Dreams Shattered as Parliament votes against moving all Public Holidays to Weekdays
The year 2020 has left many Ugandans miserable with nearly all public holidays falling on either Saturday or Sunday.
The first Public Holiday was on Sunday January 26th, the Liberation day, followed by ArchBishop Janan Luwum Day on February 16th 2020. They will be followed by the International Women's Day on Sunday 8th March 2020.
Later in the year is Eid al-Fitr slated for either 24th or 25th May and Boxing day, which falls on Saturday 26th December 2020.
This has forced Juliet Kyinyamatama Suubi, the woman MP Rakai district to listen to people’s cries and introduce “the public holidays (amendment) bill, 2020” a dream that was shot and killed mercilessly by the august house as her colleagues decided to vote against it.
The bill was rejected by the house when the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga put the question to the house.
Kyinyamatama, who had 10 minutes allocated to defend the bill, argued that the Public holidays do not have meaning if they fall on weekends, as many people stay away from celebrating it and also prefer to rest on that day in preparation for work.
The MP added that the forthcoming women's day of 8th March on Sunday will not get the required attention it deserves as many people will be at church and preparing to go to work the following day. She further said that the proposal would give Ugandans actual rest days as weekends with no additional obligations.
However, Before the good honorable member could finish her argument, members interrupted her, with many hesitant on the move and when the Speaker Kadaga asked for secondors of the proposal, it took a minute until two members seconded Kyinyamatama’s motion.
The Speaker then put the question forward and MPs who responded “nay” in objection to the proposal were more than those who responded “aye” in support of the move.
This left many hearts broken and many wishing, their MPs could have voted otherwise.
In some countries like Rwanda, a public holiday is moved to Rwanda when it falls on a weekend. Many had hoped, this would finally be the same case in Uganda.