Renowned Activists Denied Access to Parliament

Some of the activists who were reportedly banned from Parliament include Moses Bigirwa, Norman Tumuhimbise, Muhammad Ssegirinya and Allan Kitonsa.
Police officers intercept the youths who brought piglets onto the House precincts.

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Parliament has blacklisted a number of people and declared them unwanted within its precincts. Those banned are activists who have previously led protests around parliament and other parts of Kampala. 

Some of the activists who were reportedly banned from Parliament include Moses Bigirwa, Norman Tumuhimbise, Muhammad Ssegirinya and Allan Kitonsa. 

Bigirwa is known for leading demonstrations through which painted piglets were dumped near the Parliament gate, together with Norman Tumuhimbise, the leader of the Alternative and jobless youth’s groups, while KCCA councillor Muhammad Ssegirinya is known for ferrying red ribbons to the Parliament gate. These have on several occasions held protests around the Independence Monument, KCCA and areas around the National Theatre.

Bigirwa, says that his last attempt to enter parliament were blocked on grounds that there was no guarantee that he would not cause chaos or disrupt the proceedings of Parliament.  He says that on all occasions, he has laboured to go through the right procedures to enter parliament. 

//Cue in; “I tried many…  

Cue out…I am inside.”// 

Muhammad Segirinya on his side says he has been trying to petition the Speaker, meet with MPs over issues of corruption, torture of Ugandans and mistreatment of workers abroad, but on several occasions, he was reminded that he is mischievous and denied access. 

He says just at his attempt to go attend plenary, in the stranger’s gallery, he is blocked by officers who are well known to him, some of who act on orders issued through their mobile phones.   

//Cue in; “I went there…  

Cue out…to the Speaker.”// 

According to a security source at Parliament, the activists were blacklisted for abusing sections of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act, that bar people from creating any disturbance which interrupts or is likely to interrupt parliamentary proceedings. 

The decision follows a recent incident in which two members of the Red Top Brigade, a group of youthful activists, jumped into the Chamber from the stranger’s gallery as MPs debated a ministerial statement on the Land Information Systems Conference which was held last week in Kampala. 

The Source said that the two red top brigade members, Dafala Ssenjako and Charles Mutasa Kafeero were equally blacklisted. “We fear that they will act otherwise even if you allowed them to come into Parliament, like Segirinya, he cannot be allowed in here, and if you allow him you will be held responsible,” the source said. 

However, the Parliament Head of Security Annabelle Nyiramahoro dismissed this as baseless saying that in fact, one of them was in Parliament a week ago after going through the necessary security checks that every person undergoes.

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