Some Members of the opposition declined to attend the security meeting between President Yoweri Museveni and MPs.
These said they were suspicious of the intentions of the meeting and the venue.
Following last week’s address to legislators by President Museveni on the state of security affairs in the country, the President called for an interactive meeting with the MPs.
In the follow up closed-door meeting, MPs would be allowed to ask questions to the president on how the measures he declared last time would be implemented, and also suggest more workable solutions.
Parliament rules provide that the President shall be heard in silence while addressing Parliament and his speech shall not be subjected to any comment or debate thereafter.
Due to such rules, the president found it fit to meet the lawmakers in a special arrangement at the Office of the Prime Minister to handle security matters following the spate of murders that have occurred in the country.
However, some of the opposition MPs Chimpreports talked to said they couldn’t attend such an informal meeting that is not organized in Parliament chambers, with no media.
They suggested that the president should come back to the Parliament chambers and the Speaker could suspend the rule to allow MPs interact with him following his statement.
“President Museveni addressed us from Parliament and was recorded on the Hansard; if he wants to meet us again, the Speaker must constitute Parliament, suspend the rule that orders that the president must be heard in silence, because this is provided for in the rules of procedure,” said Kalungu West MP, Joseph Sewungu.
“This will allow us to offer a genuine debate that will be looked at by those that will come after us including our children and grand children,” he added.
Makindye West MP, Allan Ssewanyana said, “I can only meet the president when he has appeared in Parliament. I can’t go attend such a meeting which to me is just an NRM caucus. If the president wants to meet MPs, he should address us in the house so that whatever is discussed is recorded on the Hansard.”
However, the government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa noted that the meeting isn’t an NRM caucus but vital to all peace loving Ugandans who should use the opportunity to forge a way forward for the good of the country.
“Such interactions with the president are so crucial because it also enables the president to explain himself as well as his intentions to Members of Parliament because most of the time he has been represented by the Leader of Government business in the house.”
Other legislators that boycotted the meeting include; the Leader of Opposition Winnie Kiiza, Nakaseke South MP, Paulsen Lutamaguzi, Kilak County MP, Anthony Akol, Kawempe North MP, Latif Ssebagala among others.