The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has lashed out at MPs who sign for allowance and do not attend the prescribed meetings to the end.
Kadaga said it was wrong for legislators to sign for emoluments yet they do not fulfill their obligations and mandate of legislation, saying it was a form of corruption.
She expressed disappointment that the legislators were not living to the citizens’ expectations of being exemplary, saying they focus more on signing for their allowances yet they do not do the work they are paid to do.
“You come and smell the house by signing and you do not even enter the chamber. Can you imagine? All that is corruption,” the Speaker said.
Kadaga made the remarks while launching the Parliamentary Forum of Ethics and Integrity yesterday at the house. The forum was formed by MPs to act as a platform to discuss, uphold and defend the country’s moral values.
Its vision is to have a nation whose nationals are informed by deep personal respect of and adherence to ethical values such as honesty, accountability, and integrity.
Kadaga was happy about the forum and said rectitude should start right from the young children so that the country has a generation of integrity. The First Lady and education minister, Mrs. Janet Museveni, in a statement read by the general duties minister, Mary Karooro Okurut (Bushenyi Woman MP), urged legislators to spread the gospel of good parenting, saying it is the main pillar of a strong and upright society.
“Parents are the first educators before a child goes to a formal school, the parents should be involved in molding the children in the right way as far as their issues of ethical values are concerned,” Mrs. Museveni said.
She added that the ministry plans to incorporate the study of ethics in the education curriculum so that children are taught ethical values.
“This will be Primary and Secondary school because these are the formative years, where what is taught to the children sticks with them,” Okurut read. James Nsaba Buturo (Bufumbira County East), the chairperson of the forum said the forum, is not only an effort from Parliament but something the nation will pick up.
He said Uganda should first address the issue of ethics and integrity in order to grow economically. “The forum is going to be constantly reminding the country on what to do right and what is going wrong. We have to tell the nation to either swim or sink together since there is no other way around it,” Buturo added.
Simon Lokodo, the ethics minister, in a statement read by Alex Okello, the permanent secretary to the ministry, appreciated the legislators for their concern about the ethics of the society. He said this was a sign of change at hand.