What you need to know:
- While Ms Among made no mention of the Namuganza censure motion, sources at the House say Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa will today chair the House to handle only two items, including the tabling of the censure motion.
Parliament is today expected to conclude the process of censuring Housing minister Persis Namuganza after the motion gathered the number of required signatures.
Speaker of Parliament Anita Among yesterday adjourned the House to 10am today for parliament to receive the Budget Framework Paper.
While Ms Among made no mention of the Namuganza censure motion, sources at the House say Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa will today chair the House to handle only two items, including the tabling of the censure motion.
Parliament Director of Communication Chris Obore yesterday could not confirm nor deny that the motion would be handled today.
“I am aware that the mover of the motion has gathered more than required signatures. As for the Order Paper, I haven’t looked at it, but even if it were not on the Order, the rules allow the Presiding Officer to amend it on the floor. Therefore, we can only confirm the censure motion on the floor if it’s not on the Order Paper,” Mr Obore said.
The Agago North Member of Parliament, Mr Amos Okot, who is the mover of the censure motion, said he expects it to be debated today.
“Tomorrow [today] the motion is going to come [up for discussion in the Order Paper because they are following the rules [of procedure],” Mr Okot said adding, “In case it does not come up, I will ask for an explanation from the Speaker”.
Rule 109 (7) of the Parliaments Rules of Procedure dictates that a motion of censure shall be placed on the Order Paper for debate the next working day as soon as the Speaker receives a petition from the clerk notifying her that the required number of MPs-one third- have signed in support of the motion. Rule 109(5) gives the clerk 24 hours to notify the Speaker.
“Upon receipt of the proposed Petition, grounds and the particulars supporting the grounds and supporting signatures, the Speaker shall cause the proposed Petition to be placed on the Order Paper for the next working day during which the chief petitioner shall formally move the censure Motion and lay all supporting documents on the Table and each document so laid shall be endorsed by the Clerk,” it states.
Today’s sitting is expected to be the last, before Members go on recess for the Christmas holidays, and the time limitations in the rules would mean the motion is promptly handled.
On December 9, Mr Okot, moved the motion to censure Ms Namuganza over misconduct after Parliament adopted the report of the Rules, Privileges and Discipline Committee, which found her guilty of misconduct, making derogatory statements about Parliament and abuse of office in the allocation of the Nakawa-Naguru land.
Efforts to reach Ms Namuganza for a comment on the pending motion were futile as she did not respond to our repeated calls.
Mr Wilber Kayiwa, a lawyer attached to Crimson Associated Advocates, which has been representing her on the matter, told Daily Monitor that he could only give an update after consulting Ms Namuganza. He advised this newspaper to reach out after 20 minutes, but he did not answer our calls.
Article 118 (1) (b) of the Constitution states that Parliament may, by resolution supported by more than half of all MPs, pass a vote of censure against a minister on [given] grounds, including abuse of office, misconduct or misbehaviour among others.
Section 2 of the same article states the processes to follow if parliament votes to censure a minister.
“Upon a vote of censure being passed against a minister, the President shall, unless the minister resigns his or her office, take appropriate action in the matter,” it indicates.