It was a colourful, joyful and musical affairs as the first batch of 148 Members of the 10th Parliament took their oaths at Parliament Building Monday 16th May, 2016.
The Clerk to Parliament, Mrs. Jane Lubowa Kibirige in the opening said that, “As a fulfilment of provisions of the Constitution, Members of Parliament elect are expected to take and subscribe to the Oath of Allegiance and Oath of Members of Parliament.”
The Constitution provides that except for purposes of taking the oaths, no person shall sit or vote in Parliament before taking and subscribing to the oaths.
The swearing-in ceremony is being held after the general election held on 18th February 2016 and the prorogation of the 9th Parliament on Wednesday 11th May, 2016.
Members swore to be faithful, bear true allegiance to Uganda and to preserve, protect, defend the Constitution.
In addition, they swore to give faithful service and to support and uphold the Constitution of Uganda.
Members were accompanied by five guests for the ceremony held at the front/South Wing of Parliament Building.
In an attempt to add colour to their first act as legislators, some members came with troupes dressed in traditional attire, who danced and ululated as they led or followed their MPs up the stairs to the podium set at the entrance to the Main Building.
Motor vehicle traffic was diverted along Parliament Avenue to allow for easier and quicker access to Parliament by MPs-elect.
The new MPs, who included the Speaker of the 9th Parliament, Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga (NRM, Kamuli) and former Leader of the Opposition in the 8th Parliament, Prof. Ogenga Latigo (FDC, Agago) took and subscribed to two oaths – the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Member of Parliament.
Former Ministers Hon. Sam Bitangaro (Gender and Culture), Hon. James Nsaba Buturo (Ethics and Integrity), Hon. Tom Butime (Communications) and Hon. Isaac Musumba (Regional Affairs) also took oaths on the first of three days gazette for the function.
The Clerk to Parliament, Mrs. Jane Lubowa Kibirige, presides over her first MPs swearing in ceremony, as the former Clerk, Mr. A. Tandekwire did at the start of the 9th Parliament.
The Oaths Act mandates Clerk to Parliament to administer oaths before MPs elect a Speaker.
The NRM, the party in government, has nominated Rebecca Kadaga and Jacob Oulanyah, who have been Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the 9th Parliament to retain their seats in the 10th Parliament respectively.
After swearing-in, MPs signed the oaths witnessed by the Clerk to Parliament, before Parliament staff took their official portrait photograph and biometric details required for registration for plenary sittings and electronic voting in the House.
Swearing-in of more MPs elect will continue on Tuesday and Wednesday.