By Hanning Mbabazi
Kampala: National Resistance Movement (NRM) Legislators has warned their fellow Members of Parliament from the opposition not to cause chaos or drama when President Yoweri Museveni is addressing the nation during the State of the Nation Address today afternoon.
Under Article 101 of the constitution, the State of the Nation address is delivered at the beginning of each session of Parliament. However, some legislators from the Opposition had vowed to oppose the President if the State of the Nation address goes beyond their will. Opposition Legislators claim to have their rights of protest when unsatisfied as per the Parliamentary rules of procedure. Yesterday the Kalungu legislator Joseph Gonzaga Ssewungu said that there is nothing much Ugandans should expect from the State of the Nation address, since the president has always been repeating his words without implementing any. Ssewungu noted that “There is an increase in crime rate, increase in armed robberies, nepotism, increased unemployment and increased poverty rate to local Ugandans and Instead of the President addressing these and working for the people he will come to praise his thieves.”
This year’s State of the Nation address comes at a time when figures by Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) indicate slowed economic growth. From agriculture, the service industry to manufacturing, preliminary figures released by UBOS last week indicate that Uganda’s economy is contracting. This has been attributed to a decline in global growth and geopolitical reasons like the intermittent insecurity in South Sudan which is one of Uganda’s biggest regional trading partners. Last week the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga was the first to sound a warning to both the opposition legislators and NRM rebel MPs against breaching the rules of procedure when the President is delivering his address. According to the rules of procedure of parliament, the speaker said the President is supposed to be listened to in silence while speaking before Parliament.