Posts Tagged ‘current-events’


Deputy Speaker Oulanyah and Speaker Kadaga

Deputy Speaker Oulanyah and Speaker Kadaga

Game of thrones, should have focused an episode on Ugandan parliament. Only difference is that our speakers fight sometimes for the “right thing” but the end game is promotion, popularity and little concern of the public or taxpayers money, we are collateral damage.

Deputy Speaker Oulanyah made the first move this year as he reversed the decision to expel senior journalists from parliament. The ‘evil letter’ written by Clerk to Parliament, an order from parliamentary commission headed by Kadaga expelling all senior journalists from parliament.

Speaker Kadaga reacted by calling for an editor’s meeting, sticking to her guns, asking them to change the journalists covering parliament, although she had valid reasons, she has no authority to tell editors who to assign what beats and who to pull out.

Kadaga hit below the belt as she made history setting into motion a process that could put her on a collision course with her Deputy Jacob Oulanyah after she controversially overturned his decision that Parliament would not handle issues about KCCA before a definitive resolution is made over the Lord Mayor’s fate. Speaker Kadaga ruled that her deputy’s decision was “personal”.

Deputy Speaker Oulanyah in December last year ruled that Parliament would not handle business about City Hall unless the government decisively settles the disputes surrounding the contested impeachment of city Mayor Erias Lukwago. A Ministerial committee led by the Premier Ruhakana Rugunda was set up to handle the matter amid skepticism from the Opposition.

However-matters about KCCA were again on the floor as the Junior Finance Minister Fred Omach rose to present budget estimates for the City Authorities for the 2015/16 financial year.

MPs’led by the Leader of opposition in Parliament Wafula Oguttu brought the matter of Parliament’s position to Ms Kadaga’s attention warning that handling KCCA issues violates procedural rules as the House had committed not to handle KCCA issues.

I have extracts of the Hansard. On that day the [Deputy] Speaker advised government that we would not entertain any mater from KCCA until the political problems were solved. I would like to draw your attention to this and to ask this Parliament that we should respect our own decisions so that we are not a laughing-stock out there—when we say something let us respect it,” Mr Oguttu said.

What the Rules of procedure say:

Rule 78: “Decision of the Speaker or Chairperson” plainly instructs that the Speaker’s decision cannot be reviewed without a motion. Rule 78(2) states that: “The decision of the Speaker or Chairperson upon any point shall not be open to appeal and shall not be reviewed by the House except upon a substantive motion made after notice.

What happened was not a decision of the [Deputy] Speaker but also a decision of the House. If as legislators, we are to observe our own rules of procedure, a matter to do with KCCA cannot be dealt with until a substantive motion has been moved,” Mr Nuwagaba argued.

But Ms Kadaga ignoring all the opposition’s concerns ruled saying that Oulanyah had taken the initiative not to preside over matters about KCCA.

“The issue the Deputy Speaker was talking about was his personal decision not to preside over any matter on KCCA until the issues of governance were resolved.I want us to be realistic-what if the [impeding KCCA] Bill was brought for First Reading today, will he then say we shall not consider it. Where else would we have the Bill done other than this House? The Deputy Speaker said in his own words, in his own name. He said Jacob Oulanyah would not preside over KCCA issues, “MS Kadaga ruled.

Extract from Hansard on 19th Dec

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, this issue of KCCA has posed a difficult situation in this House not only once, but many times and for some reason it happens when I am in the Chair. (Laughter) It is not a good situation to chair when outstanding matters that are easy to solve continue to be a problem and pose a threat to the progress of debate in the House.

I had earlier made a directive to the government side that this matter of KCCA should be resolved so that when matters come from KCCA we are able to, in a bipartisan manner, handle them expeditiously. Today, I will state again that personally, – and this is for the record – if these matters of governance in KCCA are not resolved with finality, I will not be ready to preside over a matter involving KCCA again. (Applause)

This is because it is a stressful experience, there are legitimate concerns being raised and these concerns are genuine. We requested that the matters be resolved and they are not. Each time I sit here, I get headaches about these matters. So, whether the loan is approved or not, if by the time we resume in February next year, the matter of administration and governance in KCCA is not resolved, no matter should be brought to this House that has anything to do with KCCA and the House expects that Jacob Oulanyah will be presiding; I will not. (Applause) I will not, because I am only a human being and I cannot preside over the same thing over and over.

Rt Hon. Prime Minister, I urge you that by the time we resume in February next year, if you will not have resolved this matter of governance in KCCA, be put on notice; Jacob Oulanyah will not preside over any matter involving KCCA if these governance issues in KCCA remain outstanding

I would like your commitment that you will adhere to what I have just said.

The leader of Opposition sarcastically asked Speaker Kadaga to state the right time, when the speakers preside over the house as people and when they are speakers of Parliament n your Kadaga.

“I seek clarification Madam speaker, when are you Kadaga the person and when are you the speaker of Parliament while seated in that chair? “ asked LOP Oguttu.

As if that wasn’t enough Kadaga last week tasked the Rules Committee to check the Hansard there by reviewing Deputy speaker Oulanyah ‘s ruling on the report on a petition. Oulanyah had ruled adopting the committee report on a petition on Land eviction of people of Lwemiyaga after no MP rose to debate the report, it was then adopted. After the adoption, MPs’Nzoghu, Ssekikubo seek to review ‪Parliament’s decision on its petition by Lwemiyaga County of Mar 3, 2015. MP Nzough and Ssekikubo, responsible for the monitory report begged the speaker to go back on his ruling to which Oulanyah rightly rejected, reminding them of time keeping.

The clash of the puppet masters continues, Deputy Speaker Oulanyah, your move!

