Kibale East county in Kamwenge District MP Hon. Frank Tumwebaze who also doubles as the Minister of Labour, Gender and Social Development has expressed happiness about his performance in the 10th Parliament whose term is coming to and end.
Happy to be ranked among the best MPs in Western Uganda and the country in general despite the fact that as a cabinet minister you are limited in terms of debate participation & committee attendance.
The score card used by the Pulkol institute mainly looks at attendance of committees and plenary and debate participation by a member . By parliamentary rules, ministers aren’t members of committees. So automatically they will score 0 on committee participation. They also can’t easily raise on matters of national importance on the floor just like backbenchers do so to increase the frequency of their debate participation. Ministers are bound by collective responsibility. Unfortunately in Cabinet where individual ministers participate and help to shape policy, they aren’t assessed on that since the cabinet record is confidential.
Ministers mainly present statements on the floor of parliament about their sectors if asked to and or answer to querries raised by members about their sectors. So the assessment should always look at these parameters which have nothing to do with the individual capacity or competency. May be in future the score card could assess ministers separately on parameters that relate to their work e.g. ones ability to offer satisfactory answers on the floor, ones ability to articulate logical and sound policy instruments etc. But to use attendance of parliament sessions mainly well aware that a minister by virtue of his/her divided attention created by the extra WORK load cannot be attending regularly makes the score card assessment biased and unfair to the category of Mps who are ministers. In other words the assessment to be fair must also cover ministerial duties to balance it off.
Nonetheless and the above limitations notwithstanding, am glad to be ranked among the best MPs with almost 70% score.
Kibale East TUKO PAMOJA, TUSONGE MBELE!