Members of Parliament (MPs) have given President Yoweri Museveni an ultimatum of two days to come out and respond to the concerns that were raised by the Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga over the brutal arrest and torture of fellow legislators by security forces.
In her letter to the President, Kadaga expressed concern that legislators Robert Kyagulanyi, Francis Zaake and others were tortured by security officers but nothing has been done to the officers that brutalized them.
Kadaga also demanded that the perpetrators of the torture be apprehended at the earliest opportunity and presented before Court.
In today’s sitting chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah the members noted that it would be acting abnormally to continue with the house business without first having a response from the President.
They noted that following the attack on the House by security officers, the Speaker wrote to the President demanding for an explanation on the matter but the letter was simply ignored.
The opposition Chief whip, Ibrahim Semujju Nganda raised the matter before the Deputy Speaker noting that it would not be proper for members to proceed before the President responds to Speaker’s letter on the arrest of MPs.
Semujju rallied members to halt Parliament business for two days, stating that they cannot proceed if MPs are not comfortable with what is going on against fellow members of parliament.
“The issue of the security of MPs has to be addressed urgently to maintain the autonomy of Parliament,” Semujju said.
Dokolo District Woman MP, Cecilia Ogwal supported the proposal noting they should not continue with business in parliament when the perpetuators of the violence are not brought to book.
Bugabula South MP Henry Morrice Kibalya and Budali west MP Nathan Nandala Mafabi expressed concern that some MPs were also harassed during the passing of the Presidential Age Limit bill but up to date there is no report of who harassed them.
The Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda pleaded with the members to continue with Parliament business since the issues are before Courts of Law to allow the due process to continue.
“The Arua incidence was unfortunate and has had significant ramification in the country. We should first condemn the attack on President Museveni in Arua because this was the genesis.”
“Since that incident a number of Ugandans were apprehended, these included some of our colleagues in Parliament. The security organs got involved in the situation and some of the people arrested have been going through the due legal process,” Rugunda noted.
This was rejected by Busiro County MP, Medard Ssegona who noted that the Prime Minister’s submissions were “unfortunate because they didn’t condemn the murder of innocent Ugandans.” Besides, he noted that the issue of torture isn’t presented before any Courts of law.
After MPs expressed unwillingness to continue with the sitting, Oulanyah ruled to adjourn the house to next week until the president responds to the Speaker’s letter.