The leader of opposition in parliament (LOP) Mathias Mpuuga wants parliament to be immediately recalled from recess so that MPs can debate on the escalating fuel crisis in Uganda which he says could easily lead to catastrophic consequences.
Uganda is undergoing a fuel crisis following a build-up of fuel transporters at the major border points of Malaba and Busia in the east of the country.
Truck drivers have been protesting against a requirement by the Ugandan government that they test for Covid-19 at the border points, regardless of whether they presented a negative PCR test or not.
Now the LOP wants parliament to be immediately recalled as a measure to alleviate the crisis which he said is partly exacerbated by redtape at the border caused by various institutions undertaking various processes.
While addressing the press on Thursday, Mpuuga noted that there is a public outcry across the country that demands the people’s representatives be recalled from recess to share their constituents’ experiences, offer leadership, engage government and contribute to solving the crisis.
“The country is in a crisis. A crisis that have the capacity to cripple the entire economy and while this is happening, the key players are speaking in tounges and none of them is communicating in a manner that reassures Ugandans that tomorrow will be better” Mpuuga said.
“Parliament need to immediately convene and be briefed on what government is doing and also make an input. The earlier we convene and discuss these issues, the better.” he added.
The LOP argues that the magnitude of the current fuel crisis can cripple the entire economy and trigger a depression. He accused the government of failing in its obligation to alleviate the crisis.
Under rule 21 of the rules of procedures that guide parliamentary proceedings, a petition signed by at least a third of the members is required to recall members from recess.
Parliament is scheduled to reconvene in a week’s time having broke for Christmas in mid-December last year.
However, Mpuuga implored the speaker Rt Hon Jacob Oulanyah to use his powers to recall the house earlier than the communicated date of 27th January 2022, arguing that that the escalating fuel crisis requires urgent attention.
By end of last week, fuel was already at 12,000 shillings in some other countryside towns and many outlets have already completely run out of all fuel products.
Uganda has since suspended the covid-19 measures at the borders but fuel pump prices remain as high as 10,000 shillings in several parts of the country.
Mpuuga says the house should convene immediately as every day that passes is critical in averting a situation where businesses may collapse eternally due to high production costs and associated challenges that come with fuel shortages.