal – as I said, this seems to be a procedural matter – is to ask the finance minister to show the same level of efficiency. As this Parliament grants leave to hon. Niwagaba, let the minister issue a certificate of financial implication today like he did last time such that we do not delay. These are very important matters. That is the only appeal I wanted to pass on to Government.

    I would like to associate with the submissions made earlier by my colleagues that these are still the early days, just granting a member permission and then we will have the opportunity to debate the content when it is finally completed. Thank you, Mr Speaker.

    3.24

    MR KENNETH EITUNGANANE (Independent, Soroti County, Soroti): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. The country has been in waiting and everybody has been anticipating what steps Parliament will take to address this issue. There is a general debate out there and I think this is the right time that we put this matter to rest.

    Mr Speaker, we should not also forget that it took the effort of that Chair you are in to have these issues brought to the Table. It was because of the constant effort made by that Chair that we have reached where we have. It would be inappropriate and it is a practice of the House that members make such effort to address key challenges that the country is facing as we try to build our democracy – What is critical is not the member presenting the Bill but the content and the spirit in which the member has risen to the Floor to seek leave to have these issues presented.

    I am in support that we grant him leave for the good of our country and the good of democracy. So that as we go to the next elections – I am very sure a lot of issues always come up during and after elections. This Bill has given us an opportunity to have those issues squarely addressed so that this House goes to the next election with good expectations and better efforts for Ugandans to have these elections peacefully conducted. Thank you.

    3.27

    MR ALEX RUHUNDA (NRM, Fort Portal Municipality, Kabarole): Mr Speaker, I am adding my voice in support of the Member getting leave, most especially after the court ruling that compels us, both Government and Parliament to ensure that there are electoral reforms that will guarantee sustainable democracy for our country.

    Our President, out of the four pillars, emphasises democratisation. It is in this spirit that this Bill is introduced.

    Much as it is coming from a member of the opposition or an independent member, we have the ability, as Members of Parliament even from the ruling party, to have our input into this Bill. That is why I have no worry about it because within our space, we can be in position to add value and contribute to the country and also instill confidence that not everything that is introduced by a member from the opposition is bad or that whatever we do as a ruling government is bad.

    This is the spirit of democracy that we should champion and support for the betterment of our country. I support the move for the Bill.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you. Is there any member opposing this motion? Can I listen to those who are opposed to this motion? If we support this motion, can we take a decision and do other business?

    Honourable members, you know we are like sculptors. Wood logs are brought to sculptors in all shapes and sizes but the sculptor gives it the final look. That is what Parliament does.

    Bills are brought in all kinds of shapes and some of them are not sustainable but Parliament gives it its final shape to make sure that we fulfill our mandate under Article 79 of the Constitution. That is our mandate and that is what we do best. So, never worry about what shape a Bill will come in. we are here to give it the shape we want it to have. (Applause) We are here and we are able and we will give it the shape we desire it should be in for the best interest of this country. I will put the question to this motion.

    Honourable members, I now put the question that hon. Wilfred Niwagaba be granted leave to present a Private Member’s Bill entitled “The Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 2019”.

    (Question put and agreed to.)

    (Leave granted.)

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Leave is accordingly granted to hon. Niwagaba. (Applause) The provisions of Articles of the Constitution and Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of Uganda direct departments of Government to render assistance to the honourable member to come out with the final texts of the Bill that should be introduced to this House urgently, given the timeframe that we are left with under the Supreme Court ruling and the next elections, which are not very far away.

    It is accordingly decided by this House. Congratulations, hon. Niwagaba, and thank you for your perseverance and patience that has led the day to be the way it has been.

    Honourable members, in the public gallery this afternoon we have pupils and staff from National Debate Council Uganda under the National Junior Schools Debating Championship. They are here to observe the proceedings of the House. Please, join me in welcoming them. You are very welcome. (Applause) They have seen a bit of what happens when we do national debates on issues that are important for this country.

