Kampala – Parliament has voted to censure Minister of State for Lands, Persis Namuganza over contempt of Parliament.
356 MPs voted in favour of the censure motion, 5 MPs against and 3 abstained. Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa has said he will inform the President of the censure motion within 24 hours as stipulated by Rule 109(13) of the Rules of Procedure.
The vote was conducted in the absence of Namuganza who failed to turn up to defend herself.
Earlier, parliament chaired by Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa adopted the Select Committee report on Namuganza’s censure motion. The committee in its report indicated that it found prima facie evidence confirming that the conduct of Minister Persis Namuganza breached the standards of behavior and conduct expected of an MP as prescribed in the Rules of Procedure.
While presenting the report on Monday, Mbarara South MP Mwine Mpaka, the committee chair said much as the minister did not appear before the committee despite being duly served with invitation letters, they found enough evidence from the various media interviews she had to confirm that she attacked the operations of parliament, questioned the powers of Parliament, and the integrity of presiding officers.
The committee observed that Namuganza ought to have used proper channels of challenging the composition of the ad hoc Committee that investigated her involvement in the Nakawa-Naguru land allocation.
Namuganza declined to appear before the committee constituted by parliament at the direction of the deputy speaker to probe her condition and the merits of the censure motion. She refused to apologize on the floor of parliament claiming that her differences with the Speaker of Parliament Anita Annet Among have clouded the judgment of the house at her instigation.
In December last year, John Amos Okot, the Agago North Member of Parliament moved a motion seeking a resolution of Parliament to censure Namuganza for contempt of Parliament after 200 legislators signed a petition to support the process.
Trouble for Namuganza started in May after an ad-hoc Committee implicated Namuganza for unlawful involvement in the 142-acre Nakawa-Nagura Housing estate land giveaway to some investors purportedly on the President’s directive for a satellite city.
She walked out of the meeting convened by the ad-hoc Committee and later made public comments that Parliament, which vetted her appointment after being seconded to the Ministry by the President, does not have the right to investigate her.
Despite losing her cabinet position, Namuganza retains her seat in parliament as a representative for Bukono County in Namutumba district.