Information and National Guidance Minister Rose Namayanja says they were perturbed and dismayed when they learn't that in Cabinetâ€™s absence; Speaker Rebecca Kadaga had decided to have the Nelson Mandela tribute motion tabled and discussed by members of parliament.
The decision comes after a session in parliament which was held yesterday in the absence of cabinet members. Cabinet members were attending a retreat at Lake Victoria Serena, Lweza.
Information and National Guidance Minister Rose Namayanja Nsereko in a letter to Cabinet stated that the Prime Minister had formerly informed the Speaker that government wanted to officially move a motion in parliament to pay tribute to Mandela on Thursday 12th after the closure of the Cabinet retreat.
Namayanja adds that they were perturbed and dismayed when they learnt that in Cabinet’s absence; Speaker Kadaga had decided to have the motion tabled and discussed by members of parliament.
She says the move is unprecedented in the history of Uganda’s parliament considering the fact that the leader of opposition was invited to move the motion on behalf of government.
“As Cabinet, we would like to express our concern at this unfortunate development at a time when we should all be together to mourn and pay tribute to the gallant son of Africa and a global icon who has made unparalleled contribution to humanity and a Champion of human rights and dignity in the 21st Century”, Namayanja says in the statement.
Namayanja adds that based on the development, Cabinet is considering a separate session in honor of the late Nelson Mandela before he is laid to rest.
Nelson Mandela will be laid to rest in Qunu on Sunday December 15, 2013..
Meanwhile besides Prime Minister Mbabazi’s letter to Speaker Kadaga dated 9th December 2013 informing her of Cabinet’s absence, URN has also accessed an internal memo from the Principal Administrative Officer in the Office of Government Chief Whip to the Director, Legal and Legislative Services requesting for drafting of a motion to pay tribute to Mandela.
But yesterday, Kadaga told MPs that she got the communication of the Minister’s Retreat late yet she had already scheduled the Tribute on Tuesday’s Order paper.