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Minister Todwong: Recalling Parliament is Unnecessary

A group of NRM MPs led by minister without portfolio Richard Todwong say recalling parliament from recess is unnecessary arguing that the issues being raised are individual but not institutional. They say if Members of Parliament made derogative statements as individuals, they should answer as individuals because it is not an issue that concerns Parliament as an institution.

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A group of NRM MPs led by minister without portfolio Richard Todwong say recalling parliament from recess is unnecessary arguing that the issues being raised are individual but not institutional.

They said if Members of Parliament made derogative statements as individuals, they should answer as individuals because it is not an issue that concerns Parliament as an institution.

In a statement that Todwong read to journalists on Wednesday, the legislators who included Kaberamaido MP Kenneth Omona, Bunya West MP Vincent Bagiire, Eastern region Youth MP Peter Ogwang and workers MP Arinaitwe Rwakajara, called upon their colleagues not to sign the petition intended to recall parliament from recess.

Todwong said parliament would only be attacked as an institution if a resolution of parliament or the speaker or its members were being attacked because of official duty but members shouldn’t use the parliament to evade taking responsibility for their actions.

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Todwong said the petitioners are acting immature and that they should give the respect and the diligence they are demanding for to other arms of government in doing their work. The legislators warned their colleagues to act with maturity and desist from what they called the manipulation of ill-intentioned people who want to cause tension and disruption in the work of parliament, government and the country at large.

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The MPs also accused the petitioners of trying to create a rift between the speaker and her deputy by branding deputy speaker Jacob Oulanyah an NRM mole. Omona said that some MPs have made themselves experts of everything and that they have become irrelevant.

But Busiro South MP Joseph Balikudembe says his colleagues might be too late, as the petitioners already have the required signatures to have parliament recalled.  Balikudembe wondered why these MPs did not present their concerns early enough if they thought the petitioners did not know what they were doing. On Tuesday, the petitioners said they had collected 114 signatures, needing only 11 to have the required number as per the constitution.

Some MPs led by Abdu Katuntu for Bugweri County and Mathias Mpuuga for Masaka Municipality have been collecting signatures hoping to raise 125 of them to petition the Speaker to recall the House. They say they want to discuss current developments including the death of Butaleja MP Cerinah Nebanda two weeks ago. They also want to discuss what they call an attack on the independence of Parliament by the Executive, particularly President Museveni who recently called MPs “fools” and “idiots.”

President Museveni is openly opposed to the move to recall Parliament. He emphasised this position in his New Year’s message when he said MP Nebanda died in criminal circumstances and that Parliament has no role to play since police is already investigating the matter.

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