Speaker meets ministers over MP Akamba’s whereabouts

Busiki County legislator Paul Akamba, Lwengo District Woman MP Cissy Namujju and Bunyole East MP Yusuf Mutembuli. PHOTO/COMBO

What you need to know:

  • Akamba and two other legislators are accused of corruption.

The Speaker of Parliament has held a closed-door meeting with several ministers to establish the whereabouts of Busiki County legislator Paul Akamba, who was arrested by armed men outside the Anti-Corruption Court, shortly after securing bail, in Kampala last Friday. 

Sources said Speaker Anita Among held a meeting with Security Minister Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi, Internal Affairs Minister Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire, Minister of ICT and National Guidance Dr Chris Baryomunsi, and Government Chief Whip Hamson Obua at her office in Parliament yesterday. 

Maj Gen Otafiire reportedly attended the meeting virtually. 

MP Akamba alongside Bunyole East MP Yusuf Mutembuli, and Lwengo District Woman MP Cissy Namujju were arrested upon appearing at Criminal Investigations Directorate at Kibuli in Kampala City last Monday.

They had been summoned over allegations of soliciting a bribe from Ms Mariam Wangadya, the chairperson of the Human Rights Commission (UHRC), on May 13, 2024 at Hotel Africana.

They allegedly claimed they could influence the Parliamentary Budget Committee to increase the UHRC’s budget for the Financial Year 2024/2025 in exchange for the bribe, which was 20 percent of her institution’s enhanced budget.

Last Tuesday, the trio were presented in court on corruption-related offence and remanded. 

Last Friday, MP Akamba was given bail, but he was rearrested outside the court premises by armed men in plain clothes, who whisked him away in a tinted van.

Efforts by his relatives and his lawyers to establish his whereabouts have been futile.

MPs Namujju and Mutembuli are still on remand after their case was submitted to the High Court for trial.  

The Director of Communication at Parliament, Mr Chris Obore, said he wasn’t aware of the said meeting.

“The only meeting I am aware of today (Tuesday) is the Speaker’s meeting with the President at State House,” Mr Obore said yesterday.

Attempts to verify the information from Dr Baryomunsi were futile. Our calls to him went unanswered by press time.

A source said the Speaker asked why the legislator was arrested in such an embarrassing manner after he was given bail yet he had earlier willingly answered summons at the Criminal Investigations Directorate in Kibuli, Kampala. 

The ministers reportedly told the Speaker that when security personnel attempted to arrest MP Akamba on other offences related to corruption, his supporters attempted to block the them, which forced them to act the way they did. 

However, when we reached out to Maj Gen Otafiire said he didn’t attend the meeting.

The Speaker reportedly asked the ministers to give her an answer about the whereabouts of MP Akamba so that she would inform the House during the plenary in the afternoon.  

Plenary sittings were expected to resume yesterday after the meeting. But yesterday’s sitting was postponed.

A source said the meeting agreed that MP Akamba should be transferred to a police station in Kampala City where legislators would be directed to if they insist on asking about his whereabouts.