MPs More Reactive, With Less Impact - Researcher

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In short
Robert Kintu, an Independent Researcher and Analyst on parliament, has described the current work of parliament as being only reactive and not thorough in creating impact. Kintu, a Technical Advisor at the African Leadership Institute – AFLI, says Ugandans are not getting a lot of value for their money.

Robert Kintu, an Independent Researcher and Analyst on parliament, has described the current work of parliament as being only reactive and not thorough in creating impact.
 
Kintu, a Technical Advisor at the African Leadership Institute – AFLI, says Ugandans are not getting a lot of value for their money.

Kintu made the statement in an analysis of the last one year of parliament in an exclusive interview with Uganda Radio Network at his offices in Wandegeya. He says that a lot of backlog has been created in the audit work of MPs as far as accounting for lost money is concerned.

Kintu, who advises AFLI on the Scorecard, the assessment report on the performance of the Ugandan legislators, argues that in his observation, whenever MPs grill public servants on lost money and other cases of corruption, a lot of attention is paid to their being questioned and not on them refunding the lost resources.

He says that as the 9th parliament enters its second year of work, it should put more focus and emphasis on demanding that all lost public resources are recovered and later used to build roads, health centers, buy drugs and invest in important public sectors.

Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, said this week she was happy with the current parliament’s fight against corruption but noted that there was a lot of absenteeism by the MPs who sign their presence during plenary but later dodge plenary debates.

Kadaga said that in the second year she would introduce a name and shame roll call which she would use to expose MPs who don’t work, in order to increase efficiency of the MPs to serve the population better.

But Kintu also adds that for the MPs to be more useful, they should be given targets within which to finalise debates of an issue so that they complete more bills and other debates.

Kintu also adds that as a researcher on parliament, he wants to see more assessment of the impact of a bill, law, policy or resolution taken and passed by parliament. He says from his observation, a number of bills made into laws lie idle and without being put into use, rendering them almost useless.

He said that the public, who is the end user of all parliaments’ work, should be the main beneficiary of the work of parliament.

He suggests that parliament should come up with a policy to employ professional researchers for all MPs so that their work is based on in-depth and not just talking for the sake of it.

He says that one of the best things in this last year of the 9th parliament has been the enthusiasm of the young and new MPs shown during debates. He said that if this kind of enthusiasm continues in the next year of parliament, Ugandans will get better value out of their representatives.