By Spy Uganda
Kampala: The Speaker of Parliament Anita Among has vowed to start issuing warning letters to legislators who continuously abscond from Parliament without any formal communication or permission.
Among made the revelation during yesterday’s sitting noting that it is “embarrassing and unfortunate to see that some legislators neither attend parliamentary sitting nor do they attend committee sittings.”
”I, therefore, caution Members who have been absent from Committees and the House, without leave to forthwith desist from absenteeism or else I will be compelled to evoke Rules 112 (7) and 113 (2) and (3) to issue written warnings to them and name and shame them in this House,” Among retaliated.
According to the speaker, the absent legislators are neither present in their constituencies of representation nor out on official duties.
Among also directed all legislators to start clocking in and out on the biometric system of Parliament and implored committee chairpersons to start registering all legislators that attend sittings.
”I, urge Members to always clock in using the biometric access system whenever accessing the chamber and those participating virtually should follow the rules that govern virtual participation which includes registration with the Clerk at least 12 hours prior to a Sitting,” she noted.
Meanwhile,in the same sitting yesterday, parliament passed the Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2022 scrapping taxes on sugar confectionaries, sweets, gums, and chocolates.
The bill was earlier passed in March 2022 but returned to Parliament for reconsideration by President Yoweri Museveni.
The Parliament Committee on Finance, Planning and Economic Development reconsidered the bill and presented it before the House during plenary on Tuesday, 30 August 2022.
The President asked Parliament to reconsider its decision to introduce an excise duty of 20 per cent on sugar confectionaries, gums, chocolates, and sweets against the government’s decision not to do so in the current financial year.
Museveni was concerned that the decision was detrimental to local manufacturers because their products were being outcompeted by imported low-quality products and that the move was further working against the government’s initiative to allow for the economy to recover from the devastating effects of COVID-19.
The President also disagreed with Parliament on rejecting the new targeted excise duty of 40 per cent or Shs4,000 per kilogramme charge from the 2.5 per cent or Shs266 per kilogramme of plastics and plastic granules.
Seven other bills, including the Trustees Incorporation (Amendment) Bill, the Companies (Amendment) Bill, the Insolvency (Amendment) Bill, the Partnerships (Amendment) Bill, the Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill, the Cooperatives Societies (Amendment) Bill and the Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill were also passed.