Monday August 25 2014

MPs devise means of dodging meetings

MPs attending plenary at Parliament recently.

MPs attending plenary at Parliament recently. Photo By Geoffrey Sseruyange 

By Our Reporter

It was Eneke the bird in Chinua Achebe’s classic novel Things Fall Apart that boasted that when men learnt to shoot without missing, he (the bird) also learnt to fly without perching.
And so when a parliamentary report exposed MPs who attend committee meetings as and when they want -- contrary to House rules, some MPs dived into their bag of tricks to devise a way of skirting around the monitoring system.
During a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Physical Infrastructure last week, Aruu County MP Odonga Otto pulled off one such trick.
Otto trooped into committee room 013, made a beeline for the register, quickly scribbled his name and then dashed out after informally mumbling about a verbal duel that had pitted Kasilo MP Elijah Okupa against Buhweju MP Ephraim Biraro.

As the committee received presentations from shadow minister for lands Patrick Amuriat and Lands Minister Daudi Migereko, Mr Otto had returned and settled into his seat.
Clutching a catalogue of documents, he instantly launched a verbal tirade against ministers Abraham Byandala (Works and Transport minister) and John Byabagambi (state minister for Works), for allegedly ‘fingering’ taxpayers money and warned that they risked a censure motion.
Mr Byabagambi, riled by the accusations, countered that Mr Otto may have been paid to incite mischief against them.
“How much have they paid you to be their commission agent,”Mr Byabagambi shot back.
Bunyole East MP Emmanuel Dombo also marched in, in the dying minutes but scrambled for the register.