Nwoya County MP Simon Oyet says Parliament should borrow from courtrooms that have glass screens to protect witnesses from anyone who would wish to attack them. He observes a need to have a live TV link to allow strangers to watch parliamentary proceeding on a screen from a space where they can also be monitored by MPs.
A cross-section of Members of Parliament is calling for stringent
measures to curb possible attacks by strangers when the house is in session. The proposals follow an incident in which two members of the
Red Top Brigade Movement attacked parliament from the stranger’s gallery on
The strangers, later
identified as Charles Mutaasa Kafeero and Darfala Ssekanjako jumped into the
Chamber from the gallery and disrupted parliament business as MPs debated a
ministerial statement on the Land Information Systems Conference.
The two, upon jumping into the
chamber, started shouting claiming that corruption stems from Parliament and
that the House did not have the moral authority to debate or say anything
against the vice. In the process, legislators started scampering for their
They were later arrested by the
police and Sergeant-At-Arms and escorted out of the Chamber to the Central
Police Station. Although no one was hurt in the incident, a glass cover of one
of the fluorescent lights was damaged as the strangers jumped into the Chamber,
a noise that had been mistaken for gunshots.
In the aftermath, Parliament beefed up its security checks. But several MPs want Parliament to come up
with strategies to ensure that such an incident does not happen again.
Nwoya County MP Simon Oyet says Parliament should borrow
from courtrooms that have glass screens to protect witnesses from anyone who
would wish to attack them. He observes a need to have a live TV link to allow
strangers to watch parliamentary proceeding on a screen from a space where they
can also be monitored by MPs.
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In 2004, the United Kingdom
introduced a glass screen in the gallery for the House of Commons to separates
strangers and the members of Parliament. The glass helps to prevent the
throwing of objects into the chamber but also to thwart any form of attacks
against a member.
Nyabushozi County MP Fred
Mwesigye says that security in Parliament is lax, adding that everyone can
access parliament now as it stands. However, he observes a need to tighten
security and protect members from attacks. He says Parliament should be limited
to only those with business.
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Bukooli North MP Gaster Mugoya Kyawa says that some
Parliaments in the world have special places for members to watch the
proceedings of Parliament, an example that should be followed by the Ugandan
Parliament to make the house safe for members.
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Maracha East MP James Acidri who
was speaking when the chaos started says there is a need to rethink the security
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Kaberamaido Woman MP Veronica
Eragu Bichetero says that the incident should be an eye-opener for Parliament
to continuously tighten its security, and effectively screen people who visit
especially when legislators are in session. She says the people who stormed
Parliament had properly cleared themselves through the system.
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Flavia Byekwaso, a UPDF
representative in Parliament says even the tightest security is usually
penetrated adding that it might not be very easy to detect people who come in innocently.