Among to NUP: Go read the law before you think of removing Mpuuga as commissioner

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Among to NUP: Go read the law before you think of removing Mpuuga as commissioner
Mpuuga and Zaake

In response to the National Unity Platform's (NUP) attempt to recall a Parliamentary Commissioner, Speaker of Parliament Anita Annet Among has rejected the request, citing legal limitations and procedural deficiencies.

Speaker Among, in a statement, emphasized the legal framework governing the appointment and removal of parliamentary commissioners.

"The commissioners, once elected by Parliament, serve the entire body and can only vacate their position or be removed by the law," she stated.

Referring to the Administration of Parliament Act and the Rules of Procedure, Speaker Among outlined the grounds for the removal of a commissioner, such as incapacity to perform duties due to reasons like infirmity, misconduct, or incompetence.

"Parties do not possess the necessary legal authority to recall a commissioner once elected by Parliament," she said.

Highlighting procedural flaws in NUP's request, Speaker Among pointed out that the letter did not meet the requirements stipulated in rule 110 of the Rules of Procedure.

"The aforementioned letter fails to meet the requirements of rule 110 of the Rules of Procedure and is thus incurably defective," she said.

Speaker Among issued a stern warning against attempts to bypass established legal procedures, citing potential legal consequences.

"Granting your request would amount to restraining the authority vested in the House, as clearly stated in section 5 of the Administration of Parliament Act," she stated, referring to a precedent set by the Constitutional Court of Uganda.

In a letter dated March 18, 2024, NUP Secretary General David Lewis Rubongoya notified the Speaker of the Party's decision to nominate Mathias Mpuuga as Commissioner of Parliament, following the provisions of Section 2(2b) of the Administration of Parliament Act and Rule 11(4) of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament.

He said the Party had decided to withdraw its nomination of Mpuuga and consequently recalled him from that position.

NUP's letter to the Speaker further states, "If Hon. Mathias Mpuuga remains in the Parliamentary Commission as a Member, he will do so without the mandate of the Party and the opposition platform."

NUP accuses Mpuuga of engaging in acts of corruption and abuse of office when he, along with members of the NRM Parliamentary Commission, irregularly allocated 1.7 billion shillings as "service awards" in a meeting chaired by Speaker Among.

Mpuuga is said to have received 500 million shillings out of the 1.7 billion.

At the time, Mpuuga was the Leader of the Opposition in the House before being removed from the position and appointed Commissioner of Parliament.

NUP has demanded that Mpuuga return the money he received, apologize to Ugandans, and step down, but he has not complied with these requests.

NUP states that Mpuuga's actions contradict the mission, values, and objectives of the party.

In response to NUP's letter, Mpuuga stated that his position on the matter is well-known and that he would not step down as Commissioner of Parliament.

The internal conflicts within NUP have raised concerns that the largest opposition political party may be heading for a split just two years before the 2026 elections.

The law supports Mpuuga's position, as NUP would need the support of one-third of MPs to remove him from the position of Commissioner of Parliament.

Mpuuga also criticized NUP's working methods, including airing internal disputes publicly.

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