UPDF MPs and Ministers boycott sitting as Parliament censured Minister Persis Namuganza.
Members of Parliament representing the UPDF, Cabinet and State Ministers on Monday not seen anywhere at Parliament as the house held a special sitting where MPs voted for a Motion on resolution of Parliament to Censure the State Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development Hon. Persis Namuganza.
It is not yet clear whether ministers intentionally missed the Parliament sitting to attend the Cabinet meeting which usually sits on Monday or whether the Army representatives didn’t want to take sides in such matters.
The house which was almost at full capacity was chaired by the Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa censured Hon. Namuganza on grounds of Abuse of office or willful violation of Oath of allegiance or oath of office and misconduct or misbehaviour pursuant to Rule 109 of the rules of procedure.
Pursuant to Article 118 of the Republic of Uganda, Parliament may, by resolution supported by more than of all members of Parliament, pass a vote of censure against a Minister.
The select committee chaired by Mbarara South MP Mwine Mpaka (NRM) in their report presented today found prima facie evidence confirming that the conduct of Hon. Numuganza breached the standards of behavior and conduct expected of an MP as prescribed in 85 & Appendix F of the code of conduct of MPs prescribed in the Rules of Procedure.
Hon. Mpaka said that Minister Namuganza ought to have used proper channels of challenging the composition of the Ad hoc committee that investigated her involvement in the Nakawa-Naguru land allocation.
MPs adopted the select committee report on Namuganza’s censure motion and moved to vote by roll call pursuant to Rule 99 of the Rules of Procedure. 348 MPs voted “YES” against Namuganza’s Censure, 5 Voted “NO”, 3 MPs abstained from voting while others were MPs were absent. the censure motion required 265 MPs out 529 to pass.
The motion was moved by Hon. Amos Okot the Agago North Member of Parliament and seconded by Hon. Mutembule Yusuf of Bunyole East County. MPs led by John Amos Okot, the Agago North Member of Parliament tabled before the Committee newspaper articles, video footage extracted from a YouTube channel, and clips that aired on NTV and NBS news bulletin pinning Namuganza for attacking Parliament.
In accordance with Article 118(2) of the constitution, “upon a vote of censure being passed against a minister, the President shall, unless a Minister resigns his or her office, take appropriate action in the matter.”
The ad hoc committee in their report, recommended that Namuganza steps aside for falsifying a presidential directive that saw the Uganda Land Commission allocate the said land to a section of investors.
It was alleged that Namuganza also took to social media and television questioning the operations, powers and integrity of the presiding officers of Parliament to form adhoc committees.
The Committee on Rules was then tasked to investigate the allegations and observed that the statements made by Namuganza on social media imputed improper motives on Parliament.
Namuganza defended herself by arguing that parliament did not have the right to censure her in relation to her involvement in the Naguru-Nakawa land allocations.
Namuganza has repeatedly declined to apologise on the floor of parliament arguing that a witch hunt is in progress. She claims that her differences with the Speaker of Parliament Anita Annet Among have clouded the judgment of the house at her instigation.
Namuganza declined to appear before a committee constituted by parliament at the direction of deputy speaker Thomas Tayebwa to probe her condition and the merits of the censure motion.