Parliament Drawn Into Ministers’ Row, Calls for Investigation
Members of Parliament have asked the Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga to order for an investigation into the conduct of two junior ministers entangled in a public spat.
The fights between State Minister of Lands, Persis Namuganza and State Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Aidah Nantaba were a center of debate during the plenary sitting on June 20, 2017, after Kasilo County MP, Elijah Okupa, raised the matter.
Rising on a matter of national importance, Okupa told legislators that Namuganza was recently quoted on NTV Uganda, calling her predecessor in her current position a prostitute.
The legislator said it was an embarrassment to the Executive, headed by President Yoweri Museveni, to have colleagues in cabinet engaged in cat fights.
Okupa further pointed out that being MPs, Namuganza and Nantaba placed the institution of Parliament in bad light. He ordered that the Rules, Privileges and Discipline committee, which is tasked with handling indiscipline issues among MPs, handle the case of the ministers.
“The Honourable Namuganza must tell us where she was prostituting with her fellow colleague,” Okupa demanded, prompting other MPs to support him.
Last year, Nantaba accused her counterpart of sneaking into Kayunga district to handle land wrangles, which she said was a ploy to back land grabbers.
Namuganza however denied this, saying she had been sent on assignment by the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, to handle land wrangles reported to her by one of the MPs from Kayunga.
During a meeting between MPs from Buganda region and the Lands Ministry in February this year, the two ministers exchanged words before legislators.
A number of legislators including Aruu County MP, Odonga Otto and Kalungu West MP Joseph Ssewungu pinned Namuganza for severally abusing Nantaba on different radio stations and newspapers, which they termed as disrespectful and a cause for disciplinary action.
The Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa told the House that a subcommittee, headed by First Deputy Prime Minister, General Moses Ali, was already in place to handle cases of indiscipline within cabinet.
Nankabirwa assured the legislators that the Nantaba-Namuganza feud is currently being handled by the committee.
Kadaga directed that recordings implicating Namuganza is given to Parliament before a decision on whether the Rules committee should probe the matter further.