‘MPs doing little on human rights’

Kampala. The 9th Parliament has performed poorly in terms of repealing bad laws, according to a report released on Monday in Kampala.
The report, “Is the 9th Parliament delivering to citizens’ expectations”, gives the 9th Parliament a score of 35 out of 100, which the House Speaker, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, said is “a fair representation”.
It also stated that 20.5 per cent of Ugandans “agreed that the current Parliament made contributions towards promoting democracy – in controlling the power of the incumbency and leveling the playing field for all political entities – whereas 33.7 per cent disagreed.
It faulted the current Parliament for failure to create an enabling environment for the effective and efficient functioning of civil society organisations.
Dr Yasin Olum, a senior lecturer at Makerere University, said the scores suggest the current Parliament might not be helping to entrench the rule of law and good governance.
“On questions of fundamental respect of human rights, this Parliament does not seem to mind. They engage in contradictions on the one hand, they will say they will pass bills that support the respect and protection of human rights and on the other hand they will pass an act that contradicts that such as the Public Order and Management Act,” added Dr Olum.
Ms Kadaga said the bulletin was “a fair representation of the status of our performance through the presented gaps and challenges which we are committed to work on”.
“As a Speaker of Parliament, I pledge to find time to review the recommendations given towards improving the image and performance of Parliament,” said Ms Kadaga through a statement.
However, Mr James Akena, the Member of Parliament of Lira Municipality, said it is politics that drives developments.
“Although I find this assessment to be on the fairer side, I think a lot of it falls in the area of misperception. I am seeing issues about Parliament not amending laws but we don’t seem to take cognizance of the fact that the agenda is Parliament is driven by politics,” said Mr Akena.
The report said 63.3 per cent of Ugandans felt the government is doing enough on peace and security in the country. 28.9 per cent, however, said it was not doing enough.

Citizens expectation standards Parliament’s performance

1. Review and repeal all anti –
people and redundant legislation Poor
2. Protect Uganda’s interests at the
regional and international levels
by promoting peace and security 63.3%
3. Institute reforms to ensure a
level playing field to realize free
and fair elections 20.5%
4. Review the current mechanism of
determining the emoluments of MPs
to make it transparent 14.3%
5. Become more accountable to their
constituencies for all resources
received from the National Resource
envelope 41.3%
6. Protect and respect the
fundamental rights and freedoms of
Ugandans 47.7%
7. Decisively check executive
excesses and tackle financial
indiscipline in the Executive 18.6%
8. Decisively fight corruption
and public resource abuse 29.6%
9. Institute measures to make
parliamentary decisions consultative
and accountable to citizens 24.2%
10. Decisively review the special
interest group representation in
light of a multiparty dispensation Poor

nwesonga@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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