A LEGISLATURE IN TRANSITION - PUBLIC DIALOGUE ON THE POSITION AND FUTURE OF THE UGANDAN PARLIAMENT - Foundation Office Uganda and South Sudan
A LEGISLATURE IN TRANSITION - PUBLIC DIALOGUE ON THE POSITION AND FUTURE OF THE UGANDAN PARLIAMENT
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On the other hand, it raised major questions regarding the independence and effectiveness of the Ugandan parliament in the fulfilment of its mandate.In comparison to previous legislatures, the ninth Ugandan parliament has been widely lauded for exhibiting confidence in performance of its oversight function. This accreditation was re-echoed during the dialogue at Makerere University and was in part attributed to the leadership dedication of its current speaker, Hon. Rebecca Kadaga. The event organised by Makerere University Convocation (MUC) and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) brought together 500 participants from politics, civil society, and academia to assess the role the Ugandan plays in the democratisation process. While participants concurred on the positive contributions of parliament for example in the oil debate they also observed several challenges limiting the effective performance of the legislature.
Among the major limitations observed was that the parliament does not enjoy full independence. In this regard, it was pointed out that the executive - for several reasons – continues to have considerable influence and control over the legislature. This phenomenon according to experts inhibits parliament’s ability to fully check the executive. To this end, the keynote speaker Dr. Julius Kizza, a professor at the Department of Political Science, Makerere University, pointed out that parliament as an institution has to be firm and strong beyond the personal ability of its head. More challenges were noted in the context of the multiparty framework to which – according to the experts at the dialogue – the Ugandan legislative process has not fully adapted. To this end precise calls were made particularly by Hon. Rosemary Seninde, the Member of Parliament who represented the Rt. Hon Speaker at the dialogue to consider a possible return to the movement system. Her remarks pointing out that political parties have spoilt parliament were later a subject of debate in the local and regional media.