By Spy Uganda
Kampala: The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa has directed the Clerk to Parliament to stop committees from conducting field activities while Parliament is sitting.
The directive was issued during his communication to the House on Tuesday, 20 September 2022.
The Deputy Speaker said that the behaviour he termed “unacceptable” had come to the attention of the leadership.
“Attendance of plenary sittings has suffered at the hands of members attending committee activities in the field; I direct the Clerk to halt an activity coinciding with sittings,” he added.
Tayebwa said that there was plenty of work to be done and that business on the Floor of the House that was being delayed needed to be given priority.
Parliament, under normal circumstances, sits from Tuesday to Thursday every week. There are 29 committees of Parliament.
It’s worth noting that last month, Speaker of Parliament Anita Among vowed to start issuing warning letters to legislators who continuously abscond from Parliament without any formal communication or permission.
Among noted 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 last month.
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.