10 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2008
Date Written: MAY 2008
This paper assesses the de facto and de jure roles of Ugandan Members of Parliament (MPs). What the public expects from their representatives appears to be at variance with the roles they are supposed to play as enshrined in the Constitution. Many Ugandans, including the MPs themselves, do not seem to have any inkling about the precise role of the members within and without Parliament. Ugandan voters at the grassroots will, for instance, always re-elect an MP who attends fundraisings, burials of their deceased, pays school fees for their children and solves any other personal as opposed to community problems. Whether the MP attends and represents them well in Parliament is beside the point. There is, therefore, a need to civically educate the people on what the real role of an MP is. An Afro barometer survey in 2000 found that 48% of the respondents thought their MPs were not effective because they neglect their constituencies only appearing during election campaign periods. On the other hand, Africa Leadership Institute's Parliamentary Scorecard 2006-2007 shows that on average, Uganda's MPs attended only 23 out of 89 plenary sessions.
Keywords: member of parliament, uganda, roles, oversight, constituency, legislation
JEL Classification: H1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation