Special Reports

Controversy as Museveni Assents to Law Establishing Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga Institute of Parliament Studies

President Museveni has signed into law a Bill naming the Institute for Parliamentary studies after the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga.

The object of the Act, which the President assented to on April 23, 2020, is to establish the Institute of Parliamentary Studies as a one-stop specialized resource centre for the training and capacity development of Members and Staff of Parliament of Uganda, Local Councils and other Legislatures within the region.

ChimpReports on Saturday morning learned that the President was warned after signing the Bill that it was not appropriate to name the institute after an individual who is still alive.

“I don’t think it is illegal but most people would say it is not appropriate,” said a high ranking legal brain who preferred anonymity to speak freely.

“Remember Idi Amin named Lake Edward after himself? It had to be reversed.”

Several legal experts we talked to agreed that the Speaker is the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Commission and a Government Agency to be managed by the Commission should not be named after her.

However, once an Act is made it can only be amended or repealed by Parliament.

Museveni assented to the Act on April 23

The lawyers said the Act is not illegal but could set a dangerous precedent for the country.

“When one is in office one may appear a hero. By the time he leaves office or dies he may be a villain,” said a senior lawyer who taught Constitutional Law at Makerere University for over a decade. 

“When Amin first took power he was a hero to some sections of society and in some circles of the international community.  By the time he left you know how he was regarded. That is why it is so inappropriate,” he added.

“The world is full of so many examples. People are best judged and honoured when they have either left office or died.”

The observations come at a time Speaker Rebecca Kadaga is under fire over the controversial allocation of Shs 20m to all MPs to take part in the fight against Coronavirus in the country.

ChimpReports extensively published stories on the Shs 938.8bn supplementary budget that was hastily passed by Parliament without debate on April 7 2020.

The money included Shs 304bn earmarked for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parliament’s Shs 10bn that has become the center of storm and pitted the House against the other two arms of government was picked from the Shs 304bn COVID-19 budget.

The details of the supplementary only came to light on April 17 2020 in an exclusive reporting by this investigative website.

The widely-publicized saga has since attracted a public uproar with many calling for Kadaga’s resignation.

The Institute of Parliamentary Studies Bill was passed in November 2019 amid resistance from a section of lawmakers.

Atkins Katusabe, the Bukonjo West MP said it is improper to have the institute named after Kadaga when she is the current Speaker and still serving. However he was put out of order.

Veronica Eragu Bichetero, the Kaberamaido County MP who presented the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee report, was also opposed to naming the Institute after Kadaga.

However, Kanungu Woman MP Elizabeth Karungi said the institute deserved the name Kadaga as the current speaker had done a lot for Uganda.

She said Kadaga had championed girl child empowerment, personally touched the lives of members of Parliament and championed sports among others.

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