Minister Namuganza censure motion deferred over Tayebwa absence

Deputy speaker Thomas Tayebwa

The anticipated debate on the censure motion against the minister of state for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Persis Namuganza has been put off.

The clerk to parliament Adolf Mwesige had earlier on issued a notice calling all members of parliament for a special plenary sitting slated for Friday afternoon. In the session, according to the tentative order paper, the clerk indicated that parliament would constitute a select committee to consider a motion for the resolution that provides for a vote of censure against Ministers.

The debate follows a motion which was tabled on December 23, 2022, by John Amos Okot, the Agago North MP seeking a resolution of parliament to censure Namuganza for contempt of parliament. 200 legislators signed a petition to support the process.

The lawmakers accuse Namuganza of making defamatory remarks against an ad-hoc committee of parliament set to probe her involvement in the controversial Nakawa-Naguru land giveaway to some investors. The committee had recommended that the minister steps aside for falsifying a presidential directive that misguided the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) to allocate the land in question.

Namuganza reportedly described the House as powerless and unable to censure her, comments that were construed to undermine the integrity of the presiding officers. She has since denied the allegations and instead accused the speaker of parliament, Anita Among of witch-hunting her to settle a personal score.

But URN has learnt that the order paper has been amended and the item removed. A section of lawmakers who preferred anonymity observed that the sudden amendment was prompted by the absence of deputy speaker Thomas Tayebwa, yet Among, is perceived as an interested party in the matter and cannot chair the proceedings with fairness.

They argued that Tayebwa is the only one able to handle the matter yet he is currently attending the four-day Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers’ Conference in the Australian capital, Canberra which is ending on Friday, January 6, 2023.

The House will still meet on Friday to handle a motion for the adoption of the Public Accounts Committee (Local Government) and a motion for the adoption of the report of the Committee on Physical Infrastructure on the delayed payment of contractors hired by the Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra). 

Source: The Observer

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