Members of Parliament have disagreed with Speaker Rebecca Kadaga over her decision turning down a petition to recall the House from recess. In a letter dated January 17 2012, Kadaga tells the legislators that she could not recall the House because the petitioners had not fulfilled the requirements of Article 95(5) of the constitution on the same.
Members of Parliament have disagreed with Speaker Rebecca Kadaga over her decision turning down a petition to recall the House from recess.
In a letter dated January 17 2012, Kadaga tells the legislators that she could not recall the House because the petitioners had not fulfilled the requirements of Article 95(5) of the constitution on the same.
Over 127 MPs on January 7th this year petitioned Kadaga asking her to recall Parliament to discuss what some of them called an attack on the institution of Parliament by President Yoweri Museveni.
The petitioners also wanted the House to discuss controversial deaths that have occurred in the country including that of Butaleja Woman MP Cerinah Nebanda, who died mysteriously on December 14 last year.
Almost two weeks after the petition was submitted to her office, Kadaga has turned it down saying some of the MPs that signed the petition had written to her asking to withdraw their signatures. The Speaker also claims that another MP wrote to her office alleging his signature had been forged.
Busiro South MP Medard Sseggona, one of the lead petitioners, however disagrees with the Speaker’s decision saying it is in total breach of the constitution.
Sseggona says he does not rule out the decision to seek redress in the constitution to challenge Kadaga’s decision.
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He says the allegation of forgery would have been investigated before taking the decision.
Paul Mwiru, the Jinja Municipality East MP says Kadaga’s decision has set a bad precedent in terms of the independence of Parliament. He says the decision could also affect the work of Parliamentary Committees.
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Kalungu West MP Gonzaga Ssewungu says Kadaga’s actions show that she has bowed to political pressure from the ruling NRM government.
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He says the speaker could at worst have subjected the alleged forgery of signature to a probe before taking the decision. Kadaga also did not name the MPs who requested to withdraw from the petitions.
Meanwhile Sseggona in an interview said he and other petitioners will meet to discuss a possibility of challenging the decision in the constitutional court.
The Speaker has been under pressure from the executive not to recall parliament, with President Yoweri Museveni openly opposing the recall. He at one point described the pro-recall MPs as idiots and fools. Some of the MPs including Muhammed Nsereko, Dr Chris Baryomunsi, Theodore Ssekikubo and Dr Sam Lyomoki among others were arrested over their comments on the death of Nebanda. The arrests were part of the reasons the petitioners used to have the house recalled.