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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ugandan Parliment

Similar to the British parliamentary system Uganda has a Prime Minister, a President, and a Parliament. At the beginning of each session the speaker of the house enters with an assembly of important people that are visiting the parliament of that are important to the meeting. They also have a ritual gold mase that has to be present at every meeting. The Parliament is broken up into different representatives from the different regions and groups of Uganda. Some examples of these regions are women’s rights, the youth, and disabilities, and army. In total there are over 300 people involved in parliament meetings. The parliament building was built in the late 1950’s when the representatives were British and they did not need a lot of parliament seats. There are only 150 seats that I counted and although not everyone in parliament attends every meeting it is still a very crowded place. During our visit they were under construction of a new building that would host more people and sit them comfortably during their meetings. Apart from the meeting area the Parliament building hosts the offices of most of the representatives for the country.

The parliament building also hosts a lot of historic items and pictures of Uganda. One of the most amazing things I saw was the display of the two different futures for Uganda. The first was a wasteland that showed what Uganda would be if they do not start changing their ways. The other was a prosperous land with growing crops healthy people. This is the future that the parliament is working toward and what would be the best for the environment and Uganda as a whole.

Along with the representative and progressive symbols in the building there is also a lot of historic items. We were able to see the pictures of the past speakers of the house and parliament bodies. The most interesting thing to me was the Ugandan flag that the United States brought to the moon and back for Uganda. Along with the plaque that stated the space flight and date that the flag was on the moon was a piece of lunar rock that was brought back and given to the Ugandan Parliament by President Nixon.

Over all, our visit to the Parliament system was very interesting and I feel like I learned a lot from our tour and the information presented to us about the parliament.


Carmen Anderson


  1. The Ugandan Parliament also doesn’t seem to be very straightforward with the people, which is wrong for government leaders. The PR representative was always on his phone which seemed like a power play or like the people, and us, were so insignificant compared to his daily duties. It seems like government leaders in Uganda don’t want the people to understand what is going on because they are not doing what they are supposed to.

    The ministers don’t seem to recognize or truly represent their constituents well. Last week, one minister refused to sit down after a subject matter was closed by the Speaker. He was escorted out of the building and suspended; other ministers followed him. I think this shows that even Ugandan ministers aren’t allowed to fully voice their opinions while in session which means that the people are heard less too.

    The president is head of government and appoints the prime minister and the committees, so obviously corruption is easily obtained since the president can just choose members of his party to represent in government. I also noticed that the PR representatives skirted around many questions, one in particular dealt with the salary of government ministers. This seems to indicate that some money is skimmed off the top for members of parliament and that all the money does not reach the people. The salary figures are not known to the general public, which also seems strange.

  2. I don't know what I thought of the speaker, as I found him to be very disrespectful by using his phone during the presentation. But now after seeing more of the culture surrounding Uganda, I realize many use their phones during similar things. It is easy to see the corruption within the parliment, as Jen stated in the previous post. I even asked one of the MUBS students what it would take to get on parliment and he stated a certain number of shillings. It just shocks me a government can act this way. There needs to be some regulation and accountability of these people!