Returned money will not go back to treasury – Kadaga

By Alice Lubwama

Speaker of Parliament Honorable Rebecca kadaga says that the 20 Million shillings returned to the Parliamentary Commission by some of the members of parliament in protest will be taken to their respective districts to support the District task force in the fight against covid19.

In her opening remarks today during the Parliamentary sitting, Kadaga said that instead of returning the money to the treasury, parliament decided to accord the money to the member’s respective task forces to aid in fighting the spread of COVID-19.

Some of the members who have returned the 20 million shillings include , Col.Fred Mwesigye Nyabushozi county ,Sheema district county MP Jacklet Atuhairwe,Mityana municipality mp Francis Zaake,Masaka municipality MP Matias Mpuuga and Kyadondo East Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu .

Two suspects to be charged with interrupting parliamentary business

By Robert Segawa

Police says two suspects apprehended at Parliament on Wednesday will be charged with three counts of Criminal trespass, Malicious damage and interrupting parliamentary business.

Police adds that one of the suspects is being held at Jinja road police station , while the other is at the central police station Kampala.

While addressing the journalists at CID headquarters Kibuli, Patrick Onyango Kampala metropolitan police spokesperson says the duo has already recorded statements from which police established that they come in as harmless visitors.

The duo will soon have their files sent to state attorney for perusal before they appeared to city hall court.

On Wednesday evening business come to standstill in the Parliament when the two youth jump from visitors gallery to disrupt afternoon proceedings with leaflets read corruption starts from Parliament putting security to a test.

Attempt to censure Security Tumwine fails

By Edwin Muhumuza

The move to censure security minister Gen. Elly Tumwine has failed after majority of Members of Parliament declined to append their signatures on the motion.

With two days left, it would have taken a miracle for Kasambya MP Mbwatekamwa Gaffa, the mover of the motion, to collect all the 150 signatures .

The visibly disappointed MP, accompanied by Mayinja county legislator John Baptist Nambeshe told the press this afternoon ,that he had withdrawn the petition after consultations with other that had signed.

What is shocking is that majority of opposition legislators have shown no interest despite the seemingly public show of support.

On 7th February 2020, parliament unanimously resolved that General Tumwine be censured and three days later the clerk wrote to all MPs informing members that a list had been placed at the south wing for members who wished to append their signatures.

With two days left, only 39 members of parliament have signed.

More than 200 people passed the resolution including opposition MPs, rebels MPs, and the entire human rights committee members.

“I have come to realize that in the 10th parliament actually most of honorable members, whatever they say in corridors and on the floor or even before cameras is quite different.

We have interacted with very many members of opposition and majority have not signed.

Ugandans have been claiming that opposition MPs sleep in state house, move at night and benefit from everywhere, I have to confirm that in Uganda we do not have opposition.

These are people who have been talking about human rights abuses every day and when you hear them speak , one may think the world is coming to an end.”

The reason legislators give for not signing is that they are interested in knowing the numbers of people that have appended their signatures first

Surprisingly only two members of the Human rights committee members have signed it yet it is them that that called for a resolution to punish General Elly Tumwine.

Those who have appended their signatures are Mbwatekamwa Gaffa (Kassambya County, NRM), Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga County, NRM), Mathias Mpuuga (Masaka Municipality, DP), Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West, DP), Moses Kasibante (Rubaga North, Ind), and, Abdullatif Sebaggala (Kawempe North).

Last year, the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, instituted an investigation into the alleged torture by Internal Security Organisation (ISO) after Mr Latif Ssebaggala (DP, Kawempe North), and Kassiano Wadri (Ind, Arua Municipality), alleged that ISO was running safe houses to torture people in Kalangala District and Kyengera in Wakiso.

Clergy applauded for promoting family planning

By Alice Lubwama

The chairperson of the health committee of parliament DR Michael Bukenya assures religious leaders that the health budget will not be reduced from the 2.6 trillion shillings that was allocated last year.

