Censure: Ssekikubo goads Opposition MPs, Namuganza raises the roof

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Censure: Ssekikubo goads Opposition MPs, Namuganza raises the roof
Mathias Mpuuga and the commissioners are back in hot soup

It is looking dour every passing hour now for four Backbench Commissioners of Parliament after Minister Persis Namuganza and political compatriot Martin Muzaale of Buzaya County made their signatures count.

Lwemiyaga County MP Theodore Ssekikubo and Tororo District Woman representative Sarah Opendi are seeking to have former Leader of the Opposition Mathias Mpuuga - now a Parliamentary Commissioner - and three other backbenchers removed from office.

Zombo Woman MP Esther Afoyochan, Rubanda Woman MP Prossy Akampulira and Solomon Silwany of Bukooli Central are jointly accused with Mathias Mpuuga (Nyendo-Mukungwe) of abuse of office, flouting the Leadership Code and corruption.

The quartet solicited and received hefty financial packages totalling Shs1.7 billion as service awards in March 2022 without seeking the approval of the House.

But Ssekikubo on Monday accused the Opposition MPs of hiding behind the walls and goaded them for "chest-thumping how they were going to fight corruption, only to hide when such a chance presents itself".

“If you have noted, it is the NRM MPs at the forefront of this, the Opposition are wobbling, they are looking through the windows, in the corridors," he told journalists.

"They run very fast, they aren’t putting their heads high. But for MPs who came to the strong promise to fight corruption and poor service delivery, this is another call, send those MPs to do their duty here, they must come to Parliament to discharge the cardinal duty to hold Parliament to account. But they are hiding, they are busy down there, they are in business,” added Ssekikubo.

The goading must have worked. On Tuesday, the Leader of the Opposition, Joel Ssenyonyi, led a delegation of over 15 MPs to append their signatures.

Ssenyonyi and his National Unity Platform legislators have been inundated with settling a deadlock over the party's mobilisation activities that the Police could not allow to go on.

Ssekikubo said the process was going on smoothly, but declined to reveal the number of signatures he has so far collected.

However, the Nile Post has independently confirmed that the signatures have surpassed 100.

“This is the struggle of the people of Uganda, if the people could come by themselves here, the story would be different," he said.

"But we hope and trust that each MP was voted to serve their people now is the time to show where you stand on the question of accountability and transparency. I am so glad and delighted with the response."

Ssekikubo lauded the ruling NRM party members, including their affiliates who now identify with People's League of Uganda, for setting the pace.

The accusations against the four commissioners, he said, they will have their day to explain themselves.

"Parliament is the bastion of transparency and accountability. Where are those MPs who came to Parliament chest-thumping that they were going to stand for accountability and transparency?” said Ssekikubo.

Minister Namuganza on Tuesday raised the roof and urged Ssekikubo to publicise the signatures so that the electorate can know which MPs refused to fight corruption.

Namuganza, who was last year controversial censured over her remarks about the Speaker and Parliament, warned the embattled commissioners against telling MPs that the President has directed NRM MPs not to sign.

"The President usually writes or invites us NRM Parliamentary caucus if is against something. But this is corruption at Parliament, the people are tired of corruption and it's making our party ugly outside there," Namuganza said.

"Let's stand as a team in fighting corruption whether you are a minister or not," she added.

Namuganza's call for the signatures to be publicised could be the game-changer. During the age limit vote, several MPs lost their seats because the aye-nay open decision had exposed them.

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