Members of Parliament have completed a three day training seminar, the first of its kind since the inauguration of the 11th Parliament in May 2021.
The induction seminar which started on 15 June 2022 and ended on Friday, 17 June 2022 at Imperial Royale Hotel was officially closed by the Minister for General Duties, Hon. Justine Kasule Lumumba on behalf of the Speaker Anita Among.
The training seminar is part of the intervention towards continuous improvement in the quality of output and overall efficiency and effectiveness of MPs.
On behalf of the Speaker, Lumumba congratulated the MPs for successfully completing the training and urged them to use the skills attained to become better legislators.
“It is my expectation that you will become better legislators and recast our legislative priorities to address real issues that affect our people by engaging in an orderly, professional and objective approach to the consideration of matters that shall come under our deliberation in the House,” Among said in her message presented by Hon. Lumumba.
As a presiding officer, Among is buoyant that this training seminar will sprout efficiency, reliability and effectiveness among MPs in handling parliamentary business.
“We are hopeful that the 11th Parliament shall have better and informed processes of legislation and there shall be improved performance of members both individually and collectively,” she said.
During the three day seminar, MPs were trained on various topics to enhance their knowledge on legislative process, social and leadership potency such as parliamentary procedures and practices, ethics, integrity and conflict of interest in the legislature, management of personal finances and public speaking among other topics.
According to the Clerk to Parliament, Hon. Adolf Mwesige, the seminar is just a precursor of more seminars that Parliament intends to organize for MPs in the near future. The former MP and minister with over 25 years’ experience in parliamentary business urged the MPs to use their positions to influence and mobilize their communities into income generating projects to enhance their livelihoods.
“The work of a parliamentarian especially in context of a developing country like Uganda is not only about mastering the parliamentary procedures and practices, but also involves the mobilization of your constituents for improvement of household incomes and development of communities in general,” he said.
He urged MPs to exercise high levels of self discipline, financial literacy and avoid situations which will compromise their social standing in the communities.
The Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Robinah Nabbanja called for MPs' collective support in the successful implementation of the Parish Development Model, the ‘last mile’ strategy by government to drive over 10 million Ugandans who are currently in subsistence economy into the money economy.
“We must deal with poverty and increase household incomes. When people's livelihood are improved then pressure on MPs to meet demands of the voters will reduce. So we have no choice, but to use media and other fora to explain to people the critical importance of this game changer. As MPs, let us support PDM irrespective of our political affiliations,” Nabbanja said.
Earlier on, it was Dr. Peter Kimbowa, a financial and business consultant who captured full attention of the MPs when he addressed them on personal finance management, a grey area where many have fallen short. Dr. Kimbowa listed what he termed as “financial sins” that many MPs engage in leaving them financially handicapped.
Among the financial sins include, being over confident with money, succumbing to press pressure, investing in liabilities instead of assets, having high debt burden and having many idle assets.
“As MPs, you need to look for some other sources of income which can support your operational activities in the constituency. You can't rely on salary. And don't hold assets which you don't need. You will be asset rich, but cash poor,” Kimbowa said.
He warned them against unnecessary expenditure and borrowing.
He urged MPs and the public in general to inculcate a culture of saving saying the average saving rate of Ugandans is about six per cent of their income, a fraction that is too low compared to other East African countries such as Tanzania and Kenya that have a saving rate of about 14 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.