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Ugandan Parliament Rejects Proposal to Move All Public Holidays to Weekdays

Ugandan Parliament on Thursday voted against a proposal to have all Public holidays that fall on weekdays moved to weekends to give Ugandans enough time to feel the true meaning of public holiday.

Juliet Kyinyamatama Suubi, the woman MP Rakai District had sought permission of the house to introduce a bill titled “The public holidays (amendment) bill, 2020” but this was out rightly rejected by the House when the Speaker, Ms Rebecca Kadaga put the question to the MPs during plenary.

In her justification, Kyinyamatama who had 10 minutes allocated to her to defend her Bill said 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 for the new week.

She cited the forth coming Women’s Day of March 8 which falls on Sunday. She said it will not get the required attention it deserves as many people will be preparing for work on Sunday.

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Kyinyamata also said the proposal would give Ugandans actual rest days as weekends with no additional obligations.

“Given the fact that weekends are already designated days of rest Public holidays may not be given the deserved recognition, honour and visibility and some may even pass unnoticed. Convinced that in order to ensure a continued recognition, honour and visibility of public days, it’s necessary to have public holidays observed on working days to avoid them interfere with the rest of the days coinciding with weekend activities like prayers, marriage celebrations and many others. This will not only improve the visibility but also enable participation of all and as a result build a strong sense of nationalism togetherness,” the MP said.

However, before she could proceed, members interrupted her with many hesitant on the move.

When the Speaker Kadaga asked for seconders of the proposal, it took a minute before two members seconded Kyinyamatama’s motion.

When Kadaga put the question forward, the MPs who responded “nay” in objection of the proposal were more than those who responded “aye” in support of the move.

The proposal stalled at that stage.

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