UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Namuganza Persis, the State Minister for Lands, Housing, and Urban Development, caused an uproar during plenary on Tuesday 7th March 2023 when she sat on the front bench reserved for ministers, despite being censured on January 23, 2023.
At least 348 out of 356 legislators voted to censure the minister for alleged misconduct and violating the oath of parliament.
Some legislators protested Namuganza’s decision, citing rule 109 of the Rule of Procedure of Parliament, which states that a censured minister should not sit on the front bench.
Solomon Silwanyi, the Bukooli Central Constituency Legislator, expressed concern about Namuganza’s seating arrangement and asked Speaker Anita Among to clarify if it was procedurally right for the censured minister to sit on the front bench.
Namuganza, who also doubles as the Namutumba District Woman Member of Parliament, was attending plenary for the first time since her censure.
Speaker Among noted Silwany’s concern without further comment and called on the House to proceed.
The Constitution requires a minister against whom such a motion of censure is carried to resign from their position in the exercise of moral integrity. However, the Constitution does not necessarily mandate the loss of their seat.
Following the censorship of Namuganza, a seven-member select committee appointed by Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa found Namuganza guilty of making various ‘hateful’ and ‘reckless’ media statements aimed at attacking the person of the Speaker.
The select committee chairperson, Mwine Mpaka Rwamirama, also found Namuganza guilty of contempt of Parliament and failure to appear before the probe team to defend herself against the allegations raised against her, thus violating the Rule of Procedure of Parliament.
Tayebwa reassured legislators that he would relay the decision of the House to the President within 24 hours, who would ‘take appropriate action’ as required under Rule 109 of the Rules of Procedure and Article 118(2) of the Constitution.
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