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Parliament to whip errant MPs

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After a spate of criticism from different stakeholders over high levels of absenteeism among Members of Parliament (MPs), the House’s Business Committee has finally agreed that, from now onwards, secretariat should be deducting sitting allowances from lawmakers who are absent without leave of absence.

Speaker of Parliament, Richard Msowoya, Monday announced that the arrangement is in line with the National Assembly’s Standing Order 41 (3).

“The Business Committee noted with great concern the high level of absenteeism by honourable members in the chamber for the past two weeks. After lengthy discussions on the matter, the Business Committee resolved that the leadership of each political party in this House should brief its members on the need to strictly observe the provisions of Standing Order 41, which requires every member to attend the proceedings of the House,” Msowoya said.

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Msowoya also directed that an MP may only be absent from the chamber after he or she has been granted leave of absence by his office for a valid reason or excuse.

Interestingly, at the time the Speaker was making the announcement, most seats in the chamber were empty.

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