KAMPALA –Agago North MP- Amos Okot on Friday tabled the motion for a resolution of Parliament to pass a vote of censure against Persis Namuganza, the state Minister for Lands Housing and Urban Development pursuant to Rule 109 (7) of the Rules of Procedure.
Okot said that following the resolution of Parliament, on 21 and 22 May 2022, and again on 12 and 13 July 2022, Namuganza made statements about Parliament in the media and on social media, attacking the operations of the August House.
He said she questioned the powers of Parliament, the integrity of the presiding officers of Parliament, and imputing improper motive to Parliament and its presiding officers.
Following investigations, the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline found Namuganza to have specifically insulted the leadership of Parliament for instituting an ad hoc committee to investigate her over the Naguru – Nakawa land allocations.
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 ad hoc committees.
The Committee on Rules was then, tasked to investigate the allegations and observed that the statements, which Namuganza made on social media, imputed improper motives on Parliament.
“Her statements therefore, were an affront to the dignity of Parliament; they denigrated public trust and confidence in the integrity of the Office of the Speaker, members and the institution of Parliament and brought the House and its members into disrepute,” read the report, in parts.
Medard Sseggona – the Busiro East County MP said that humility was a strong virtue a leader needed to possess and must be always exercised. He added the minister should have realised her mistake and apologised.
“Humility is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of greatness of any leader. The committee conducted a thorough investigation and found your behaviour foul throughout the inquiry; you should apologise,” he noted.
Gilbert Olanya – the Kilak South County MP said that the minister’s words on all forms of media to describe Parliament were uncalled for and showed disrespect.
“We need the appointing authority of ministers, being the President, to rescind the appointment of Namuganza and give us ministers who respect the code of conduct and have respect for Parliament,” he said.
Mourine Osoru – the Arua City representative said MPs had taken oaths but Namuganza wasn’t following the vows she made.
“We are all in the mighty party. If she was in public office and abused the Parliament she would have left office,” said Osoru.
Barnabas Tinkasiimire – the Buyaga West MP asked whether the motion would be disposed of as per rule 109 in moving the vote of censure against the minister.
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa, who presided over the House, said the right procedure had to be followed in the Constitution and Rules of Procedure of Parliament in the censure motion.
Tayebwa explained the process of censure, saying the motion moved was not subject to debate. After tabling the motion, within 72 hours, the Speaker would write to the President to inform his minister that Parliament intends to censure the minister.
Tayebwa said the motion would be sent to the President clearly showing the grounds, the signatures and supporting documents. Thereafter within 14 days after informing the President, the Speaker will have to appoint a select committee, which will investigate and give Namuganza a chance to defend herself.
The motion of censure shall not be debated until the expiry of 30 days after the petition has been sent to the President, clarified Tayebwa.
After that Parliament shall receive the report of the committee and the House will vote on the report of the committee.
“I am going to inform the President within 72 hours; and in 14 days we shall appoint a select committee where Namuganza has to respond to the issues raised in the censure,” added Tayebwa, who dismissed claims that the embattled Minister had petitioned the constitutional court to intervene on the matter.