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Persis Namuganza Survives Assassination Attempt By A Whisker

Among-Led Parliament Censures Minister Persis Namuganza

Parliament has today unanimously censured Hon Persis Namuganza, the State minister for Lands, Urban Development and Housing (Housing).

This is apparently for misconduct, misbehavior and contempt of Parliament pursuant to Rule 224, 85 and paragraphs 2, 3 and 5 of the Code of conduct for MPs as stipulated in Appendix F of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament.

This is after the select committee chaired by Hon Mwine Mpaka found a prima facie evidence in the motion of vote of censure against Hon Namuganza.

During the Monday plenary sitting, MPs voted by roll call. 348 MPs voted in favour of the motion out of the 356 MPs who voted. 5 MPs voted against the motion while 3 abstained

Article 118(2) of the Constitution stipulates that upon a vote of censure being passed against a Minister, the President shall, unless the Minister resigns his or her office, take appropriate action in the matter.

Where it all started:

Ms Namuganza’s troubles started when the House’s Adhoc Committee that was investigating the Nakawa-Naguru land mess, faulted her for unlawfully manipulating the allocation of plots. The committee recommended that Ms Namuganza steps aside as investigations into her conduct carry on. However, she said that Parliament had no powers to make such a decision. Apparently, this is only a preserve of the President who is the appointing authority.

This did not go well with the MPs, who said she was undermining the authority of the House. They subsequently sent her to the disciplinary committee, which later recommended her censure.

When the ad hoc committee on censure started its proceedings on January 12, Ms Namuganza was no show for all the hearings. Her legal representative, Mr Norman Pande of Mwanja and Pande Advocates, who appeared in one of the subsequent sittings said his client had not been given enough time to prepare herself for the interface.

Before all of this, Ms Namuganza who is also the Bukono MP, had been given an opportunity to bury the hatchet by apologising to the House. She blatantly rejected this.

After her censure, it will now be up to the President, who is the appointing authority, to replace her. Ms Namuganza will, however, retain her rightful seat in Parliament as the elected Bukono MP.

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