By Sarah Achen Kibisi.
Speaker Anita Among has emphasized the need for lawmakers to conduct research while carrying out their core roles of legislation, oversight and appropriation saying that it will enrich their input in the legislative process.
“Your input should be evidence based and reports should have quantitative and qualitative research,” Among said.
She said this while officiating at a three day training workshop for Members of the 11th Parliament at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala this month.
Among said that the training is part of the intervention towards continuous improvement in the quality of output and overall efficiency and effectiveness of the legislature.
“By the end of this workshop, we should have MPs who can articulate issues both nationally and internationally. Our performance in the First Session was very remarkable. However, there is always room for improvement especially after continuous capacity building,” she said.
She also urged the lawmakers to keep abreast with the Rules of Procedure, saying that understanding and appreciating them will help determine how parliamentarians effectively meet and deliberate decisions in a fair way and make very good use of their time and expertise.
“Quality is an outcome of consistent application of high standards in our work as legislators and it is high standards that we seek through this training. We must come out of this training with something,” said Among.
She challenged the MPs to leave a footprint by making the 11th Parliament one of the most effective, responsive and pro-people post-independence Parliaments.
“We have always talked about people-centered Parliament; we must walk the talk and we must achieve it,” she said.
She added, ‘I implore you to work together in unity, irrespective of political parties, gender, religion and ethnic groups. This should be uniting Parliament that is aimed at ensuring that they deliver what is expected of them’.
Hon Among noted that democracy demands self-discipline at all levels and tolerance of varying views especially in the House.
“When we are in Parliament, we are MPs and not political parties,” she said.
Hon Among reminded the MPs that they are role models and should therefore, conduct themselves in a manner that is honourable.
“So many people out there are watching how we behave and legislate. As role models, we must really work as role models in everything we do,” Among said.
She also appealed for cooperation between the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary saying that this will aid the appreciation of the structures and processes of the state.
The Former Attorney General, Hon. Frederick Ruhindi called on the MPs to avoid delaying legislation saying that such delays will cause courts of law to legislate.
“I was happy recently that you passed the succession law but the challenge is that by the time you passed it, the Constitutional Court had completely declared key provisions of the law unconstitutional,” Ruhindi said.
He also encouraged the MPs to legislate with a focus on universal services as well as effective service delivery.
“People want the service not the English we speak in Parliament, not the colours, we want the services. Why haven’t we operationalized Article 8 (a) of the Constitution which provides for governance based on principles of national interests and common good,” Ruhindi said.
Speaking about the work of committees, the former Serere District Woman MP, Hon. Alice Alaso advised MPs to take advantage of the platform provided by committees to learn and improve their debating skills.
“Committees are the best entry points for specific matters of interests in constituencies,” Alaso said.
The training was organised under the theme, ‘Transformational Independence and people-centered Parliament ■