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LIVE: Uganda’s 11th Parliment starts swearing in 529 elect MPs

A total of 529 Members of Parliament-elect are set to be sworn into office beginning today and ending on Thursday.  

The swearing-in ceremony will take place at Parliament’s South Wing parking lot.

According to the programme, throughout the four days of the event, the ceremony will run from 8am to 1.30pm
There will be break of 30 minutes before the ceremony resumes from 2pm to 6.30pm each day.

Earlier this week, Ms Helen Kawesa, the acting director of communications and public affairs at Parliament, told Sunday Monitor that Parliament had hopes to handle between 80 and 120 MPs-elect per day.

“The swearing in will be done in sequence of alphabetical order,” she said.

The programme,  indicates that the MPs-elect, who will be sworn in on Monday, will be 132 with Ms Ababiku Jesca (Adjumani District Woman MP), being the first on the list.

The remaining 397 MPs-elect will be sworn-in during the remaining three days.  When Sunday Monitor reached out to some of the MPs-elect yesterday, the majority expressed excitement and readiness for the day.

Ms Esther Davinia Anyakun (Nakapiripirit Woman MP), who retained her seat and will be accompanied by her mother, daughter and son to the ceremony, said: “I am looking forward to the event. I am not as anxious like I was in 2016 when I was swearing in for the first time.”

Meanwhile, Ms Betty Aol Ocan (Gulu City Woman MP), also re-elected, said this year’s swearing-in ceremony is far different from the one of 2016.

“Then, I was escorted to the swearing-in podium by about 10 people. This time round, it is only my three daughters accompanying me,” Ms Ocan said.

“Regardless, I am ready to take oath while donning my blue gomesi, which colour is inspired by my party, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC),” she added.

The MPs-elect will be accompanied by only three people, those with disabilities will be granted one additional person as an aide.

The guidelines are strict because of the existing standard operating procedures (SOPs) aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus.

MPs swearing-in: 4 roads closed

Police have said four roads in the capital Kampala will be inaccessible to motorists when swearing-in of 529 Members of Parliament-elect starts today. The affected roads are Parliament Avenue, Dewinton Road, Siad Barre Road and King George VI Way.

“There will be diversions in areas surrounding Parliament: Parliament Avenue will be cut off at Kimathi Avenue, King George VI [Way], Siad Barre and UBC (Uganda Broadcasting Corporation) roundabout,” Mr Norman Musinga, the Kampala Metropolitan traffic police commander, noted in a May 15 statement. However, traffic on the busier Kampala and Jinja roads will not be interrupted.

Police said MPs-elect will access Parliament via King George VI Way and be dropped off at the main (southern) gate and their chauffeurs will proceed to park at the National Theatre.

After taking oath of office under marquees in the southern parking yard of Parliament, the new legislators will exit through the eastern gate to board their parked cars at the National Theatre and exit through Dewinton Road.

“MPs are strictly allowed to use one vehicle,” Mr Musinga said.

In the public notice, he added: “Anyone who violates the traffic rules and regulations will be dealt with in accordance with the [Traffic and Roads Safety Act 1998], law.”  Last week, Parliament informed MPs-elect to ensure that no more than three people accompany them to the swearing-in venue, except persons with disabilities, who will be granted one extra slot for an aide.

The restrictions on numbers, which contrasts with more vibrant swearing-in ceremonies of the past, has been necessitated by Covid-19 and Ministry of Health Standard Operating Procedures to contain the pandemic.

No vehicle will be allowed to park near Parliament and police will tow away cars of errant motorists to Central Police Station Kampala parking yard at “owner’s cost and inconvenience,” Mr Musinga noted. The traffic re-routing will be in place until Thursday.


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