    In the public gallery this afternoon we also have pupils and staff of Alwa Primary School, Kaberamaido. They are represented by hon. Maria Goretti Ajilo and hon. Veronica Eragu. They are here to observe the proceedings of the House. Please, join me in welcoming them. You are very welcome. (Applause)

    Before we go to the next item on the Order Paper, can we deal with the other urgent matters? The minister in charge of health is here and I hope she has been briefed to deal with those two issues that came up as urgent matters.

    5.32

    THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR HEALTH (GENERAL DUTIES) (Ms Sarah Opendi): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I am sorry that I was delayed but I have been informed that there were two issues and one of them was about the shortage of measles vaccines in the country.

    Mr Speaker, allow me to inform this House that we have been having a challenge of the measles outbreaks in the past two years in different parts of the country. We have been using a single vaccine for measles, without vaccinating for rubella. However, we have seen an increase in the cases of measles and rubella in the country and the Ministry of Health has now introduced a new vaccine. It is one vaccine that deals with the two diseases: measles and rubella.

    As a result, this month we have been to different parts of the country to interface with the district leaders and inform them that we are going to run a campaign to vaccinate all children who are nine months to 15 years against measles and rubella.

    Therefore, from the 25th to 29th of this month, we shall be in all parts of the country, focusing mainly on the schools because this age group is mainly in the schools. Thereafter, we will get to the communities in the last two days to vaccinate those who are out of the schools. We shall be withdrawing the other vaccine currently in circulation. The vaccine we are withdrawing is a single vaccine against measles alone –(Interruption)

    MS ANYWAR: Thank you, honourable minister, for giving way. Mr Speaker, I am seeking a clarification from the minister. As much as there is effort to get a new vaccine that can address the two problems, I would like to find out this information from the minister. For the whole week we have been here, there have been concerns about increasing cases of malaria. In Kitgum, children have died. As I am speaking here, I have just been tested positive with malaria. What is the minister going to do –

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable member, you clarify on the matter on the Floor. The matter on the Floor is vaccines for measles. Now you have run from Kitgum and started on malaria -(Laughter)-and you are using the prerogative of clarification. However, the minister has already heard and, so, she will deal with it.

    MS FRANCA AKELLO: Thank you, honourable minister, for giving way for me to seek a clarification from you. The member actually rose on a matter of lack of vaccines in the health units. I would like to be certain that your statement confirms that these vaccines are not lacking in the health units. When I was in the village when my baby turned six, I went to a health centre –

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Six months or years?

    MS FRANCA AKELLO: When my baby turned the month when she was supposed to be vaccinated against measles. (Laughter) When I went to the health centre, they told me there was no vaccine for measles. Therefore, I just want to be sure that there is no shortage of vaccine so that the children who are supposed to be vaccinated will receive the vaccines.

    MS OSEGGE: Thank you, Mr Speaker and I thank the minister for giving way. Honourable minister, is it safe for children who were already vaccinated to get this vaccines again? Thank you.

    MS OPENDI: Mr Speaker, I was still speaking when the clarification was sought. However, I was getting to the point of informing this House that currently we do not have any shortage of measles vaccines in the country. What is happening is that we are going to withdraw those vaccines from the various health centres and after this campaign of the 25th to 29th in any subsequent vaccination of children, the children will be given this combination vaccines for measles/rubella.

    Yes, there was a shortage in the past. I do not know when your kid turned six months old. We had a shortage because we had measles outbreaks and it was not only in Uganda but all over the world. Therefore, the manufacturers were facing a challenge.

    Mr Speaker, I would like to state that even if the children had already been vaccinated, they will need to be taken back because the other vaccine was for measles only and this is a combination vaccine for two diseases. It is safe and all those who were vaccinated before should be taken back so that they benefit.

    We had a target of ending measles in Uganda – and in the entire world – by 2020 but we seem to be failing to meet that target. Let us ensure that we mobilise the population so that all our children in all the communities go and get vaccinated on those days.

