Panic as MPs run out of committee room over fire scare

Wednesday July 17 2019

Parliament electrician trying to fix the

Parliament electrician trying to fix the electrical choke which is suspected to have been the source of the smoke. PHOTOS BY DAVID LUBOWA  

By DAMALI MUKHAYE

There was panic at Parliament on Wednesday morning as members sitting on the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) sub-committee ran out of Conference Hall A over suspected fire outbreak in the room.
The committee deputy chairperson, Mr Ibrahim Kasozi asked the members to vacate upon upon sighting the smoke emanating from the ceiling.
"The committee room is on fire. All of you start vacating one by one before you get burnt," Mr Kasozi shouted to MPs before adjourning the meeting to next week.

The MPs hurriedly notified custodians causing panic at Parliament and a number of fire brigades were seen around the House after fighters were alerted to come and rescue the situation.
However, Parliament Director of Communication and Public Affairs, Mr Chris Obore said the smoke was caused by a short circuit which before assuring journalists that the situation was under control.
"That committee room was under renovation so the MPs were not supposed to sit in it. However, it was not a fire outbreak as alleged by MPs; it was just a socket short circuit but our sergeants at arms are handling the situation," Mr Obore told journalists at Parliament after the incident.

Parliament Director of Communication and Public

Parliament Director of Communication and Public Affairs, Mr Chris Obore displays to journalists the electronic choke that's said to have been the source of the smoke

The committee is investigating circumstances under which departed Asians properties that were fully compensated for by government ended up in hands of individuals and private companies.
The committee had summoned the directors of the Departed Asians Property Custodian Board (DAPCB) to explain how the departed Asian properties have been mismanaged.

The board is chaired by Finance Minister Matia Kasaija and includes; Lands Minister Ms Betty Amongi, Attorney General Mr William Byaruhanga, Minister of State for Local Government, Ms Jeniffer Namuyangu, State Minister for Industry and Cooperatives, Mr Michael Werikhe, and President Museveni’s brother Gen Caleb Akandwanawo known as Salim Saleh who is a “co-opted member”.
None of the above appeared at Parliament forcing MP Kasozi to adjourn the sitting to next week.

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