KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Leader of Opposition (LOP) Mathias Mpuuga has written to the Speaker of Parliament seeking an urgent parliamentary sitting to discuss the ongoing fuel crisis in the country.
Mpuuga’s request is carried in a letter dated January 19, in which he highlights that several fuel stations across the country have run out of fuel while those with stock are charging exorbitant prices. He says that there is a looming risk of a country shut down in the event that urgent interventions are not undertaken to address the crisis.
“There is a public outcry across the country that demands that peoples’ representatives are recalled from recess to share their constituency experiences, offer leadership, engage government and contribute to solving the crisis,” said Mpuuga.
Rule 21 of the Parliament Rules of Procedure requires a petition signed by at least a third of the legislators to recall Members from recess. As per this requirement, it requires 186 MPs out of the 559 members of the 11th parliament to sign a petition for the House to be recalled.
However, Mpuuga has requested the Speaker to use his powers to recall the House earlier than January 27, 2022, which is the communicated date for the resumption of Parliamentary sittings.
“This is premised on the fact that the crisis is escalating and requires urgent attention before it manifests into a huge economic and security crisis,” Mpuuga explained.
Addressing journalists on Thursday morning, Mpuuga said that he is alive to the procedures for recall of parliament but also to the powers of the Speaker.
Petrol prices have been rising sharply since early last year, but skyrocketed at the beginning of this month following a strike by truck drivers at the Kampala-Kenya border in Busia and Malaba. The truckers were contesting a requirement for another COVID-19 test at the border even after presenting a negative PCR test.
According to Mpuuga, petroleum prices are linked directly to consumer prices and immediate action by the government is important for the situation to go back to normal.
He added that it is a case of negligence for the government and its officials to give different communications on the matter.
Appearing before Parliament’s Finance Committee on Tuesday, Amos Lugoloobi, the Minister of State for Planning told MPs that the government is handling the challenge of fuel in the country that arose from a policy problem to control the spread of COVID-19. Lugoloobi added that the issue is just a disruption in the entry of trucks from the border.
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