The efforts by some members of Parliament to recall the legislature from recess over the death of departed Butaleja Woman Member of Parliament Cerinah Nebanda have hit a snag.
Uganda’s Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga on Thursday decided against the wishes of the petitioners and rejected the petition to recall the august house from recess saying the petition had fallen below the constitutional requirement to force an emergency sitting of parliament.
In a letter to the petitioners, the Speaker said that the forged and withdrawn signatures by some members meant the signatures handed in were insufficient to cause a recall of parliament according to article 95 clause 5 of the constitution and rule 20 of the rules of procedure of parliament.
“I find it that the petition does not meet the requirement as set out in article 95 clause 5 of the constitution and rule 20 of the rules of procedure of parliament and therefore unable to act on the petition submitted to my office,” Kadaga’s letter to the petitioners read in part.
According to Article 95(5) of the constitution, which provides that at least one third of all MPs may in writing, with their signatures attached, request a meeting of Parliament? The Speaker can then summon parliament to meet within 21 days after receiving the petition.
The lawmakers wanted Parliament to be recalled of the controversy that followed the mysterious death of their colleague Cerinah Nebanda.
Nebanda, who was the Butaleja woman MP passed away last month at Mukwaya General Clinic.
Her death led to the arrest of Members of Parliament Mohammed Nsereko, Theodore Sekikubo and Sam Lyomoki over statements they made while at the funeral of the fallen MP, statements Police says were intended to incite violence.
The MPs refuted the autopsy findings that indicated that drugs such as cocaine, heroin and alcohol were found in the blood samples of the late Nebanda.
Their arrests sparked off anger among their colleagues with some resolving to gather signatures to recall Parliament from recess with claims that the legislature’s sovereignty was under attack by the executive.
Although, earlier the lead petitioners claimed they had collected the required signatures, the move got a hold-up when some MPs withdrew their signatures.
This parliament recall flop is a victory for the executive over whose head President Yoweri Museveni is alleged by some media reports to have said it will only happen ‘over his dead body’.