Kalabo MP cries during debate

KALABO Central UPND member of parliament Chinga Miyutu shed tears in Parliament this afternoon after lamenting about the 60-kilometre arduous journey that pupils in examination classes at Sihole Secondary School in his constituency have to walk before reaching the nearest Kalabo Secondary School, an examination centre.

During the session for questions for oral answer, Miyutu rose to ask general education minister David Mabumba on whether the government was aware that Sihole Secondary School in Kalabo Central constituency had not been designated as an examination centre for the 2018 final examinations due to lack of a science laboratory.

In the second part of his question, Miyutu asked whether the government would rectify the anomaly to enable Sihole Secondary School to be an examination centre and if not, what measures had been taken to facilitate the writing of the 2018 final examinations at the school since the nearest examination centre was kilometres away.

As he posed his question, Miyutu was seen shedding tears, prompting first deputy Speaker Catherine Namugala to ask whether or not he was crying.

Miyutu quickly told the presiding officer that he was not.

But as he continued to make emphasis on his question, it became apparent that the lawmaker had been overwhelmed by emotions and was truly crying.

When it became apparent to Namugala that Miyutu had been consumed by sentiment, she calmly and empathetically said: “We will allow you a few seconds, Honourable member for Kalabo Central, to compose yourself. Would you like to conclude your question?”

Miyutu rose and indicated that he had concluded his question.

In response to the question, Mabumba said: “Madam Speaker, it’s regrettable that my colleague has showed so much emotion. His concern is the concern of the Ministry of General Education. But to put matters into context, Sihole Secondary School was not there at all [and] the 62 children that we are talking about who are in Grade 12 now, would not have been there or they would have been in a boarding school in Kalabo. So, my colleague should be able to appreciate that notwithstanding the challenges that the school has, our transformational agenda of increasing access at secondary school, his constituency has been a beneficiary. We do recognise that if these 62 children, if we didn’t have this particular school, probably they would have been in the streets,” Mabumba told the House.

“So, our colleague on that part should be able to recognise our effort on a gradual process. The fact that some of us have gone back into the Ministry of General Education, he should get the assurance from the deepest of my heart that his children are not going to walk [for] 60 kilometres, if at all they are going to walk in 2019.”

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