On an un­usual cloudy Thurs­day Sep­tem­ber 21, 2017 Par­lia­ment was sur­rounded by both army and Po­lice com­pete with their ar­moury. Some of the sol­diers were dec­o­rated with a ban­dolier wrapped around their torso like a bul­let neck­lace, mean look­ing faces.

In­side the Par­lia­ment build­ing, se­cu­rity checks and stops had an in­creased num­ber of Po­lice­men, clad both in uni­forms and civil­ian cloth­ing, the only thing that dis­tin­guished them from each other was a pair of walkie-talkies strapped on their belts. Any­one in­side the par­lia­ment was on  ten­sion from the sur­round­ing ar­eas as re­ported on live tele­vi­sion.

Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment to­gether with the staff were not al­lowed to park their ve­hi­cles in­side the Par­lia­ment premises.  They were asked to park at the na­tional the­ater and then walk to the Par­lia­ment, a se­cu­rity mea­sure put in place af­ter the Po­lice shared con­cerns of a plot to burn the Par­lia­ment.  In the cor­ri­dors, sev­eral fire ex­tin­guish­ers were placed strate­gi­cally, ready to put out any fires.

Mean­while a meet­ing was tak­ing place be­tween the Speaker, Hon Kadaga and her deputy Hon Ja­cob Oulanyah. The agenda  of the meet­ing sources say, was would they al­low the mo­tion to in­tro­duce a pri­vate mem­bers bill to lift the age limit to come to the Au­gust house and who would be chair­ing if such a mo­tion were to come on the floor of Par­lia­ment.

At 1 PM, a bell was rang to in­form MPs that the ple­nary sit­ting was about to start as on any nor­mal day. Usu­ally Par­lia­ment has less than 250 MPs out of the 449 Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment.

How­ever, the Deputy Speaker walked into a fully packed house of 256 MPs , at 2.17 Pm with op­po­si­tion MPs armed with whis­tles as they sung the na­tional an­them which usu­ally is­n’t done at all.

The deputy Speaker in­formed the house that the mo­tion would not be dis­cussed, but it would come at an­other ap­pro­pri­ate time.

“The mo­tion by MP Magezi to in­tro­duce a pri­vate mem­bers bill will not be to­day, this mo­tion may come next week or at an­other time and will be com­mu­ni­cated to mem­bers” Hon Oulanyah said to the ea­ger MPs.

The re­sponse from the op­po­si­tion was a cel­e­bra­tory one. The leader of the op­po­si­tion, Hon Win­nie Ki­iza in­formed the Deputy Speaker of Po­lice de­ploy­ment to the ex­tent that Mem­bers were not al­lowed ac­cess to the build­ing in the morn­ing.

“I ask that you use your dis­cre­tion, to read the mood of the house and ad­journ the house, I also re­quest that the Gov­ern­ment tells mem­bers of Par­lia­ment why there was a siege of Par­lia­ment in the morn­ing” said Hon Ki­iza.

The Prime Min­is­ter, Dr Ruhakana Ru­gunda made an at­tempt to re­spond to the Leader of Op­po­si­tion but was shut down with noise from the whis­tles be­ing blown one part of the op­po­si­tion. The other part was busy singing the na­tional an­them.

Af­ter the House was qui­etened,  Hon Otto  raised a pro­ce­dural point re­quest­ing that Min­is­ter Eve­lyn An­ite be sus­pended from Par­lia­ment for 8 years and she ap­pear be­fore the rules com­mit­tee for her com­ments in the me­dia threat­en­ing the pub­lic that NRM had the back­ing of the Ma­jje -Swahili word for the army.

To this mo­tion, a vividly an­gry  Hon An­ite shouted point of or­der, dar­ing Hon Otto to try and touch her. Deputy Speaker Hon Oulanyah  ruled, asked MP Otto to find an­other time to raise his points and that Par­lia­ment term was only 4 years, so the 8-year re­quest was im­pos­si­ble.

A dis­tressed Deputy Speaker pleaded with the house to keep calm, when this did­n’t hap­pen af­ter which he ad­journed the house.
“I can­not chair a house that has mem­bers who are not will­ing to sit” Hon Oulanyah said.

With the house ad­journed, op­po­si­tion MPs pulled out their red bands, tied them around their heads to sig­nify the blood they are will­ing to shade to fight the mo­tion and walked out of the cham­bers singing in vic­tory.

The mo­tion to in­tro­duce a pri­vate mem­bers bill to lift the age limit is likely to come next week or not to come at all, will there be more drama? We wait to see.