Speaker cautions public against staging protests on matters before parliament

By Hannah Marion Namukasa The Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, has advised the public to abstain from staging demonstrations against matters that are before the House as legislators work around the clock in resolving them. Among, who was presiding over plenary on Tuesday, 06 September 2022 told Members of Parliament that she had received reports about a demonstration in Parliament over the coffee seedlings. Coffee farmers in August 2022 petitioned Parliament to direct the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to allow coffee nursery farmers to supply seedlings to farmers and payments be made later. The petitioners, however, say that this has not been implemented and yet the planting season is nigh, prompting the demonstrations. Speaker Among cautioned Members of Parliament against advising their constituents to demonstrate against processes of Parliament, saying whereas demonstrations do not yield anything, Parliament will resolve the matter by debate. “The issue of the coffee seedlings is going to be handled. It was discussed in this House. I do not think it is right for us to advise our voters to come and demonstrate at the gate because demonstrating is not going to solve a problem,” she advised. Reacting to the Speaker’s communication, Busia Municipality MP, Hon. Geoffrey Macho, asked ministries, departments and agencies to do their work, so that Ugandans do not demonstrate. “Concerning demonstrations on the coffee seedlings, the ministries should help Parliament to do its work. Our people demonstrate because ministries are not communicating to them,” he said. The Speaker informed MPs that the House will receive a report on the coffee seedlings on Wednesday, 07 September 2022. In her communication, she also requested committees that have not completed their work to do so as the work of Parliament is measured by the number of bills passed and other business concluded before it.

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