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The Higher Education students Financing Act was passed on 12/12/2013, it was to harmostudent-loan-scheme-headernize public higher education financing by creating a central agency responsible for vetting applications for public education financing by introducing a students loan scheme.

While the basic arguments for the scheme are not in question, there are serious questions about the robustness of the Act’s operational framework to make sure that these broad goals as well as the more specific goals for students are realized.

The Rationale for Student Loans Scheme There are many arguments in favor of student loan schemes. Uganda, having recently joined over 70 countries that run such schemes, has incorporated several of these arguments as it has proposed and passed the Higher Education Students Financing Act. Despite these provisions under the Act, the Higher Education in Uganda has undergone significant changes related to use, institutional set up, number and differences among key players, and financing. It is doubtful if the government can secure and maintain adequate capitalization for the scheme.

There have been questions on;

1.Is there an efficient institutional management, including adequate systems for the selection of borrowers, the disbursement of loans, record keeping, data storage, and data processing?

2.Is there Sound financial management, including setting appropriate interest rates?

3.Are there Effective criteria and mechanisms for determining eligibility for loans, for targeting subsidies, and for deferring or forgiving loan requirements?

4.Is there an adequate legal framework to ensure that loan recovery is legally enforceable?

5.Is there Information and publicity to ensure that recipients understand the underlying principles and consequent obligations for the borrowing of repayment loans?

Weaknesses

With the corruption cases in Uganda, the key question many legislators, activists and youth ask is whether the loan scheme funds will stay put and not misused, case on point is, the findings of the report from the committee on Education on the ministerial policy statement and budget estimates for FY2014/15, a report that was read and tabled on the floor of parliament.

The Committee observed that during FY   2013/14 UGX 6bn was allocated towards the Higher Education Students’ Financing Scheme of which UGX 5bn was to cater for students’ loans and the balance of UGX 1.0bn for administrative purposes. However, the Committee learnt that the real release was UGX, The task force on pre­ utilized 4.5bn. Of this amount, UGX 1.52bn ,Implementation   operations   while UGX   1.29bn was transferred to   Higher Education Students’ Financing Board account instead of UGX 2.98bn.

The Committee noted with concern that the balance of UGX 1.69bn was diverted to other activities in the Ministry of Education and Sports. The committees recommended that UGX 1.69bn recovered from the   Ministry of Education and   Sports to be used to extend loans to struggling, continuing Students.

The Act does not address parents / students attitudes to grants / loans where non-payment may go beyond a mere resistance to honoring the debt. The other question that many ask is, What will happen to students who are granted loans but who do not graduate (students drop out, but stay liable for their debt).

Unemployable has been another key area for many of the policy analysts to look into; According to a 2008 World Bank Report, Uganda is among the countries with the youngest population and the highest youth unemployment rate of 83%.

To further lend credibility to these findings, in the 2011/2012 budget of Uganda, the Minister of Finance recognised that because of the high levels of unemployment, the Ugandan economy could only absorb 20% of its youth.

You have to ask yourself whether government is setting up youths for a disappointment and frustration, with Uganda’s unemployment rate, how does one except youths to repay the loan? These are among many of the concerns that have been raised by educators, students and policy makers as well as those on the Parliamentary Committee.

As the Scheme is launched there will no doubt be other concerns about the extent to which the scheme can address efficiency and equity concerns in a differentiated Higher Education system in Uganda that has more private than public players. The loan scheme does not address inequalities within higher education financing and access.

This is made worse by the law does not give for clear eligibility criteria for accessing the loan scheme. The only eligibility criteria proposed by the sectoral committee of parliament pays attention to critical causes for national development (sciences). But this is not a criteria, it is a prioritization of financing.

During the parliamentary debate on the education committee report, members of parliament were concerned that the loan scheme had been awarded to only students offering sciences and not humanities, the minister for Education Hon Jessica Alpo confirmed their fears by saying that the loan scheme was now focusing on students offering sciences as a property. This raised the question of equity of the loan scheme.

The timing of the loan is very critical in so far as; the loan scheme was introduced towards the notational elections. This may affect repayment as those who will get access to the scheme may think of it as political money. It may as well be abused and used for political ends, if not well safeguarded.

It is not clear from the law if this law is intended to finance higher education only in public universities, or whether private university students can also access the loan scheme; During the parliament debate on the Education committee report, Hon Anywar raised the question on why many of the candidates that had qualified for the loan scheme were mainly from Kampala International university It is also likely that the loan scheme can be used to control student activism at public universities; what happens if the students who are under loan scheme but show against some government policies of laws?

In conclusion, how will the loan scheme address the unemployment problem when our education system focuses on job seeking and not job creators? Over to you readers.

Check http://www.parliamentwatchuganda.org for an analysis of the Law !


when parents decide to shop for their children at the university or actually give them money to do shopping, majority of the needs have now changed, with the current dot.com era and change in the life styles , shopping of condoms, pills is a basic issue , for most of the parents do not want to accept the fact that their children are sexually involved or majority are planing on starting and thinking about it!

from the responses of the students 80% of the university students are sexually involved, and those that are actually thinking of it, the issue of keeping virginity is now stale or not considered by many, it is considered not update for a girl or boy to still be virgins at university , talk about peer groups , the students start to feel small and being left out! of the talk or “jazz”

talked to a couple of university students and their response was very amusing!

Esther 21 second year Muk

i think it is necessary though, most of us are shy to tell our parents about since you do not want to answer so many questions and also avoiding lectures from parents and shock but otherwise am in the view of the fact that anti pregnancy pills are needed for most of the university students , to avoid cases of UN wanted pregnancy .