Workers MP Sam Lyomoki has vowed to continue sleeping at parliament until when amendments in the NSSF amendment bill 2019 are passed.
Sam Lyomoki notes that even though the speaker refused to listen to his concern over the delay to pass the bill, when she said that the ministers for finance were not around, he has again promised to sleep at parliament if the minister of finance doesn’t table the amendments on the floor.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga was forced to adjourn Wednesday’s plenary sitting after Workers’ Representative in Parliament, Sam Lyomoki insisted on having the National Social Security Services (NSSF) Bill, 2019 read for the second time.
The Bill was scheduled for second reading according to the order paper and was thus called by the Speaker as the next item.
The bill would not be received as the Ministers of Finance and Gender, Labour and Social Development were not in the house prompting Minister of Public Service Muluri Mukasa to request for a period of two weeks in which the Ministers shall be able to attend to the matter.
“In the absence of the Minister for the sector, I beg that this issue be deferred for about two weeks so that the Bill can be ably handled when the Minister is around and the whole bench,” Mukasa said.
Lyomoki shot up demanding that the new State Minister for Elderly and Persons with Disabilities, Sarah Kanyike goes ahead and prevail over the second reading of the Bill since the bill falls under her docket.
In response, Kadaga noted that it would be unfair to subject such a contentious matter to Kanyike who has just assumed office today after taking oath.
“Please be fair, Hon. Kanyike took the oath today, she ably took us through the second reading of the Labour Disputes bill but you are aware about the controversies involved in the NSSF Bill; there is a battle between the Ministry of Gender and the Ministry of Finance over these issues,” Kadaga said.
Lyomoki told the house that the matter had been on the order paper for a very long time and there has been a lot of pressure from the workers to the extent that today the representative of workers had decided to start camping at Parliament in protest of the delay in handling the bill.
The Speaker noted that the committee report is ready but the Ministers are not present to respond to the issues in the report most of whom are being taken up by their party primary elections.
“Just like you are, I am anxious to get this bill out of the way, it’s my office that gets the petitions and that’s why it has been on the order paper; the first convenient sitting after the primaries we must have the matter handled,” Kadaga ruled.
Lyomoki insisted that a motion is moved to allow the report tabled and leave the other matters to be handled after the two weeks period which was rejected by the Speaker.
“I had come with camping bag to camp here, I want to camp at Parliament because this is where the bill is,” Lyomoki noted.
In response Kadaga said, “You go and camp at the Minister of Finance and the following day camp at the Ministry of Gender but not here,” ordering him to sit down and leave the floor which he declined, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the house.
The visibly angry legislator slammed the table in expression of his disgust in the speaker and the minister of finance, noting that even though parliament has gone into recess, when it resumes business, he will not allow any issue to be debated on the floor until the NSSF amendment bill is sorted.
He in fact wants the speaker of parliament to question the minister of finance and economic planning Hon. Matia Kasaija to delegate the responsibility of re-tabling the bill to one of his state ministers if he is absent.
Meanwhile, the Workers MP, has refuted allegations that he is politicking after his move to sleep at parliament attracted criticism adding that such critics have a low level of thinking because since it is election time he would have been campaigning but instead has chosen to become the workers’ mouthpiece in parliament.