    We have responded to malaria issues several times on this Floor. If I am not mistaken, even last week we responded to the issue. There is an upsurge of malaria, which is partially because of the rains. When we get rains, we get this challenge. We do not have a challenge of the malaria drugs; they are available.

    However, there were shortages previously because of the cycle but we now have malaria drugs everywhere and we even informed this House about a week ago, that we were in the process of procuring the long lasting insecticide nets. We expect them in the country in November so that we can be able to distribute.

    Meanwhile, we are appealing to the population to join our effort in the prevention of malaria. Those who can afford, buy the mosquito nets, while those who cannot afford should ensure – for example, Kampala was almost malaria free but now we are seeing malaria in the country.

    Let us ensure that we close our windows early. Those who can paint their houses using Kansai Paint, please ensure that you buy this mosquito repellent paint and then we can be able to move on. Otherwise, there is an upsurge of malaria and all effort is being made to bring it down. Thank you.

    MR MAKUMBI: Mr Speaker, the minister was supposed to give me an answer in response to the strange disease that I mentioned and the effort she is going to take but you have not given her the opportunity. Are we proceeding well?

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable minister, there was a question from Mityana.

    MS OPENDI: Mr Speaker, there were too many interruptions on clarifications so, it skipped my mind. However, we have not received that report. However, as a ministry, we have already sent a message to the technical teams to get to the ground and establish what this could be. Maybe tomorrow I could give a report to this House. Thank you. (Ms Santa Alum rose_)

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: On what matter do you rise honourable?

    MS ALUM: Thank you. I raised an issue of national importance here and thought that the minister would inform me that –

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: What was the matter about?

    MS ALUM: It was about our health centre II called Atipe, which was upgraded to health centre III but without supplies.

    MS OPENDI: Mr Speaker, was this the last financial year? Can I get that information again?

    MS ALUM: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The issue is: we had a health centre II in Oyam District called Atipe serving a population of over 37,000 people and the Ministry of Health upgraded it to health centre III but it is just on paper. We do not have supplies of drugs. We have written to the ministry but there is no response to address that problem.

    MS OPENDI: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I am aware that in this year’s budget for National Medical Stores, there was an addition of more than Shs 90 billion for them to procure drugs for those health centre IIs that were elevated to health centre IIIs. If Atipe is not yet receiving those drugs, allow me to follow-up; I will come with a statement tomorrow. Thank you.

    RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION RAISED ON DESTRUCTION OF CROPS AND PROPERTY BY HEAVY RAINS IN PADER DISTRICT AND THE NEED FOR RELIEF SUPPORT TO THE AFFECTED HOUSEHOLDS

    3.44

    THE MINISTER OF STATE, OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER (RELIEF, DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND REFUGEES) (Mr Musa Ecweru): Mr Speaker, I looked at the Order Paper and noticed that my ministry was supposed to make a response to these two issues of Pader and Napak. However, allow me to say that there is no written response yet but I have some information that I do not know whether it is okay for me to give verbally to the House before I bring the written response.

    When I consulted my people about what happened in Pader, they indicated to me –

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Point of procedure, from Agago.

    MS FRANCA AKELLO: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I was in the House when this matter was raised. The directive given by the Speaker then was that the ministry moves with immediate effect to the ground, takes action and reports this week.

    Therefore, for the minister to say that he does not have a written response is kind of irrelevant because we expected a report of their field visit of the situation and action taken because it was a matter of disaster and this is a ministry for disaster preparedness so, if the ministry was prepared, the moment there was a disaster we would expected them to take action and report thereafter, as the Speaker had directed. So, is the minister proceeding properly on that note?

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable member, I do not have the extra senses that you have to know what the minister was going to say. I also wanted to listen and see if there are gaps because he had just started speaking. Can he finish and if there are gaps, we shall deal with it? He said that he did not have a written response but would supply it later.

    MR ECWERU: Mr Speaker, the honourable member from the area in question – a team has been dispatched and it is in your constituency and the district –

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is Pader District.

