The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga has today warned Members of Parliament against heckling the president ahead of the State of Nation address slated for Thursday June 6 at Kampala Serena Hotel.
The State of the Nation Address will be delivered by the President next week while the 2019/20 national budget will be presented on Thursday, June 13, 2019. Kadaga cited previous cases where MPs exhibited indiscipline as the President addressed the Parliament and also when he delivered the State of the Nation address last year.
“I know sometimes people want to show what they are in public. There was quite a bit of indiscipline as the President addressed the nation last year”, she said.
Kadaga added that the behaviour gave the country a bad image.
“Actually, my colleagues, fellow speakers in the region were shocked that people heckled the president! While there is freedom of expression, it borders on respect”, she added.
She asked opposition and independent members of parliament to refrain from hurling any insults at the president.
Previously some legislators like Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda,Nandala Mafabi, Odonga Otto were cited as some of the members of parliament who heckle president.
Rule 10 (4) of the Parliament rules of procedure provides that “The President, while occupying the chair of State may make a Presidential statement, which shall be heard in silence and not followed by any comment or question; and shall not otherwise participate in the proceedings of the House in any way”.
While speaking in Hoima recently, President Museveni noted that certain people insult him freely taking advantage of the freedom in Uganda.
“There is so much freedom in Uganda to the point that people insult the president freely on radios and social media”, he said.
“Even if people abuse me, I have done my job. If someone abuses me, I say very well, they no longer fear to talk because they know nothing will happen to them”, he added.
Kadaga also prorogued Parliament, marking the end of the third session of the 10th Parliament.
Article 95 (3) of the Constitution provides that the Speaker may, after consultation with the President, prorogue Parliament by proclamation.
In the proclamation, the Speaker said that parliament has exceeded the record of legislation compared to other countries in the region.