Parliament’s Censure Motion Against Minister Namuganza Faces Tough Challenge

The ongoing process seeking to censor Persis Namuganza, the State Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development is facing a tough challenge as a section of the National Resistance Movement – NRM party leaders moot a move to intervene.

Minister Namuganza, who is the Bukono County Member of Parliament faces the censure motion over alleged misconduct and misbehaviour after Parliament’s Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline recommended that she be relieved of her duties for contempt of House rules and procedures.

The Rules Committee, chaired by Vice Chairperson Hon Fr Charles Onen conducted an inquiry into the alleged Namuganza’s conduct following a complaint by Bukooli Central counterpart, Solomon Silwany during a plenary sitting on July 13, 2022. 

Silwany accused Namuganza of questioning the powers and integrity of the Speakers of Parliament to form Adhoc Committees, on social media and television platforms. 

The Adhoc Committee’s report implicated Namuganza for falsifying a presidential directive that misguided the Uganda Land Commission – ULC to allocate the Nakawa-Naguru land giveaway to some investors and recommended that she step aside to pave way for investigations. 

But Minister Namuganza protested the report and its recommendations and blamed the censure process on the Speaker Anita Among and described it as a ‘personal fight.’ By Wednesday this week 176 legislators had already appended their signatures seeking to censure Namuganza.

Dr Chris Baryomunsi, the Minister of ICT and National Guidance while addressing journalists at the Uganda Media Centre on Thursday, said the NRM Government wants to mediate and resolve the bad blood that has emerged between Namuganza and Speaker Among to restore cohesion between the two leaders belonging to the ruling party.

Enraged by Dr Baryomunsi’s statement, concerned lawmakers convened a separate press conference at Parliament on Friday and accused the Minister of contempt and trivializing a matter of national importance that brings disrepute onto the Institution of Parliament.

Agago North County Member of Parliament and mover of the motion which was seconded by his counterpart of Ntungamo Municipality, Yona Musinguzi accused Dr Baryomunsi of backtracking on the resolution of the Rules Committee already adopted by the House.

Meanwhile, Geoffrey Macho, the Busia Municipality Member of Parliament cautioned Dr Baryomunsi against provoking tensions between institutions of Government by dragging the NRM party into the affairs of Parliament aimed at enforcing discipline of its members.

Article 118 of the Constitution provides that Parliament may, by resolution supported by more than half of all members, pass a vote of censure against a Minister on grounds of abuse of office, misconduct or misbehavior, or incompetence, among others.

Now the legislators are worried that the proposed mediation talks will interfere with the ongoing censure process by Parliament to create diversions to help Minister Namuganza evade disciplinary proceedings which will set an unpleasant precedent in the administration of Parliament.

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