    MR ECWERU: The team is working with the Chief Administrative Officer of Pader, who is also the chairperson of the district disaster management committee. Depending on the findings of this team, a response will be packaged, whether it is developmental or humanitarian.

    It is on the basis of that report that I will now come and present to the House, what action will be taken as far as Pader is concerned.

    Personally, before I went on an assignment out of this country, I responded on the displacement that had been occasioned to the people of Napak.

    On the onset I would like to condemn, in the strongest terms, the unscrupulous leaders from the area, not the members of Parliament but those who instigated tribal clashes in Napak between the peace loving Iteso and Karimojong who were leaving in that area, which caused displacement.

    We asked the security teams to move in to restore normalcy. We also responded with a humanitarian emergency support, in terms of emergency relief food, both to the Iteso and the Karimojong who had been displaced.

    A team has again been sent to know the impact of the support that we delivered and if there is need for us to supplement. That will be done in as far as Napak is concerned.

    Finally, I request you and this august House to allow my ministry and the Ministry of Water and Environment to come and present to the House, the status and expectations of the hydrological emergencies that we are likely to go through between now and October.

    The Ministry of Water and Environment, particularly the Department of Meteorology, has issued information to us which we have used for packaging alerts to the country but I think it is also important for us to come and let the Members of Parliament know that there is going to be increased rainfall in different parts of the country, with a little bit of devastations that will be witnessed in different parts of the country including landslides, floods and emergencies associated with hailstorms.

    This is the information I will present together with the Minister of Water and Environment to this House so that the Members are abreast with what is happening.

    I also would like to let the House know that not all hazards amount to receiving emergency supports. We will be doing some assessment and if in our reading, we think that the community is able to recover on their own, we may not appear with emergency support. If we are convinced that the community cannot recover on its own, that is when we will give emergency support to enable the community to get on its feet again.

    We will inform Members of Parliament to know what will happen when these emergencies visit their communities. Thank you.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you very much. Honourable minister, actually, we do not desire you to come and respond here. We prefer that when emergencies of this nature happen, you respond in the field so that we only get feedbacks from the members raising the urgent matters that we are okay.

    By you saying you are coming back with a statement – statements will not help us. It is the supplies you take to the field that will help us. So, prepare to go there. If we do not see you here, we will know you are in Pader. Please, do that so that the people are served better.

    The minister has dealt with both questions (i) and (ii). Can we go to question (iii)? It is up to the minister and since he has sat down, let us proceed.

    RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION RAISED ON THE INCREASING DEATHS OF DOMESTIC LIVESTOCK OCCASIONED BY WILD ANIMALS IN SERERE DISTRICT

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities is absent. Let us go to the next item.

    RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION RAISED ON THE INVASION OF THE WATER HYACINTH ON RIVER RWIZI THAT HAS AFFECTED THE LIVELIHOODS OF THE RESIDENTS OF MBARARA DISTRICT

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Minister of Water and Environment is absent.

    RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION RAISED ON THE RAMPANT FOREST DESTRUCTION AND TREE CUTTING FOR CHARCOAL BUSINESS IN GOMBA DISTRICT

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is still for the Minister of Water and Environment, who is not here. Let us go to the next item.

    MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT URGING GOVERNMENT TO DEVISE LONG-TERM MEANS OF STOPPING THE RAMPANT MURDERS AND ROBBERIES SUFFERED BY BODA-BODA RIDERS

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, my brief as I said yesterday is that this matter has been debated but there were gaps, which needed to be filled by a number of ministers whose sectors relate to the issues of security. They included the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Minister of Security. Those were the ones who should have responded before we finish with this motion.

    Hon. Kania Obiga had to go because he was traveling out of the country and we do not have the Minister for Internal Affairs. We also do not have the Minister for Security. How do we proceed with the matter? I think those responses are critical in the way we will shape the final texts of this motion. I do not know what hon. Abala says? Do you want the House to proceed and conclude this matter the way you had presented it?

