The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, has asked protocol officers and Members of Parliament (MPs) tasked to manage the forthcoming Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference(CPC) to observe etiquette.
The Speaker was yesterday addressing a group of MPs and protocol officers during a training on protocol at Parliament ahead of the conference in Kampala later this month.
“When you ‘load’ your plates, don’t overload, don’t mix dessert and meat, pineapple and matooke, and the soup,” Ms Kadaga said, adding: “while eating, even when you are hungry, don’t rush.”
She cited an incident saying: “When the President had travelled with some of us, then the presidents were eating on one side and the MPs on the other and one member was eating in a hurry, he choked.”
“So the President told [his then aide] Lt Gen Wilson Mbadi to go and help, then Gen Mbadi came and slapped him heavily at the back and the meat flew out, it landed near President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete……...,” Ms Kadaga said, throwing the meeting into laughter.
The Speaker also cautioned members to respect the official dress code and warned them against indulging with delegates.
She said a few years ago when Uganda held a summit with Tanzania, there was excitement and a number of children were born in the country by the Tanzanians.
“So, don’t take risks, don’t get involved, a man may come from Jamaica and you won’t see him again, and for the men, a woman from down in the Pacific, you cannot find her again. We must be very careful in whatever we do,” Ms Kadaga added.
The Speaker also implored MPs and the staff not to drink excessively.
“Your drinking should be done in your homes and avoid the smell of alcohol in the morning,” she said.
Ms Kadaga later emphasised that the conference is an important event in marketing the country.
“The people who are coming will be able to know more about our country and speak about us, so whatever experience they get from here, they will use it for or against us,” she said.
The CPC is slated for September 22 to 29 at the Commonwealth Resort Hotel in Munyonyo, Kampala, with more than 1,000 delegates expected in the country.