The religious leaders led by the deputy Mufti Uganda Muslim supreme council Sheikh Ali Waiswa are concerned about the declining investment in the health sector which would definitely affect Family planning budget (from 7.9%-5%) •

They are also concerned with the low absorption of funds by the ministry of health due to late release and want the funds allocated for different programs to be accounted for.

Bukenya says that although the call circular that was earlier sent to parliament by the ministry of finance had indicated a decline in the health budget, but parliament has recommended for even more funds for the sector.

The health budget was allocated 2.6 trillion in financial year 2019-2020.

Bukenya notes that parliament has also proposed an allocation of extra 15 billion shillings for Maama kits on top of the 16 billion shillings allocated for reproductive health supplies.

He has commended the religious leaders for the job well done in advocating for family planning financing so that Ugandans can have manageable families.

The inter faith dialogue was convened by an organization faith for family health initiative with the aim of bringing together religious leaders and decision makers to discuss how they can work together to improve the health of Ugandans with more emphasis on family planning.

Judges panel instituted to work on nullified MPs petition

By Sania Babirye

The supreme court has instituted a panel of seven justices to hear a consolidated petition against the nullification of elections of six legislators in the newly formed municipalities.

This is after the constitutional court threw out the said Members of Parliament on grounds that their municipalities were unconstitutionally formed says to the notice issued by the acting supreme court registrar Esther Nansamba.

The judges on this case include Esther Kisakye, Stella Arachi Amoko, Lillian Tibsatemwa, Opio Aweri, Paul Mugamba, Richard Buteera and Justice Mike Chibita.

The said petition was filed by the affected MPs, Electoral commission and government through the attorney general among other petitioners. The hearing is slated for 6th of February this year.

The MPs who were kicked out of Parliament include Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa, Sheema’s MP Dr.Eldard Mwesigye, Kotido’s MP Abraham Ziloki, Nebi’s Hashim Sulaiman, Ibanda’s Tarsis and Apach MP Patrick Ochan.

In December 2019, five justices of the constitutional court nullified their elections following a petition by former Bufumbira East MP Kwezira Eddie challenging their legality saying the said municipalities did not exist since they had not been demarcated and were formed after the 2016 general elections which the constitutional court was in agreement.

Kadaga warns MPs about fraudulent schemes

By Alice Lubwama

The Speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga has warned Members of Parliament and the public at large against investing in Ponzi and Pyramid schemes saying that they risk being defrauded of their money.

In her communication to the house this afternoon as parliament returns from recess, Kadaga said that the schemes are a form of fraud that is leaving unsuspecting Ugandans in debt and deprivation despite promising high rates of return with little risk to investors.

Kadaga says a number of people who have fallen victim to the fraudulent schemes have petitioned her office seeking for help.

She also expresses concern over the delay by government to take action against the unscrupulous schemes.

Parliament’s store keeper convicted of stealing a DVD set

By Sania Babirye

A civil servant working as a permanent staff at parliament has had his 8 month jail sentence for stealing a DVD video recorder squashed by the high court in Kampala.

Ochen Peter who was a store keeper had been convicted of stealing the said DVD worth 800,000 shillings and ordered to serve 8 months in Luzira prison and ordered to refund the said money.

However, being dissatisfied with the lower court judgement, he appealed both the conviction and sentence maintaining that he was innocent .

Ochen had stated that on the alleged day of 2nd May 2019 when the alleged theft took place, he was at Mulago hospital caring for his son who had been admitted at the hospital.

Ochen had also presented admission letters and a discharge form that showed the admission and their discharge on the 7th of May five days after the said theft took place.

However, the lower court dismissed his evidence saying that he was the one with access to the store were the said theft took place.