    3.53

    MR DAVID ABALA (NRM, Ngora County, Ngora): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I remember yesterday Gen. Jeje Odongo, the Minister of Internal Affairs, said he is coming back tomorrow together with the Minister for Kampala Capital City and the Minister of Works and Transport. So, we will wait.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is tomorrow then. Thank you.

    MR NANDALA-MAFABI: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for this opportunity. The procedural matter I am raising is; you find many questions on the Order Paper and when you come to them, the minister is missing. Today he misses and again the next day.

    The procedural matter I am raising, therefore, is whether there no sanction to deal with the ministers who are continuously absent to answer the questions, which members have raised. We raise these questions on behalf of the people.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable member, why don’t you look at the rules and bring those matters up? There are sanctions there. I do not have to say them but you know what they are.

    MR NANDALA-MAFABI: Mr Speaker, I have seen them. That is why I said –

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Then proceed.

    MR NANDALA-MAFABI: So, Mr Speaker, I would like to move a motion –

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: You cannot do that now. (Laughter) Those are substantive motions. Even if I allow you, you will not be able to move any motion. You know what to do. Those motions are with notice because they are substantive. You cannot move them without notice.

    MR TERENCE ACHIA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. My procedural point is on issue No. ii under “responses by ministers”, which is about the displacement of the people in Napak and Katakwi raised by me.

    As the Minister, Office of the Prime Minister (Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees) was responding, he responded to some issue which was not in consonance with what is in this case.

    I remember when I raised this matter; it was an issue concerning the allegation which was reported in Daily Monitor and New Vision that 450 households of Katakwi were displaced by the people of Napak.

    The Speaker then advised the Minister of State for Internal Affairs to look into that matter and find out the truth on the ground. He was also asked to bring the report on Tuesday. Up to now, that report has not come.

    When the Minister, Office of the Prime Minister (Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees) was responding – I do not know whether he is responding in regard to that or something different. What I know very well is that the confusion there was not in the magnitude which was reported in the papers. There was total peace in the area –

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable member, was there displacement?

    MR TERENCE ACHIA: There was no displacement. There were no houses burnt. There were no cows stolen. There were no crops destroyed. Whatever was reported in the press was false.

    The Division Commander got the two RDCs of Napak and Katakwi respectively into a helicopter and went around in search of the number of households that were displaced. The Regional Police Commander told me he only found four households who had come from Napak because there is some confusion within Napak area.

    What about the houses burnt? There was no single house burnt. What about the cows stolen? There was no single cow stolen? What about the crops? There were no crops destroyed.

    All that was reported was a concoction of some leaders. This was the reality we wanted the minister to bring to the Floor of Parliament as he was ordered. However, he has not brought the report up to now.

    There was nothing of that nature. This matter is coming up because of the issue of the border. It is the allocation of border that is bringing this confusion.

    Right now, we are happy Government has done a good job to send the two teams to London. They have brought the map and the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development is preparing a process of getting the report to be completed. It will then come to Parliament and the matter will be handled.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: So, what is the procedural point?

    MR TERENCE ACHIA: Is it procedurally right for the Minister, Office of the Prime Minister (Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees) to come and answer an issue which he was not supposed to respond to? Thank you.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: If the people of Napak and Katakwi received supplies from the Ministry, Office of the Prime Minister (Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees), that will be a bonus for them. We will not condemn the minister for giving the people food. We only hope that you know where Napak is.

    MR ECWERU: Mr Speaker, what we decided to do is, we looked at the pictures that were taken which were in the mass media. The pictures indicated that there was indeed displacement of people into one of the primary schools in Katakwi. To balance the whole thing and bring about reconciliation, we decided to deliver some food to Napak to the Chief Administrative Officer of Napak and also to deliver some food to Katakwi and the food was delivered.

    Like you have correctly ruled, if it is true that there was nothing wrong and the food was received and distributed to the population, I expect the member to celebrate.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, honourable members. There being no further business to handle today, House adjourned to tomorrow at 2 o’clock.

    (House rose at 4.00.p.m. and adjourned until Thursday, 5 September 2019 at 2.00 p.m.)

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