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Speaker Among adjourns House over absentee Ministers

Speaker of Parliament, Ms Anita Among walks in dismay to end the plenary on Wednesday afternoon due to ministers absence

Kampala, (UG): The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon Anita Among was Wednesday, September 06, forced to adjourn the plenary after all the cabinet ministers failed to turn up for the house sitting on the afternoon.

Ms. Among with heavy disappointment said none of the 83 ministers was present to handle concerns emanating from members of the House.

“This afternoon, I was compelled to adjourn House Business prematurely because of the absence of a single Minister to respond to critical national matters. The issues raised by MPs concern the well-being of our people who we represent and must be given priority,” Speaker Among posted on her X (formerly Twitter) account, moments after adjourning the plenary on Wednesday afternoon.

“We cannot come here as Members of Parliament, waste our time, talk, nobody is [here] to respond and [yet] they are paid highly,” Ms. Among said in disappointment.

“We have 83 ministers and for that reason therefore I first want to meet the executive on this matter. Let’s adjourn the House until we have this issue resolved.”

In the lead-up to the adjournment, the Speaker had decried the persistent absenteeism despite her repetitive caution to the cabinet on the same.

An aerial view of the empty front row (where ministers casually sit) at parliament chambers

Similar scenarios

In August last year, Among, who by then was Deputy Speaker came tough on inconsistent attendance by some of the Members of Parliament in plenary sittings.

She specifically warned that she would issue cautionary letters to legislators who were said to be in the habit of skipping House proceedings and yet colossal sums of taxpayers’ money are being paid to them to execute their mandate.

“We are using taxpayers money. The money that they are paying us is from taxpayers you aren’t in constituencies, you aren’t in the house, so where are you? And you are talking about accountability, so what are you accounting for? You aren’t anywhere, you aren’t helping or legislating for your people. We are going to give you warning letters, we are going to take action,” Ms Among said at the time.

On 20 August 2021, the Deputy Speaker Among adjourned plenary following unending apologies from the Government Chief Whip to shield absent Ministers.

The Speaker who has been a long-term crusader against absenteeism in the House now says she will bring the matter to the immediate attention of the Head of the Executive, President Museveni.

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