Members of the Ugandan Parliament are visiting the Pan African Parliament to understudy its operations with regard to enforcement of respect of human rights on the continent.
The delegation comprising Members of Parliament on the committees on Human Rights and Appointments was led by Hon. Paula Turyahikayo (NRM, Rubabo).
“We are here for a benchmarking visit on the procedures and processes of the Pan African Parliament,” said Hon. Turyahikayo.
“We want to know the impact the Pan African Parliament has on observance of human rights,” she added.
The delegation comprises MPs: Hon. Mathias Kasamba (NRM, Kakuuto), Hon. Teopista Nabulya Ssentongo (NRM, Workers), Hon. Moses Balyeku (NRM, Jinja West) and Hon. Dorothy Mpiima (NRM, Buikwe district).
The visit takes place during the Second Ordinary Session of the Fourth Pan African Parliament held in Midrand, South Africa, 1 – 14 May, 2016.
The Clerk in charge of the Committee on Human Rights and Justice in the PAP, Mr. Boniface Habana briefed the legislators about the set up, structure, composition and administration of Pan African Parliament.
“During the presentations, we have noted that in order for PAP to perform its intended objectives it has to acquire legislative powers,” Turyahikayo said.
“As MPs we need to rally all African States to ratify the Protocol which will give the PAP legislative powers.”
The Pan-African Parliament was established in March 2004, by Article 17 of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, as one of the nine organs provided for in the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community.
Its establishment was informed by a vision to provide a common platform for African peoples and their grass-roots organizations to be more involved in discussions and decision-making on the problems and challenges facing the continent.
Mr. Habana said PAP encourages qualified persons from all over Africa to apply for vacancies in the legislature. He however said that budgetary constraints partly attributed to the crisis in North Africa, was affecting the recruitment process in PAP.
“Problems in North Africa have affected us as well,” said Habana. “We had some staff here from Uganda, but they have since left. It would be nice to have some Ugandan staff.”
Uganda’s representatives at PAP are Hon. Onyango Kakoba (NRM, Buikwe North), Hon. Sam Otada (Ind., Kibanda), Hon. Elijah Okupa (FDC, Kasilo), Hon. Jacqueline Amongin (NRM, Ngora district) and Hon. Beatrice Barumba (NRM, Kiruhura district).