Tension and Drama Unfold in Uganda’s Parliament Amidst #UgandaParliamentExhibition Concerns

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In an eventful session at the Uganda Parliament this morning, tensions flared as Members of Parliament engaged in heated exchanges over the agenda and pressing issues surrounding the recent #UgandaParliamentExhibition. The session, presided over by the Speaker, became a focal point for debates on procedural matters and allegations against the Parliament.

The sitting commenced with the Speaker’s attempt to conduct business as usual, which was promptly interrupted by the Leader of Opposition (LoP), Joel Ssenyonyi. Ssenyonyi stood on a procedural issue, urging the Speaker to address the concerns raised by the exhibition, an appeal that seemed to irk the Speaker.

In her response, the Speaker initially patronized Ssenyonyi, crediting him for the commencement of work at Lubowa Hospital, but emphasized the need to prioritize ministerial policy statements due to the special nature of the sitting. Despite Ssenyonyi’s protestations, he eventually conceded, highlighting his gentlemanly demeanor.

The discussion took another turn when Kampala Central MP, Muhammed Nsereko, and Sarah Opendi supported the Speaker’s stance, advocating for the continuation of the session’s agenda. However, the calm was short-lived as Honourable Ssekikubo, representing Lwemiyaga, voiced his frustrations. After being overlooked multiple times, Ssekikubo, with the Speaker’s reluctant permission, reignited the debate over the prioritization of parliamentary issues, questioning the Speaker’s decision to overlook significant allegations in favor of less pressing matters.

Ssekikubo’s passionate discourse was met with resistance from some MPs, but the Speaker allowed him to proceed, acknowledging the procedural nature of his concerns. His insistence on addressing the allegations related to the #UgandaParliamentExhibition before moving on to other topics highlighted the session’s underlying tensions.

The Speaker’s subsequent refusal to respond to what she dismissed as hearsay and accusations “cooked by people” opposed to her stance on sensitive matters further polarized the debate. Her controversial remarks regarding opposition to “BUM SHAFTING,” a derogatory term referring to homosexuality, sparked additional controversy.

As the session progressed, MPs shifted their focus to the state of Uganda’s airfields, lamenting the dilapidation of facilities across the country, including the contested Soroti airfield. Despite the pressing issues at hand, the Speaker and MPs joined in expressing their concerns over infrastructure, ultimately sidelining the critical discussions prompted by the #UgandaParliamentExhibition.

The parliament adjourned without addressing the substantive issues raised, leaving a cloud of unresolved concerns and highlighting the challenges of governance and representation in Uganda. The day’s events showed the complex dynamics within the Uganda Parliament, revealing deep divisions and the urgent need for transparent and constructive dialogue on matters of national importance.

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