KAMPALA – A section of legislators on Thursday presented before the parliamentary Select Committee evidence to support the censure motion against Persis Namuganza – the State Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development.
Last week, the Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa appointed a committee to summon Namuganza to defend herself against allegations of contempt of Parliament.
The Select Committee, Mwine Mpaka chaired, met John Amos Okot –the Agago North MP who presented video footage streamed on YouTube channel and others that aired on NTV and NBS news bulletin where Namuganza allegedly made offensive statements against Parliament and Speaker Anita Annet Among, which he urged the Committee to consider as evidence.
Dan Kimosho, the Kazo County MP provided photocopies of Daily Monitor newspaper articles published on May 23, 2022, where Namuganza was quoted describing Committees of Parliament as a ‘torture chamber’ contrary to Rules 4 and 5 of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament.
Mpaka tasked the witnesses to present letters of authentication from NTV, Baba TV, NBS and Daily Monitor Publications or from any other sources from where the evidence originated to support their accusations against the Minister.
Although she was expected to be in attendance to listen and witness the pieces of evidence against her, Namuganza did show-up. She was expected to appear before the Committee later.
Parliament’s Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline on December 1, presented a report that was adopted by the House – recommending the removal of Namuganza from office over misconducts and utterances believed to undermine the integrity of Parliament.
The Rules Committee report, which was presented by Rev Fr. Charles Onen – the Member of Parliament for Gulu City East Division also implicated Namuganza for disrespecting an ad-hoc Committee set up by Parliament in July 2022 to investigate her involvement in the disputed Nakawa-Naguru land giveaway to some dubious investors.
She was accused of falsifying the presidential directive that misguided the Uganda Land Commission – ULC – a semi-autonomous entity mandated to preserve and maintain land owned by the Government to give the contested land to investors.
Namuganza has since denied any wrongdoing and challenged the petitioners to produce evidence that pins her. She also accused Speaker Among of peddling a personal vendetta against her.
The Committee is expected to present its report to Parliament on January 23, 2023.