KAMPALA, UGANDA: The speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga has launched an institute of Parliamentary studies to orient and train new Members of Parliament on the rules of procedures, appropriate legislation and code of conduct while in the August House.
Launching the institute dubbed “Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga Institute of Parliamentary studies,” the speaker says that the one month Parliament was using to induct new legislators was not enough.
She says that with this institute in place, MPs will be inducted in their roles in Parliament and enrich their debate on the flood of Parliament.
“This institute is to assist mainly the parliamentarians and staff. It will help members to be more efficient by doing continuous training and induction. In the past, we have been doing induction for one month, that is before and after swearing and we stop there for five months,” Ms Kadaga said.
“We have found that the one month is not enough because they get challenges along the way. The new MPs, who are elected through by-elections, are also not totally inducted, so we need a facility that would continue looking out for them and helping them,” she added.
According to Ms Kadaga, some MPs are elected when they do not know anything about legislation. She said if they make use of the institute, their debate on the floor of Parliament will improve since they will be able to access researched data, information and many things from the facility.
The chairperson of the institute, Ms Cecilia Ogwal, said it consists of four MPs who represent legislators, the Clerk to Parliament to represent management, members of the academia who will train the MPs, and a commissioner who represents local government councils.
Councillors to benefit
According to Ms Ogwal, the Kadaga institute will not only train MPs on legislation but also councillors of Local Government councils.
“We shall also train permanent secretaries of various government agencies because some of them do not understand requisition for funds. They usually appear on the floor of parliament and look green about the Public Finance and Management Act. So we are going to design training for them so that we are on the same page,” Ms Ogwal said.
She said the team has started developing training models. The institute will be funded by Parliament.