Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | A total of 132 Members of Parliament (MPs) will today Monday 17, May 2021 be sworn in for a five-year term as representatives for different constituencies across the country, in the 11th Parliament.
The swearing-in ceremony which is done in sequence of alphabetical order, is presided over by the clerk to Parliament will last four days starting today Monday, May 17, until Thursday, May 20th, at the Parliamentary building in Kampala. A total of 529 Members of Parliament-elect are set to be sworn into office.
According to the statement issued by the clerk to Parliament Jane Kibirige, the swearing-in ceremony started at 8:00am at Parliament’s South Wing parking lot and will end at 6:30pm each day.
The MPs-elect are accompanied by only three people, those with disabilities will be granted one additional person as an aide.
The guidelines are strict because of the existing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus.
Every person elected to parliament takes the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Member of Parliament, before they officially start their five-year term of office.
By the time of filing this report, at least 65 MPs have taken oath in the morning session, out of the scheduled 66. MP Prossy Akampurira Mbabazi, the Rubanda Woman MP did not turn up. Ababiku Jesca, the Adjumani Woman MP opened the swearing-in process.
The other elected MPs who have already taken oath are Lira City Woman MP Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, Kitgum Woman MP Lillian Aber, Pian County MP Achia Remigio, Soroti Woman MP Adeke Anna Ebaju, Busiki County MP Paul Akamba, Gulu City Woman MP Betty Aol Ocan, and Asiimwe Florence Akiiki, the newly elected Masindi Woman MP, among others.
After taking an oath, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng pledged to transform her constituency saying that most of the areas in the Northern region are still far behind in regard to the education and other services. She adds that people in the Northern region also need economic empowerment since this is one of the areas in Uganda that has been disadvantaged even before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lillian Aber says she is going to now embark on mobilizing and engaging her constituents in Kitgum District to make sure that they increase on Agricultural production.
Cuthbert Abigaba Mirembe, the Kibale County MP says that he is going to embark on accomplishing some of the projects that he lobbied for his constituents in his previous term citing electrification, bridges and others.
Sarah Opendi Achieng, the Tororo Woman MP says she expects a vibrant 11th parliament that will focus more on service delivery and ensuring that all Ugandans are served equally. She adds that the 11th parliament should also, ensure that necessary legislation in the health and mineral sector are made.
“We are in a multi-party dispensation. I expect us to be more tolerant and understanding and ensure that whatever we do is for the good of the people of Uganda that elected us,” says Opendi.
Joan Alobo Acom, the Soroti City Woman MP said that she expects to coordinate and work together with MPs from different political parties for the good of the country. All incoming legislators were strictly required to be in the company of three people and keep masks on due to the existing COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) envisaged containing the spread of Coronavirus.
The afternoon session is scheduled to start at 2:00 pm.
Meanwhile, traffic around parliament has been diverted as the newly elected members of the incoming 11th parliament start to take oath.
After swearing-in, the MPs will proceed to the parking area via the eastern gate of parliament opposite National Theater and exit through Dewinton road. All motorists unrelated to the function are advised to avoid Kimathi Avenue, Parliamentary Avenue, Siad Barre, and Dewinton roads.
Traffic police has also warned all people that parking along the road or near parliament is prohibited, any abandoned vehicles shall be towed to central police Kampala yard at the owners’ cost and inconvenience.