The week in Uganda Parliament : 1st – 5th April, 2013

Plenary

MOVER SUBJECT BRIEF ABOUT SUBJECT ACTION
April 2, 2013
Hon. Matia kasaija (MP Buyanja County )Minister of State for Finance(Planning) Laying of papers Uganda Vision 2040 Referred to the Committee of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to work in conjunction with the Budget Committee.
Hon. Sabiti Jack (MP, Rukiga County) Chairperson of the Local Governments Accounts Committee. Laying of papers Financial statements for the year ended 30th June 2011 together with the report and opinion thereon by the Auditor-General for the following; Kotido District Local Government, Kotido Town Council, Abim District Local Government, Abim Town Council, Nakapiripirit District Local Government, Nakapiripirit Town Council, Jinja District Local Government, Jinja Municipal Council, Kakira Town Council, Buwenge Town Council, Butembe Town Council, Bulambuli District Local Government, Gulu District Local Government, Gulu Municipal Council, Kumi District Local Government, Kumi Town Council, Fort Portal Municipal Council, Katakwi District Local Government, Katakwi Town Council, Wakiso District Local Government, Wakiso Town Council,Entebbe Municipal Council, Moroto District Local Government, Moroto Municipal Council, Bukedea District Local Government and Bukedea Town Council. Reports referred to the Committee of Local Government Accounts for scrutiny.
Hon. James Baba (Ex-officio) Minister of State for Internal Affairs. Bills seconds reading The Public Order Management Bill, 2011 The bill seeks to provide for regulation of public meetings, the duties and responsibilities of the police, the organisers and participants in relation to public meetings, to prescribe measures for safeguarding public order without compromising the principles of democracy, freedom of association and freedom of speech. Members debated the bill.
April 3, 2013
Hon. Awong Ahmed(MP Koboko County) Laying of papers Financial statements for the year ended 30th June 2011 together with the report and opinion thereon by the Auditor-General for the following; Serere District Local Government, Serere Town Council, Amuria District Local Government, Amuria Town Council, Lugazi Town Council, Buikwe District Local Government, Buikwe Town Council, Amudat District Local Government, Amudat Town Council, Namayingo District Local Government, Namayingo Town Council, Soroti District Local Government, Soroti Municipal Council, Busia District Local Government, Busia Municipal Council, Kampala City Council-Nakawa Division, Kampala City Council-Central Division, Kampala City Council-Headquarters, Kampala City Council-Makindye ,Kampala City Council-Kawempe, Kibaale town Council, Mpondwe Lhubiriha Town Council, Buliisa Town Council, Kibuku District Local Government, Kyenjojo District Local Government, Otuke District Local Government, Buvuma District Local Government, Bundibugyo Town Council, Masindi District Local Government and Maracha District Local Government. Reports referred to the Committee of Local Government Accounts for scrutiny.
Hon. James Baba (Ex-officio) Minister of State for Internal Affairs. Bills seconds reading The Public Order Management Bill, 2011 The bill seeks to provide for regulation of public meetings, the duties and responsibilities of the police, the organisers and participants in relation to public meetings, to prescribe measures for safeguarding public order without compromising the principles of democracy, freedom of association and freedom of speech. Debate concluded. Parliament considers bill at the committee stage. Consideration of bill deferred.
Hon. Stephen Mukitale (MP Buliisa County) Chairperson Committee of National Economy. Presentation, consideration and adoption of the report of the Committee of National Economy to borrow from the European Union. Government intends to borrow Euro 55 million for financing the widening and improvement of the Kampala Northern Bypass and the construction of the Mbarara Bypass. Presentation of report deferred
April 4, 2013
Hon. Gabriel Ajedra(MP)Minister of state for Finance(Investment) Laying of papers Request to borrow UA 67 million from the African Development Fund(AFDB) of the African Development Bank Group for financing the support to Higher Education, Science and Technology Project(HEST) Request committed to Committee of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.
Hon. Kahinda Otafiire(MP)Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. Laying of papers The 15th annual report of the Uganda Human Rights Commission, 2012. Report committed to the Committee of Human Rights
Hon. Florence Namayanja(MP Bukoto County East) Laying of papers Financial statements for the year ended 30th June 2011 together with the report and opinion thereon by the Auditor-General for the following; Kamuli District Local Government, Luuka District Local Government, Iganga District Local Government, Kaliro District Local Government, Bugiri District Local Government, Buyende Town Council, Kayunga District Local Government, Kayunga Town Council, Kamwenge Town Council, Namutumba Town Council, Bugembe Town Council,Buyende Town Council, Dokolo District Local Government, Kiryadongo District Local Government, Kaliro Town Council, Kalongo Town Council, Bududa District Local Government, Koboko District Local Government, Koboko District Local Government, Nakasongola Town Council, Luwero District Local Government, Amuru District Local Government, Kyegegwa District Local Government, Amolatar Town Council, Kaabong Town Council, Napak-Lorengechora Town Council, Ngora Town Council, Apac District Local Government, Lamwo District Local Government, Kasese District Local Government, Nwoya District Local Government, Yumbe District Local Government, Pader District Local Government, Nebbi District Local Government, Zombo Town Council and Adjumani District Local Government. Reports committed to the Committee of Local Government Accounts for scrutiny.
Hon. Paul Mwiru(MP, Jinja Municipality East) Question for oral answer to the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic on the Road Fund Act, 2008. Hon. Gabriel Ajedra, Minister of State for Finance responds; since the coming into effect of the Road Fund Act, fuel levies have not been collected. What has been collected is excise tax and in accordance with the URA Act, the funds are remitted to URA account.
Hon. Dr Bayigga Lulume (MP, Buikwe County South) Question for oral answer to the Minister of Health on tuberculosis disease burden in Uganda. Hon. Christine Ondoa, Minister for Health responds; There is an improvement in laboratory system to detect more cases and there is a first and second line of treatment available in the country. There are five centres that have started the treatment for the multi-drug resistance Tuberculosis in the country and there are plans to scale this up to all the 13 regional referral hospitals and some of the general hospitals.
Hon. Monica Amoding(MP, National Youth MP) Motion seeking leave of Parliament to introduce a private members bill. Rules of Procedure provide that a Private Members Bill shall be introduced first by way of a motion seeking leave of Parliament; every Member of Parliament has a right to move a Private Members Bill; member seeks leave to introduce the National Youth Enterprise Fund Bill, 2013 Motion approved
Hon. Jack Wamanga-Wamai(MP, Mbale Municipality) Presentation of petition The petition is by civil servants of Mbale district who are trying to purchase former pool houses under a mortgage scheme run by Housing Finance bank. The petitions say that the bank is trying to sell the houses behind their back. They are seeking Parliament intervention in the matter. Petition referred to Committee of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.
Hon. Kahinda Otafiire,(MP ) Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs The Marriage and Divorce Bill, 2009 The object of the bill is to reform and consolidate the law relating to marriage, separation and divorce provide for the types of recognized marriages in Uganda, marital rights and duties, recognition of cohabitation in relation to property rights, grounds for breakdown of marriage, and rights of parties on dissolution of marriage. It also deals with widow inheritance and separation. Members to consult further on the bill for three months.
Hon. Stephen Mukitale (MP Buliisa) Chairperson Committee of National Economy. Presentation, consideration and adoption of the report of the Committee of National Economy to borrow from the European union. Government intends to borrow Euro 55 million for financing the widening and improvement of the Kampala Northern Bypass and the construction of the Mbarara Bypass. Loan approved.

