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Parliament chaos: 39 MPs under investigation

39 Members of Parliament are to face disciplinary action after their names were forwarded to the Parliament’s Rules, Privileges and Discipline committee as investigations into the fighting that broke out in the chambers last week kicks off.

However, missing from the submitted list, is, junior Water minister, also Mukono North MP, Ronald Kibuule. Kibuule was part of the 25 MPs suspended by Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga last week.

Kibuule was particularly suspended for carrying a firearm into the chambers, something that was raised by opposition legislators and later sparked off a brawl last week on Tuesday.

The MPs are accused of causing or being part of the chaos that transpired in Parliament last week

The list of legislators set for disciplinary action is contained in a report compiled by the Parliamentary Police Directorate and sent to the Speaker Kadaga.

The report signed by Paul Katto, Deputy Commandant CID Parliamentary police, states that on September 27, names of MPs who disrupted the House proceedings a day earlier, were read out and the Sergeant-At-Arms ordered to evict them, only for the MPs to defy him.

Katto said according to CCTV footage reviewed by the police, the 39 MPs took part in the chaos in the House that day (September 29).

The MPs include Francis Zaake (Mityana Municipality), Gershom Wambedde (Bunghoko South), Joseph Ssewungu (Kalungu West), Emmanuel Kigozi Ssempala (Makindye-Ssabagabo), Simon Oyet (Nwoya), Angelline Osege (Soroti Woman), Oguzu Lee (Maracha ), Jonathan Odur (Erute South), Odonga Otto (Aruu), Julius Ocen (Kapelebyong).

Also, William Nzoghu (Busongora North), Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East), Sam Lyomoki (Workers), Nandala Mafabi (Budadiri West), Betty Nambooze (Mukono Municipality), Francis Mwijukye (Buhweju), Mohammed Kivumbi (Butambala) and Harold Muhindo (Bukonzo East).

Others are;  Mohammad Nsereko (Kampala Central), Medard Ssegona (Busiro East), Jackson Mbaju (Busongora South), Matthias Mpuuga (Masaka Municipality), Poulson Lutamaguzzi (Nakaseke South), Latif Ssebagala (Kawempe North), Robert Kyagulanyi (Kyadondo East), Michael Kabaziguruka (Nakawa), Kato Lubwama (Rubaga South).

Moses Kasibante (Rubaga North), Gilbert Olanya (Kilak South), Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo Municipality), Andrew Aja Baryayanga (Kabale Municipality), Barnabas Tinkasimire (Buyaga West), Ariko Herbert (Soroti Municipality), Monica Amoding (Kumi Woman), Alioni Yorke (Aringa South), Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West), Lucy Akello (Aruu North), Judith Franca Akello (Agago), Charles Angiro (Erute North).

“The said MPs, together with other opposition MPs became rowdy and chaotic. Some started damaging some Parliament property i.e microphones. The chairs which were being thrown have been found intact,” Katto said in the letter.

Some of the offences the MPs are accused of doing include grabbing microphones to fight; jumping on the table and throwing chairs; stepping on the chairs and grabbing chairs to fight.

Clement Ongalo Obote, chairman of the Rules committee said the list sent by Police will be a guiding tool for the committee’s investigations. However it will conduct its independent investigations to ascertain which MPs were involved in the commotion.

“As of now, there is no pre-determined list of members who are supposed to appear before this committee. Our list is going to be determined from what we get when we look at the CCTV recordings of that day then the committee will decide. Any member of this House who is in breach of the rules on that day will be on our list. If we deem a certain member to have overstepped, the member will appear before the committee,” Obote said during a meeting convened today.

Kibale County MP, Richard Oseku questioned the absence of Kibuule on the list, saying his act of smuggling a gun into the chambers sparked off the fight.

“The first person to be named was the minister on allegations of entering with a gun. I am sure we don’t have the report or analysis of the footage to that affect so it wouldn’t be fair for us to proceed on the team when we don’t have anything in place about him,” Oseku opined.

However, Ongalo explained that the matter of Kibuule is not currently before the committee, adding that the Speaker made it clear that while the minister was named for smuggling a firearm into Parliament, he was suspended for three sittings.

“The issue of the minister at the moment isn’t before this committee and in my own opinion it need not be before the Committee. When you recall the speaker’s communication, the minister was shown by CCTV to have bypassed security and to have compromised the safety security of members for which he was suspended for three sittings,” Ongalo said.

Agago County MP, Prof. Ogenga Latigo was pensive about the committee's investigations, noting that the speaker could have quelled the situation by suspending the House proceedings instead.

“The rule advises the speaker to adjourn. The suspension of sitting comes second…That option was not exhausted, so it becomes difficult to pursue disciplinary action against members. Secondly, our rules of procedure provide for maximum tolerance of members, if you look at the rules of suspension,” Prof Latigo said.