Kampala, Uganda | URN | Workers’ Member of Parliament [MP] Dr. Sam Lyomoki on Friday 18th, December 2020 faced the wrath of Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga who directed the Sergeant at Arms to eject him from the sitting.
The Speaker’s tough decision came after Dr Lyomoki defied the Parliament Rules of Procedure when he took to the floor to submit a matter concerning the National Social Security Fund [NSSF] Amendment Bill, 2019 without the authority of the Speaker.
Attempts by Speaker Kadaga to call him to order and take his seat fell on deaf ears as he continued to defy the orders saying that he could not take his seat without an explanation why the Bill had not been put on the order paper.
“This is a very serious denial of the rights of the workers of this country to access the benefits of social security. Last time we proceeded on this matter after workers trying to put up some bit of pressure and we remained with only two clauses…right now we see the order paper missing this item,” he said in part.
Dr Lyomoki said that the workers’ representatives were disappointed in Parliament for failing to have the Bill concluded.
At this point, Speaker Kadaga directed Dr Sam Lyomoki to sit but the legislator insisted saying that he could not since he needed to represent his constituents.
Unimpressed by what she saw as Dr Lyomoki’s campaign gimmicks, the Speaker then directed the Sergeant at Arms to eject him from the Chambers accusing him of playing to the gallery given the campaign period.
Before Parliament was adjourned indefinitely in August 2020, Dr Lyomoki spent a night in the chambers to protest the delayed enactment of the NSSF Bill.
Presented before Parliament in August 2019, the Bill has generated controversy regarding the mid-term access of funds and whether it should be the Ministry of Finance or Gender to take charge of the funds.
Members of Parliament on the joint committee composed of Finance and Gender committees of parliament have in the past months been in discussions to finalize building consensus especially on the need for NSSF members who are below 45 years and have not saved for at least 10 years to be allowed to benefit from the mid-term access window.
Different workers leaders have since the COVID-19 pandemic petitioned the office of the Speaker raising concern on the delayed consideration of the Bill which they said would enable workers to get some benefits like unemployment benefits, relief funds and others for those facing financial hardships occasioned by the COVID-19 lockdown.