State Minister for Lands and Bukono County legislator Persis Namuganza, has dismissed a report by the Parliament’s Committee on Rules Privileges and Discipline that found her guilty of undermining the integrity of speaker Rebecca Kadaga through her utterances.
According to Namuganza, the report is biased and could have been written by Kadaga herself before forwarding it to the committee only to append their signatures.
The minister now claims she will not accept any form of disciplinary action that was proclaimed in the report. She instead waged new war against Kadaga.
“She has abused the decorum of parliament which is incumbent on her to respect, maintain and keep decorum. I have a strong belief that this report was written by Kadaga herself and just given to these committee members to read,” Namuganza said.
Namuganza accuses the committee of failing to summon Kadaga for her side of the story. She claims they feared to interrogate the speaker.
“I made requests to that committee among which was the Kadaga should appear and give a side of her story, but she never appeared. I wanted the public to judge who is wrong and who is right,” she added.
According to the Committee, Namuganza didn’t provide incriminating evidence against Kadaga, for she did not even provide audio and video footage to back allegations that Kadaga had indeed spoken ill of her.
However, Namuganza maintains she tendered in all form of evidence but the committee refused to acknowledge it. She bases on such claims to accuse the Vice Chairman of the Committee, Abas Agaba for accepting bribes inform of foreign trips from Kadaga.
“Hon Abas (Agaba) has been enjoying trips ever since this matter started, I have no trips to offer but I want justice. Kadaga cannot be a judge in her own case. This is out of procedure and insulting to parliament.”
The parliamentary committee on rules, discipline privileges Wednesday recommended disciplinary action against State Minister for Lands Persis Namuganza after finding her guilty of undermining the integrity of speaker Rebecca Kadaga through through her utterances.
The committee interfaced with several leaders including; Namuganza, NRM National Vice Chairman for Eastern, Mike Mukula, Namutumba District Woman MP Mariam Naigaga, and Kadaga albeit privately.
Mukula argued that it was better to walk the path of dialogue because the committee was in a tight spot and would find it quite hard to rule against the speaker of Parliament.
However, on Tuesday, the committee released a report in which they found Namuganza guilty of making grave, reckless and unsubstantiated public utterances that undermined the dignity of Speaker Kadaga in the yes of the public and had an effect of bringing the House and its members under disrepute.
“The utterances had potential to, and effect of, bring the integrity of Hon. Kadaga, the Rt. Honorable Speaker of Parliament into disrepute, and shaking the trust and confidence that the public has in the oneness and integrity of parliament. The statements were an affront on dignity and integrity of the House. By her conduct, Hon. Namuganza failed to maintain and strengthen the public’s trust and confidence in the integrity of parliament,” the report reads in part.
The report also finds Namuganza guilty for inciting the public against the Kyabazinga of Busoga, William Gabula Nadiope when she asked her constituents to chase him with stones once he sets foot in Bukono.
The committee claims their decision was reached at basing on the lack of evidence from Namuganza to prove allegations that Kadaga had also attacked her, hence the report exonerates Kadaga of any wrong doing.
“What is on record is that she conceded to the utterances,” Vice Chairperson of the committee Agaba Abbas said.
Now the committee decrees that Namuganza tender in an apology to Kadaga, as well as be required to stand at the Bar of the House.
In March this year, Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah directed the committee to look into the ongoing conflict Namuganza and Kadaga
The conflict started after after Kadaga visited Namuganza’s constituency with Busiki County legislator Paul Akamba where they spoke ill about Namuganza.
Namuganza would later accuse Kadaga of fighting her before rallying her constituents to disperse the speaker with stones at any time they chance on her.
“She should be fighting drought in Busoga, or the jiggers attacking Kamuli but why would she start a fight with me who is fit to be her grand daughter?” Namuganza echoed amidst cheers from the audience.
“Kadaga has fought everyone, she fought even our own Specioza Wandira Kazibwe who meant good for Busoga. If you hear me dead, Kadaga will be suspect number one,” she added.
Namuganza also rallied her constituents to stone the Kyabazinga should he set foot in the area.
Following the utterances, a select committee of Busoga parliamentary caucus summoned Namuganza on March 10, but she was not show, prompting the Moses Balyeku (Jinja East MP) chaired committee to suspend dismiss Namuganza from the caucus citing ‘wild utterances, so alien and incompatible to the well established ethical conducts of leaders in Busoga.”
The Busoga Parliamentary Caucus also resolved to institute criminal proceedings against Namuganza. However, in reply, Namuganza advised the legislators to concentrate on the litany of problems facing Busoga region rather than waste their energies in disciplining her.
“Statistics show Busoga as the poorest region and when you visit the area, people still ask for Shs 500 which is absurd. We still have problems of jiggers but the caucus can afford to sit and discus one person. If they cannot discuss and solve the problems affecting Busoga, then what is their aim?” she wondered.
With that avenue closed, Former Soroti Municipality Member of Parliament and NRM National Vice Chairman for Eastern, Mike Mukula wrote to President Museveni calling for his immediate intervention in the squabble pitying Lands Minister Persis Namuganza against Speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga and Busoga parliamentary caucus, but that also stalled, until Oulanya referred the matter to parliamentary committee on rules, discipline privileges.