Voting on nodding disease deferred again
Voting on a motion to declare areas affected by the nodding disease syndrome in Acholi sub-region a humanitarian emergency area has been deferred again after the Government called for dialogue with the affected stakeholders.
Having debated for about two hours and failing to reach a compromise on the matter, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi moved that an impromptu meeting with those moving the motion in order to reach a consensus, a position Parliament adopted later in the day.
Legislators Alice Alaso, (Serere Woman), Chris Baryomunsi, (Kinkizi East), Beatrice Anywar (Kitgum Woman) and Gerald Karuhanga (Youth, Western) are due to meet Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi on Thursday.
Mbabazi had earlier resisted calls by some MPs, especially from the opposition who wanted Parliament to vote on the matter using a show of hands, the Daily Monitor.
The Prime Minister argued that it was unconstitutional for Parliament to pass a motion that has financial implications without the Executive’s input, but has called for dialogue on the topic.
Bugweri County MP Abdu Katuntu said the matter did not have any financial implications, but required the Government to look for more money other than the Shs15 billion they said was already allocated for the districts affected by the mysterious nodding disease in northern Uganda.
“The debate shows that Parliament is serious about the debate on nodding disease so that we resolve it without acrimony,” said the deputy speaker, Jacob Oulanyah.
The prayers of the motion were that government declares the area disaster-striken, release and make public the Centers for Disease Control report, and that the Social Services Committee of Parliament takes charge and makes quarterly reports to the House among others.
Some NRM MPs, following an earlier NRM caucus meeting, switched positions when they demanded to understand the implications of declaring the affected areas humanitarian emergency areas.
According to figures, the number of children who have died from nodding disease is at least 170, likely to be higher, with 7,200 affected.
The syndrome has been reported in Pader, Kitgum, Lamwo, Amuru and Agago districts.