Speaker Rebecca Kadaga on Thursday night lost her temper when the host of “NTV On The Spot” programme Patrick Kamara asked about her retirement plans.
Kamara: You are one of the long serving MPs, with all due respect, when do you expect to retire?
Kadaga: The issue of retirement is between me and my voters. They are the ones I discuss with. I have refused to discuss that with anybody, it’s not your business.
Kamara insisted that he wanted to know whether she was evening considering it.
“The issue of my retirement is not your business,” Kadaga fumed. She challenged Kamara: “When are you leaving this office yourself?”
Kamara said it was one of the things voters would like to hear her clarify.
“The issue of time is between me and my voters. I’m elected. I didn’t come here for that, I don’t like the way you smuggle things. You sent me a set of questions and now you have walked away from them.”
Kamara explained that although he sent her prior questions, he was entitled to asking more for the sake of the programme.
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“I refuse to discuss that with anyone. I don’t want to deal with that you asked me here to talk about the work of parliament,” Kadaga shut him up.
Kamara: Should we say that the number and time accorded to MPs has affected the level of debate?
Kadaga: If you are prepared, you can say what you want to say in 3 minutes. MPs have iPads, if one is interested in a subject he/she has to research and prepare.
Kadaga said the attendance of MPs has improved, it maybe that some are absent because they are sick or out of the country but they are there.
“You can watch on your screen and see that MPs attend sittings. There is no school where you learn to be an MP, you learn to be an MP in parliament, different views and issues may require different expertise you can’t be knowledgeable in everything and I think MPs are doing a good job.”
She said there is a difference between the work of parliament and the work of the executive.
“Our work is to investigate, evaluate, make recommendations and submit them to the prime minister.”
In that house, members of the NRM rejected matters which are not of interest to the people, Kadaga explained.
“People cannot run Parliament from the street, I’m the speaker and I’m responsible for the output.”
She added: “If you disagree with the decision of the speaker, you go to the floor, raise 40 members to object. Have you ever seen anyone objecting to my decisions?”
Kadaga says most of the committees are working within their stipulated time to finish their reports, citing the local government’s accounts committee, Human rights committee that has submitted the report already.
She said a number of people who attend conferences in Uganda love it here, they still come to Uganda with their children for holidays and this has helped market the country.
She said the Inter-parliamentary union, is a union of all parliaments of the world so it’ actually bigger than the Common Wealth.
“We meet twice in a year to discuss matters of interest to all. The National Assembly does not have much to do with the work of EALA, they are expected to report to us but it’s not very satisfactory, most of the work is with the council of ministers and the summit of the heads of state.”