And today, high court judge Yasin Nyanzi was in agreement with Ochen that evidence adduced showed that he was indeed at Mulago hospital nursing his son who was had testified in court that his father was at hospital that day taking care of him and could not leave his sick sin at 11pm in the night alone at the hospital to go to Parliament to steal the said DVD .

Justice Nyanzi has also faulted the security at parliament of failing to at least show Ochen at parliament premises that day as alleged.

In conclusion, Justice Nyanzi observed that Ochen was never at Parliament that day and that indeed state failed to link the convict to the scene of crime.

He is also concerned with the convict that he was not the only person with access to the said room since other people including his supervisor had access too.

He then squashed both the conviction and sentence and set Ochen free ordering that being a public servant, the said illegal conviction should not have a baring to his job .

Parliament committee on rule commences investigations into Gen.Tumwine’s conduct

By Alice Lubwama

The parliamentary committee on Rules and discipline has today begun investigations into the conduct of the army representative in parliament also security my minister Gen Elly Tumwine.

The speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga tasked the committee to investigate the behavior of general Tumwine following allegations of him undermining the speaker and the entire parliament.

The committee is also required to ascertain the allegations by Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal that the general threaten her life.

Tumwine also disobeyed a parliament’s directive for him to vacate Nommo gallery a government facility and to pay over 1 billion shillings rent arrears to the National cultural center

The committee has received the video clip from parliamentary security showing how Gen Tumwine attacked Cecilia in the corridors of parliament.

The committee has also interfaced with Rubaga North MP Moses Kasibante who proposed that Tumwine be disciplined to act as an example to others who misbehave just because they went to the bush and liberated the country.

Kasibante was the first person to table evidence in the house on Tumwine attacking parliament over its decision on Nommo Gallery.

Security minister Tumwine threatens Cecilia Ogwal

By Alice Lubwama
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has directed the clerk to parliament to beef up security for Dokolo woman MP Cecilia Ogwal after her life was threatened by security minister Elly Tumwine.

This is after Ogwal reported to Parliament today how general Tumwine attacked her in the presence of her colleagues outside the house just after she made a statement in the house that one time the same general pointed a pistol at her when she objected to the use of DDT.

This has been confirmed by Amuru woman MP Lucy Akello who said that she actually saw the General Twine warning her senior colleague.

The incident happened just a few minutes after General Elly Tumwine had just apologized to parliament for his undermining statements against parliament.

Bukonjo West MP Godfrey Atkins Katusabe narrated how the general had undermined parliament when he had approached him on the recently issued directive of shoot to kill in his constituency.

Kadaga demands Government assurance on the safety on Murchison falls

By Alice Lubwama

The speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga has demanded for an early assurance from Government that it will not tamper with Murchison falls.

While opening the plenary sitting this afternoon, speaker Kadaga said that she was seeking the assurance on behalf of the citizens who are concerned about the tourism sector.

This comes after the power regulator; Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) published a note inviting public views on the planned feasibility study of the area by a South African firm that would eventually construct the power dam.

Tourism operators and conservationists have all come out to oppose the move saying that by constructing a dam near the falls, it will disappear.

Murchison Falls is situated in the Murchison Falls national park in the northern part of the Albertine Rift Valley.

It is well known to be one of Uganda’s ancient conservation areas. The park covers an area of about 3,893km2 and it is known to be one of Uganda’s well-protected areas.

The speaker has also set a deadline for government to table before parliament all the business considered important by mid August for early consideration, saying that the business committee of parliament which convened this morning discussed the parliamentary calendar and the business to be handled and agreed that mps break off for recess by 3rd October.

“We have in mind the electoral reform bills, I don’t know how many times I should emphasize this but we need answers on this.” Kadaga said

She noted that the mps need to complete their work before October, in order to have time for their constituency since this is the year when lawmakers spend more time with their constituents.

The speaker has also asked the leader of government business also prime minister to ensure that ministers attend the sittings of the house since in absence of a relevant minister; she will be forced to order any minister to handle any business.