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Opposition MPs Petition Speaker Over Oulanyah's Conduct

Opposition legislators have petitioned the Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga, over the suspension of three MPs from the House.
Opposition MPs led by Winnie Kiiza present the petition

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Opposition legislators have petitioned the Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga, over the suspension of three MPs from the House.

Led by Opposition Chief Whip Winfred Kiiza, the MPs want Kadaga to rescind the decision taken byher Deputy Jacob Oulanyah to suspend three MPs from the House for three sittings. They also ask Kadaga to consider having an urgent meeting with all the petitioners to settle the matter.

 

The petition titled “Conduct of the Deputy Speaker” is based on the way he managed parliamentary proceedings on Thursday during the debate on the Public Order Management Bill. The debate was halted and the House adjourned to Tuesday next week after opposition MPs protested the way the debate was being conducted by Oulanyah. As the bill went to a vote, roudy legislators disrupted the process, with Aruu County MP Odonga Otto grabbing and tearing roll-call lists into pieces.

 

The petition which is signed by 24 members was handed over to the Secretary to the Speaker’s Office, Judith Awol, who represented the Speaker. Kadaga is said to be out of the country and is expected to return on Monday next week.

 

In the petition, MPs note that Oulanyah disregarded their protest even when over 30 of them stood up against his decision of voting on the bill without recommitting the contentious Clause 8. The clause requires organisers of public meetings to give notice to the Inspector General of Police of their intention to hold a meeting and its purpose at least seven days before the meeting.

 

The petitioners further note that the Deputy Speaker failed to observe rule 7 (2) of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, the outright bias demonstrated through direct participation during the proceedings which they say was in violation of Rule 68 of the Parliamentary rules of procedure.

 

Rule 7 (2) provides that the Speaker shall preserve order and decorum in the House and shall decide questions of order and practice, while Rule 68 provides that the Speaker shall not take part in any debate before the House, but may give guidance to the House on any matter before it.

 

The petition states that the Deputy Speaker had uncontrolled emotions, and outbursts during the Parliamentary sitting arising from his own submission that he had lost his brother and therefore chairing the House in an unhealthy state of mood and mind.

 

The petitioners also note the outright denial of MPs by the Deputy Speaker to raise procedural matters and his failure to apply Rule 83 as provided in the Parliamentary Rules.

 

Rule 83 provides for Powers of the Speaker to adjourn the House or suspend sitting and it states that in case of grave disorder arising in the House, the Speaker may adjourn the House without question put, or suspend the sitting till a time to be named by the Speaker.

 

They add that Oulanyah inappropriately applied Rule 80 leading to the suspension of three MPs including Odonga Otto, Kyadondo East MP Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda and Lwemiyaga's Theodore Ssekikubo.

 

Winnie Kizza, the Opposition Chief Whip, noted while presenting the petition that they are duty bound to submit the petition to the Speaker’s Office even without her presence and that like any other documents that come in without her, Kiiza asked the Secretary to deliver the petition to the Speaker. She insisted that no copy should be given to the Deputy Speaker.

 

The petition was stamped and a copy given to the petitioners.

 

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Efforts to get Oulanyah to comment on the petition were futile as his known contact numbers were switched off.

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