By HOMELAND MEDIA TEAM
The Leader of the Opposition in Uganda’s parliament RT. Hon. Mathias Mpuuga has said the quality of debate in Parliament can improve with investment in programmes designed to equip lawmakers with knowledge and information.
Speaking at the opening of a series of capacity building training sessions for policy analysts today, Mpuuga said that the main cause of laxity among MPs is lack of information.
“What sometimes makes MPs lax is lack of information. When Members lack information, they shy away or tend to be complacent or just give in to whatever is available,” Mpuuga said as he also announced a roll out of training for opposition MPs on programme clusters.
Under the programme clusters, Opposition MPs have been grouped into 20 sector-based clusters through which they will be supported by experts and researchers to enable them make knowledgeable contributions to debates in Parliament.
At the institutional level, MPs would have benefited from the services of Parliament’s research department but due to logistical challenges, the department remains understaffed and can’t therefore adequately serve all the 529 MPs.
This, Mpuuga said, is the reason why they sought to build the capacity of its staff to be able to provide information that motivates MPs to participate in the Committees and matters that come up on the floor of the House.
“Training will help our technical officers with the key insights that will deepen their understanding of our roles in this working environment. Our environment has a tendency of appearing to be partisan in nature but the technical officers don’t enjoy that luxury, they are at the service of Parliament, and owe it to the country,” he said.