The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has revealed that all Members of Parliament will undergo training in video conferencing.
Kadaga on Wednesday said that the training is aimed at enhancing communication during the period when the country is observing Covid-19 guidelines.
She said that the Office of the Clerk to Parliament together with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Ministry of Information, Communications Technology and National Guidance have arranged initial video conferencing services.
Kadaga invited MPs to register with the Parliament Information Technology Department and enrol for the services to enable them participate in the proceedings of the House electronically during this time when the Parliament building cannot accommodate all MPs.
Last week, Speaker Kadaga issued new measures to guide the conduct of sittings in Parliament during the Coronavirus lockdown. Among these measures was a reduction in the number of MPs attending a particular sitting.
Kadaga directed that every sitting of the House shall be attended by not more than 100 members out of which, 80 will be backbench Members of Parliament. Parliament currently has 458 MPs. The Speaker’s directive was to ensure that the MPs observe the physical distance rule required by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Ministry of Health during the corona virus crisis.
Since Uganda registered its first positive case of corona virus in March, sections of the public have embraced virtual collaboration to foster continuity of programmes amid the lockdown that has affected the day to day lifestyles and routines of work.
Many Ugandans are now using zoom, Telegram GoToMeeting, and Skype, among others, to engage with colleagues from wherever they are, in the comfort of their homes, in offices, and even those on the move.
All one needs is a smartphone or a computer with active internet to launch a meeting. The tools have now been embraced by churches, government entities, Rotary groups, and a variety of organizations.
The Speaker thinks that video conferencing will help MPs who are not actively involved in business at the parliament building to follow all the proceedings when at the homes.