Today in Parliament | 17th October 2023

Today in Parliament | 17th October 2023

This is an update from the Parliament of Uganda marking the 7th Sitting of the 2nd Meeting of the 3rd Session of the 11th Parliament. This Sitting was chaired by the Deputy Speaker Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa. In his communication, the Presiding Officer said “After I adjourned the House last week, I heard many commentators say that we haven’t achieved much. I want to assure you that this House has achieved a lot. We have passed many laws. I  reassure you that you have done a great job”. He further said “I have learnt about these commentators that if we don’t pass laws that are not political in nature, they we have not done much. Our conduct here is critical and I want to thank you”. He also informed MPS that the House will this week adopt accountability Committee reports.  Tayebwa told MPs that he received a petition from students of Makerere University from Rakai under their association regarding the treatment of Hon. Kinyamatama which he also referred to the Committee on Rules, Privileges & Discipline. The Deputy Speakers also pushed matters of national importance to Thursday this week.

Later, the Minister of State for Internal Affairs, Gen David Muhoozi presented a Statement on incidents involving security officials, the NUP president and Members of Parliament in Kampala metropolitan and Kayunga on 05 and 09 October 2023. According to the Minister, the NUP President announced his return from his political mobilisation tour from Canada and South Africa to Uganda. As a result, his supporters mobilised people country-wide to turn up in big numbers and go to Entebbe International Airport to welcome him. Mohoozi noted that on 09 Oct 2023, NUP leaders & supporters arranged to have parallel Independence celebrations at Kamwokya. He added that they intended thereafter, to make a disruptive illegal procession from there in order to depict the National celebrations in Kitgum as a sham. Gen. David Muhoozi informed the House that supporters of NUP President, Robert Kyagulanyi, intended to march to State House in Entebbe following his return from abroad. David Muhoozi, also questioned why Robert Kyagulanyi the NUP President hyped his return to Uganda, when there wasn’t anything exceptional about his trip, saying the government shall at all times promote human rights & the rule of law to enable all Ugandans to freely enjoy their rights without intimidation from anyone. “This wasn’t & most likely won’t be the last time Kyagulanyi is travelling in and out of the country. He has travelled numerous times before. He possesses a valid Ugandan passport, which is the property of the Government of Uganda. His movements are therefore not inhibited. He can go and return peacefully as he wishes,” Muhoozi said.

Muhoozi also cited trips made by President Museveni who leaves and returns without causing stampedes and processions, to the detriment of other citizens, arguing that, that is how it should be so other dignitaries of very high standing in society, as well as other Ugandans, who also go out of the country and return peacefully and quietly. “There is nothing exceptionally exciting about the movement in and out of the country for Kyagulanyi”, he said. “In any case, whether official or private, it shouldn’t be a matter of public concern- unless, of course, it is done in ways likely to result in breaches of public order and safety,” Minister Muhoozi added. The Minister also said, “This could not be taken lightly. In order to avert the lawlessness that could result from this, the Police with other security forces, deployed proactively to prevent the mobilization for the illegal procession and anticipated associated mischief. Some of the planners were arrested in areas of Kampala Metropolitan Policing area, and some were arraigned in courts of law and later released on bond”.

Reacting to the statement, the LOP, Hon. Mathias Mpuuga requested that the technical officer at parliament play the video that had been submitted by the Opposition. Mityana Municipality MP Hon. Francis Zaake was forced to sit down after his attempts to speak on the floor of Parliament were thwarted by female MPs who kept echoing as he stood up to submit during the plenary sitting. LOP, Hon. Mathias Mpuuga informed Parliament that the technical officer at Parliament charged with playing the video that had been submitted by the Opposition had disappeared, saying this speaks of sabotage to not have the video played in Parliament. “This House is a House of record not a House of rumour mongering because I act and work meticulously, I have cross-checked in the technical room, and the officer in charge of running the video has run away. The person charged with running the video has disappeared, that speaks to deliberate sabotage and we can’t accept that as MPs on this side”, Mpuuga said. Deputy Speaker, Tayebwa therefore suspended Parliament for 10 minutes after the Staff of Parliament meant to play the video that the Opposition had submitted showing evidence of security forces brutality against NUP supporters, disappeared from the technical production room of Parliament.

On resumption of the House, Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa adjourned Parliament yet again after MPs failed to agree on whether to play the video that was submitted by the Opposition purportedly showing evidence of Police brutality against NUP supporters. Tayebwa said going forward, the Committee on Rules will now check the admissibility of technical evidence which includes videos, in the House. Tayebwa also invoked Rule 89(4) to suspend five Members of Parliament from the House for three days and these include; Betty Nambooze (Mukono Municipality), Joyce Bagala (Mityana DWR), Derrick Nyeko (Makindye East), Frank Kabuye (Kassanda South) &  Francis Zaake.

The Deputy Speaker afterwards adjourned the House to Wednesday, 18 October 2023 at 2.00 p.m.

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