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    Parliamentary Salon Proposal Sparks Public Debate

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    Parliamentary Salon Proposal Sparks Public Debate
    • April 12, 2024 • 1 month ago
    in summary
    Minister Anywar proposed a salon in Parliament for female MPs to encourage gym use. Her idea, raised during a session, aimed to enhance legislators' well-being and productivity. However, the suggestion sparked debate over its necessity and compliance with parliamentary rules, amidst delays in the new Parliament Building's completion and concerns over budget priorities.

    The Minister of State for Environment, Ms. Beatrice Atim Anywar, has suggested the establishment of a salon within the new Parliament Building to offer makeover services to legislators. Hon. Anywar made this proposal during a parliamentary session, arguing that having a salon on-site would encourage female MPs to participate in physical exercise at the gym, which is essential for their health.

    “In our new building, for the sake of ladies, probably we could also have a salon established; because you look at us as we are because we take time to prepare ourselves. Myself, my hair and my nails are part of a woman ... if we had it [salon], the ladies would come earlier, spend more time in the gym, knowing that they will rush and clean up and then come to the House,” Ms Anywar said.

    Ms Anywar argued that the legislators have a tight schedule, including long plenary sessions and constituency work, which may limit their free time to workout.

    Anywar expressed disappointment in the perceived lack of assertiveness from Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and Hon. Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda in leading the political struggle against President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. She believed that having amenities like a salon within Parliament would enhance the Members of Parliament’s overall well-being and productivity.

    However, her proposal was met with mixed reactions. While Speaker of Parliament, the Rt. Hon. Annet Anita Among, acknowledged the suggestion, some female MPs reportedly heckled Beatrice Anywar. The matter was not included in the official agenda for decision-making, and it was clarified that reactions to the speaker's communication are not considered official decisions.

    The proposal has raised questions regarding its alignment with the House rules of procedure, particularly concerning members' appearance. Rule 82 specifies the dress code for legislators, emphasizing the need for a professional appearance while in the House.

    The new Parliament Building project, under contractor ROKO, has faced several delays and cost overruns. The building was expected to be completed by July 2021 but remains incomplete. The Auditor General's report for the year ending June 2023 highlighted deficiencies in the project design, leading to delays and potential financial losses for the Parliamentary Commission.

    The new building, which will host a chamber with a capacity for 600 MPs, aims to accommodate the growing number of legislators. Despite setbacks, the project is expected to provide state-of-the-art facilities, including a museum, archiving facility, and increased office space.

    Overall, Anywar's proposal has sparked a debate about the priorities and expenditure of the parliamentary budget. While some see the salon as a potential amenity to enhance MPs' well-being, others question its necessity and compliance with parliamentary guidelines.

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