MPs in attendance of today’s plenary sitting were all praises of the actions of Speaker Rebecca Kadaga in suspending MPs yesterday.
Approximately 24 MPs openly opposed to the motion to lift the age limit, mostly from the opposition were forcefully ejected from the chambers by security operatives.
The praise followed a motion without notice by Hon. Isaac Musumba MP for Buzaaya County in Kamuli District to appreciate the manner in which the Speaker handled the sitting of the previous day. Hon. Musumba’s motion asserted that despite the violence, desecration of the house and its rules, the Speaker steered the house well.
Debate of the motion took more than three hours and this is what some MPs had to say;
Hon. Chris Baryomunsi (Kinkizi County East) and State Minister for Housing said Uganda is functioning democracy and no MP had the authority to stop Hon Magyezi from bringing his motion to the floor. He added that a lot of information flowed through different forms of media like WhatsApp and his colleagues had opted to emulate. He concluded by commending the Speaker’s actions despite the threat of violence in the house.
Hon. Bright Rwamirama told the house that MPs have immunity for what they say not what they do in the house and that the NRM had the manpower to overpower them fourfold if the need arose. He added that he was convinced that some MPs were on drugs and alcohol and needed to be checked. He concluded by lauding the Speaker’s actions.
Hon Abbas Agaba had this to say: “We thank you for protecting the image and integrity of the house, you had to make the tough decision, a bad decision is better than indecision.” He added and said, “Some of our colleagues act for the camera, yesterday one raised a point of order to ask the Speaker why he wasn’t suspended, it’s absurd.”
Hon Magyezi Raphael also the mover of the infamous motion said “I’d like to thank you madam Speaker for being patient and tolerant, despite their disrespect but you restrained yourself, Ugandans through us their leaders appreciate you Madam Speaker, we are firmly behind you”
NRM Stalwart, Hon. Elly Tumwine also had this to say, “I’m privileged to have been a part of this house for the last 31 plus years and I’ve never seen this happen in the house, we went to the bush we fought for people to have the right to speak their minds.” He also added that he could not understand why a single motion could divide the whole country when the country had bigger problems.
He defended the reinforcement of Parliament security by others forces assumed to be from the Special forces Command and justified their actions when he said the Honorables had stretched their immunity.
An MP, A one Hon. Odur also distanced himself from another MP with a similar name who was suspended. Speaker Rebecca Kadaga clarified that the suspended MP is Odur Jonathan of Erute South and not Odur Lutanywa of Kibanda South.
Contrary to the mood in the house, Hon Acidri asserted that what happened could have been avoided if the Deputy Speaker’s ruling had been heeded. Speaker Oulanya had earlier told the house that ample time would be given to all motions on the floor and the house would not be ambushed. He added that he was disappointed that some MPs acted the way they did but hopes they are forgiven so that they can come for debate the motion for the good of Ugandans.
Minister Obiga Kania, internal Affairs also promised security to MPs and asked them not to take the various threats lightly while Hon Anite told the house that she was attacked by a violent MP Kyagulanyi alias Bobiwine chanting, “I will kill you, I will kill you…”
Gen. Moses Ali decried the dress code of some MPs who had abused some religions’ sacred symbols like the Veil for Muslim women and Catholic rosary but all in all lauded the Speakers actions.
In conclusion, Speaker Kadaga also justified why she suspended the MPs on Wednesday not Tuesday which plunged the house into chaos. She said she could not rise above the noise in the house at the time.
“I was afraid that the Hansard would not capture what I was saying because of the noise that is why I opted to note down their names for subsequent suspension” She said.