ICT4Democracy in East Africa’ Project Launched

This article was published by the Swedish Programme on ICTs for Developing regions (SPIDER) on June 28, 2011, about the ICT4Democracy in East Africa project, which brings together various partners in the region.

Recently, we have seen a number of projects, pilots and tools where ICT is used in various ways to promote democracy. Many of these initiatives have been launched in East Africa: crowd-sourcing platforms such as Ugandawatch2011, uReport and Ushahidi (and variations thereof such as Uchaguzi, Huduma and Map Kibera); innovative SMS applications such as Grid 6464, CU@SCHOOL, 3356 shortcode by City Council in Nairobi and Trac FM; and of course the widespread use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

We have also seen some challenges in ICT enabled democracy projects emerge: lack of government involvement, too much government involvement (i.e. surveillance, filtering and censorship), low community involvement and problems sustaining the community involvement over time, expensive marketing strategies and reaching out campaigns, lack of visibility, how to show impact… The list can be made long.

In November 2010, Spider together with Association for Progressive Communications (APC), organized a Governance Stakeholder Workshop in Kampala, Uganda and invited East African organizations who could bring in important and valuable insight to the area of ICT, democracy and development. Following this workshop, Spider received concept papers and project proposals in the field of ICT and democracy and after reviewing the applications, identified several overlaps and areas in the project proposals that could benefit from a collaborative and stronger ICT for democracy program. The aim of the program is to synergize and compliment the individual projects with the ambition of possibly creating a network hub that deals in democracy through the use of ICTs.

A follow-up two-day workshop in Kampala in May 2011, brought together partners with various strengths who all lauded the idea of a program and expanding their individual existing networks. The Partners have different expertise that together will create greater impact:

Kenya Human Rights Commission has been in existence since 1992 and is the oldest partner among the projects. KHRC have for 19 years advocated for constitutional reforms within the area of human rights. As such they are currently looking at incorporating ICTs in their work, and this is an area that their partner iHUB also in Kenya has expertise in and can be of significant assistance. iHUB’s strength and expertise lie in their technical knowledge and solutions which they are now marrying to governance and democracy advocacy in Kenya and area they are relatively new at. Both Kenyan partners expressed interest and support for the idea of a program approach because in this case they can work together to strengthen each other’s weaknesses.

Women of Uganda Network has for the past 11 years worked with women’s groups and organizations promoting the use of ICTs to share information and address various social issues. WOUGNET’s vision is a society in which women are empowered through the use of ICTs for sustainable development. This strong gender-awareness in their ICT programs provides an opportunity for the ICT for Democracy program to ensure that activities and plans by each partner maintain gender sensitivity in their deployment. As these organizations will look at addressing social accountability in various rural regions in the region, Transparency International the Ugandan Chapter, with expertise in awareness and anti-corruption campaigning will be assisting the other partners in this area. TIU in turn expressed the need for help in addressing the communities with a gender-lens.

Towards the end of the workshop, the partners all advocated for regional facilitation of the program, and unanimously selected Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA). CIPESA by virtue of their experience in collaborative efforts was identified as the ideal partner to facilitate the cooperation and activities planned by the partners. CIPESA similarly look to KHRC, TIU, WOUGNET and iHUB to assist them in working with technology and with grass-root communities, and with CIPESA’s experience in Policy driven research changes, this program should have an all-round impact not just to the local communities where the activities will be anchored for the next 2 years but to overall policy.

 

Source: SPIDER newsletter, June 28, 2011

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