Ugandan opposition and Independent Members of Parliament have condemned the humiliating manner in which one of their colleagues, Kyadondo East MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda was forced out of the parliamentary chambers following Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah’s order.
This was after Oulanyah suspended the House for 10 minutes to allow Semujju withdraw from the chambers but he refused to. Ssemujju was suspended from three sittings with other three MPs during the chaotic Public Order Management Bill and they were to return to the chambers after an apology.
Ssemuju noted that he was not surprised by Oulanyah’s action because he had already warned him during a conversation in his office. Ssemujju claims that Oulanyah promised to act mad against him for abusing him in the media.
He added that the violence imposed on him will not deter him from defending his rights and the Constitution.
Semujju added that this is a test to Parliament’s rules of Procedure saying that Oulanyah can use this against any other member of parliament.
He alleged that he was carried by armed men who were strangers to the House and locked up in an abandoned room.
MP Sam Otada and Leader of Independent members in the House observed that Oulanyah failed to meet intellectual challenges and used physical means.
He said that Oulanyah’s actions only serve to further shame his name.
He promised to revive the petition made against Oulanyah for his conduct to be investigated.
MP Paul Mwiru representing Jinja Municipality said that the opposition are considering petitioning the Common Wealth Parliamentary Union to intervene in the conduct of the deputy speaker Oulanyah who he said is manipulating the rules of procedure.
He noted that Oulanyah let in armed men in the chambers to carry MP Ibrahim Nganda which contravenes the rules of procedure.
Meanwhile, yesterday the Leader of Opposition Nathan Nandala Mafabi formely wrote the Speaker of Parliament about the suspension of members Ssemujju Nganda, Samuel Odonga Otto and Theodore Ssekikubo.
He noted that both Semujju and Otto had drawn his attention to a September 27th, 2013 letter written to them by the Clerk to Parliament. The letter directed the two MPs to apologise to parliament as part of the conditions of their suspension.
He noted that the letters were not copied to him as leader of opposition yet both MPs are opposition members but noted that the members were suspended under Rule 80 (4) which he said was invoked by Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah.
The rule provides that if an MP is suspended, his or her suspension on the first occasion shall be for the next three sittings, excluding the sitting in which he or she was suspended.
Mafabi letter’s noted that the members obediently served the suspension and returned to parliament under the provision of the law more than three weeks ago.
Mafabi noted in the letter that it is only under Rule 82 that a member is required to render an apology at the bar. He said that they cannot allow this precedent to be set because many will fall victim.
He noted that the Deputy Speaker as presiding officer cannot single-handedly amend the rules to serve his personal whims.