By Mohammed Katamba
PARLIAMENT-Five Members of Parliament have been sworn in to join the Pan African Parliament representing Uganda at the continental institution based in Midrand, South Africa.
The Pan African Parliament is the legislative arm of the African Union comprising Members from National Parliaments of AU Member States.
Uganda’s representatives traveled to South Africa only days after their own swearing in to the 11th Parliament held last week and just after the 1st Sitting of the 11th Parliament in which Speaker, Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah and Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Anita Among were elected.
The five positions to the Pan African Parliament are shared out among the majority party (NRM) taking three, while independents and the official opposition, National Unity Platform (NUP) take one seat each.
The five Ugandan Members of parliament have taken the oath to represent Uganda in the Pan-African Parliament seating in Midrand,South Africa.
Hon. Anifa Bangirana Kawooya (NRM, Mawogola West) and Hon. Felix Okot Ogong (NRM, Dokolo South), who are returning to the Parliament for the second term, having been part of Uganda’s delegation there during the 10th Parliament.
Others are two first timers in Parliament of Uganda: Hon. Juliet Achayo Lodou (NRM, Ngora) and Hon. Eric Musana (Ind., Buyaga East), and Hon. Patrick Nsamba Oshabe (NUP, Kassanda North).
Hon. Achayo said that the creation of the continental Parliament is based on the ideology of Pan Africanism which encourages the solidarity of Africans worldwide.
“We believe that unity is vital to economic, social and political progress of people of African descent. Being in the Pan African Parliament, therefore, allows full participation of people from all African states in the development and regional integration of Africa through discussions and decision making on the challenges facing the continent,” she said.
The Members swore in at the start of the ongoing 4th Ordinary Session of the 5th Pan African Parliament, presided over by Ag. President, Chief Fortune Charumbira.
The physical Session being held 21 May – 4 June 2021 under the AU theme for 2021: “Year of the Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want’’ is the first physical meeting being held since early last year due to the outbreak and effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I am glad that we are back to operations and business following the challenges of the pandemic Covid-19 which collapsed the world,” said Hon. Charumbira.
The opening ceremony held on Monday, 24 May 2021, was addressed by Ghanaian President, H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who stressed the need for National Parliaments to develop capacity to insist on accountability in all aspects of people’s lives especial in governance”.