Opposition Members of Parliament have given mixed signals over their absence during a special sitting to honour deceased Ruhaama MP Beijukye William Zinkuratiire.
Legislators mainly from the ruling NRM party on Monday paid glowing tribute to Beijukye as a man of great character, three days after he died at Nsambya Hospital.
Opposition MPs were, however, absent from the house. This forced some MPs to castigate the opposition for not honoring their deceased colleague.
But Betty Aol Ochan, the Gulu Woman MP says that it was not coincidence that the opposition MPs missed the special sitting.
She says that from the time 25 MPs were suspended from the house on September 27, they have not formally returned to the house. Ochan says that on the day they were meant to return, the house was adjourned indefinitely to allow legislators consult their constituents on the proposed constitutional amendment to remove presidential age limits.
She adds that they mourn the MP Beijukye and will still have to eulogise him, but that they will also need an explanation from the speaker on the suspension of MPs.
"When we return, we hope the Speaker can explain to the house, what exactly happened. It would be difficult to get these answers on that special session," she said. Ochan also adds that they are still consulting on the age limit bill, especially since the time is not enough.
Erute North MP Charles Angiro Gutumoi on his part says there is no reconciliation among the MPs. He says since the MPs opposed to age limit removal were suspended, the house is very divided. He says the MPs who missed the special sitting will still eulogise the deceased when they return.
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The Leader of Opposition Winnie Kiiza stated that she was not available because the communication found her in Kasese district. She says as Opposition, they mourn their colleague and they could never intentionally avoid honouring him.
She however states that the time for consultation isn't enough since they are supposed to end their consultations today, November 8. Kiiza says Police has been disrupting all of their rallies and they needed to compensate for lost time. She said it was a coincidence on her side.
Kiiza also agreed with some of her colleagues who noted that they were yet to return to Parliament formally.
Ibrahim Semujju Nganda the Opposition Chief Whip says some NRM legislators also missed the special sitting and that it shouldn't be over amplified.