Members of the public will have a rare opportunity to interface with their MPs as well as participate in a Parliamentary debate during the ongoing Parliamentary Week.
Parliament of Uganda is hosting the second Annual Parliament Week which is aimed at opening up Parliament and bringing it closer to the public.
Throughout the four days that began on Sunday and end on Thursday January 25, Parliament will be opening its doors to the public as key stakeholders and sharing information about the legislative institution.
This year’s Parliament Week is themed “Parliament the Voice of the People”, and it was officially flagged off by the Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga on Sunday.
As was the case last year, again members of public will engage in “Meet Your Member of Parliament (MP)” Sessions, to interact with their elected legislators.
In these sessions, the public gets an opportunity to field questions to their MPs, during open-air meetings.
Additionally, the Parliament Building will be open to the public for guided tours, which will be conducted by staff of Parliament. Publications about the Parliament will also be distributed to all visitors to the stalls.
The last day will be characterized by the highly billed Public Parliament in which the public will be invited to the Parliament Chamber to engage in a debate.
The topic to be debated in the public parliament is “Budget allocations and their impact on public service delivery”. The proceedings of the Sitting will be recorded in the Hansard; while the resolutions will be presented to the Speaker.
The week began with a Parliament Fundraising Walk, aimed at raising funds for the construction of an Albino Rehabilitation and Community Centre.The Centre is expected to house a hostel, medical and training facilities, and requires up to Shs 5 billion.
Last year, during the First Parliament Week, the fundraising walk raised Ushs 35million towards the purchase of land for the center. A number of corporate organisations, government agencies, diplomats, Members and staff of Parliament and individuals in their own right, participated in the Walk and contributed towards the fundraising drive.
Yesterday, Monday, the Parliament held a multi-denominational Ecumenical Service after which the Speaker launched the departmental and bank exhibitions and the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) drive.
In the course of the remaining days, over 20 offices in the Parliamentary service will showcase what they do; and the staff will explain what their work entails.
The CSR drive, on the other hand, is a fundraising drive to purchase over one million trees to be planted countrywide. Contributions will be sourced from Members and staff of Parliament.
The actual tree planting campaign will be launched in Moroto Municipality in March this year, during the rainy season.
In addition, there will also be a photo exhibition highlighting the work of a Member of Parliament; while at the same time, the banking and real estate sectors will also display their services to the public.
Today, Parliament is hosting a high profile civil society on the topic “The Voice of the people; a reflection on the 10th Parliament”.
Last year, the Parliament of Uganda hosted over 10,000 people during the Parliament Week. Given the magnitude of the event and the number of activities planned this year, the number of guests is expected to double.