The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga yesterday told the Inspector General of Government Irene Mulyagonja not to interfere in the work of parliament as this would be in clear breach of separation of power.
In a pointed statement she read before debate on COSASE report commenced, Kadaga took issue with Mulyagonja’s January 19 letter in which the IGG asked the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) to investigate allegations of bribe-taking by MPs on Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE).
“I find the contents of this letter to be an attack on Parliament of Uganda, an attempt to muzzle investigations, stifle the voice of the people, intimidate and blackmail Parliament and its members in the performance of its Constitutional functions,” the Speaker said.
“First of all, the IGG is an officer of this House, she reports to this House, but casually directs ISO to investigate us?” an incensed Kadaga asked before ordering an inquiry on Justice Mulyagonja.
She then referred the IGG’s letter to the Standing Committee of Rules and Privileges to investigate whether it doesn’t amount to contempt of Parliament,” she said.
“I will not allow anyone as long as I am the Speaker to blackmail this House”.
As she spoke, MPs stamped their feet in approval. Later debate on the COSASE report resumed.
Kadaga’s Full Statement
I find the contents of this letter to be an attack on Parliament of Uganda, an attempt to muzzle investigations, stifle the voice of the people, intimidate and blackmail Parliament and its members in the performance of its Constitutional functions.
I am very surprised that the IGG didn’t find it necessary to first consult my office on the matters contained in the letter before authoring the letter to ISO.
If she had called me, I would have been able to tell her there was no benchmarking which she wants to investigate. Benchmarking is with my authorisation, therefore, I am also being accused of facilitating some benchmarking, but she wants ISO to investigate that. So you are going to see ISO come and check the Speaker’s letters! Is she right? This is what the IGG wants.
I say this because in the past, we have had good collaborations, she has called me on many occasions to find out information and clarifications regarding Parliament and I have responded to her requests.
I also take strong exception on paragraph two of the letter when the IGG alleges that the Chairperson of COSASE which he suspected to be the real reason they refused to leave the leadership of COSASE when its term ended.
I think it is this house which gave them an opportunity to do their work, I don’t see how the IGG can determine how work is done in this House.
Although I told you, that there were witnesses that hadn’t been interviewed, the real reason was that they were getting money and that implies that I was part of that money, that is what this means. So this accusation means that I championed the need for the Committee to be given more time and you who supported and approved are part of that to get more time for the people to collect money when we approved the extension.
I have explained in media the need to handle this probe carefully, this causes me to wonder why the IGG felt it necessary to write this thing in her letter.
I believe that this letter and contents are an attack on the dignity, immunity and indeed an affront on the dignity on all members of this House as guaranteed in the Parliament Administration Act and I condemn it in the strongest terms possible.
I will not allow anyone as long as I am the Speaker to blackmail this House.
I want to refer the IGG’s letter to the Standing Committee of Rules and Privileges to investigate this letter whether it doesn’t amount to contempt of Parliament.
First of all, the IGG is an officer of this House, she reports to this House, but casually directs ISO to investigate us?