The Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, has apprised European Union (EU) Ambassadors to Uganda of his vision for Parliament, which he said will move from rhetoric to responding in measurable and quantifiable terms to the plight of citizens.
The ambassadors met paid a courtesy call on the Speaker on Wednesday, September 15, 2021.
Oulanyah said it is time for Parliament to not only act but be seen to be acting in order to earn the confidence of the people.
“Our priority is to move away from rhetoric and put action in what we do; we must restore the confidence of the people and the output of our actions must reflect directly in the lives of our people,” he said.
Policies, he says, makes sno sense on paper as well as on reports of expenditure, except when output and accountability are given a human face.
On corruption, the Speaker said this Parliament will fight the vice and also show results for it, saying the accountability committees will be empowered and inspired to take on their roles candidly, and that all those adversely named will have to answer for their actions.
On Parliament’s relationship with the EU, Oulanyah said he will adopt an open door policy and will be available for mutual consultation.
When the issue of election-related violence was raised, the Speaker said there is a need to have a balanced look at things, and that security forces are often demonised while political actors who actively advocate for violence earn the victim tag and get away with it.
“We are going to have to call to order anybody who calls for violence; Is it possible to do a balance [in condemning violence], because some actors who openly call for violence openly, in newspapers, always get away with it,” he said.
Led by the Deputy Head of the European Union delegation in Uganda, Anna Merrifield, the diplomats said they came to pick the Speaker’s vision and outlook on how he intends to run the office.
“We consider the role of Parliament as crucial; we all wish to engage more with Parliament; [we want to pick] your views and vision as Speaker and any specific vision that you’ve set for yourself,” she said.