KAMPALA –The on-going process seeking to expurgate MP Persis Namuganza – the State Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development from parliament is facing a tough challenge after a section of the ruling party’s National Resistance Movement – NRM leadership planned counter move.
Minister Namuganza, who is also the Bukono County MP, faces a censure motion over alleged misconduct and misbehaviour after Parliament’s Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline recommended that she be relieved of her duties for contempt of House rules and procedures.
The Rules Committee, chaired by vice Chairperson Hon Fr Charles Onen conducted an inquiry into Namuganza’s alleged misconduct after Bukooli Central MP, Solomon Silwany file a complaint during a plenary sitting on July 13, 2022.
Silwany accused Namuganza of allegedly questioning the powers and integrity of the Speaker of Parliament to form Adhoc Committees, on social media and television platforms.
The Adhoc Committee’s report had implicated Namuganza for falsifying a presidential directive that misguided the Uganda Land Commission – ULC to allocate the Nakawa-Naguru land giveaway to some investors and recommended that she step aside to pave way for investigations.
But Minister Namuganza protested the report and its recommendations, blaming the censure process on the Speaker Annet Anita Among – described it as a ‘personal fight.’
By Wednesday this week, over 170 legislators had reportedly appended their signatures seeking to censure Namuganza.
But Dr Chris Baryomunsi – the Minister of ICT and National Guidance told journalists at the Uganda Media Centre, in Kampala on Thursday that the party leadership was ready to mediate into the matter as a way of evading bad blood that was emerging between Namuganza and Speaker Among.
However, Dr Baryomunsi’s proclamations some lawmakers, convening a separate press conference at Parliament a day later, where the Minister was accused of contempt and trivializing a matter of national importance, ‘that brings disrepute onto the Institution of Parliament.’
Geoffrey Macho, the Busia Municipality MP cautioned Dr Baryomunsi against provoking tensions between institutions of government by dragging the NRM party into the affairs of Parliament.
Article 118 of the Constitution provides that Parliament may, by resolution supported by more than half of all members, pass a vote of censure against a Minister on grounds of abuse of office, misconduct or misbehaviour, or incompetence, among others.
Now the legislators are worried that the proposed mediation talks would interfere with the on-going censure process by Parliament to create diversions to help Minister Namuganza evade disciplinary proceedings, which will set an unpleasant precedent in the administration of Parliament.
Additional reporting by URN