By Stephen Kalema
The draft report from the Parliament’s Committee on Rules, Discipline and Privileges has recommended that State Minister for Lands, Persis Namuganza has to apologise to Speaker Rebecca Kadaga or gets suspended from Parliament.
According to the report released on October 10, Namuganza was found guilty of making ‘false, offensive and derogatory statements’ against Speaker Kadaga.
The report also finds Namuganza guilty for inciting the public against the Kyabazinga of Busoga, William Gabula Nadiope, when she asked her constituents to chase him with stones once he sets his foot on Bukono.
The report concludes that Namuganza’s exclamations created insults on the office of the Speaker. It also puts it clear that the minister acted in breach of public trust contrary to Paragraph 5 of Appendix F of the Code of Conduct.
The committee vice chairperson Abbas Agaba, said the decisions were reached basing on the facts and realities that Namuganza lacked the evidence to prove the allegations that Kadaga had attacked her. This fortunately has worked for Kadaga whom the report exonerated.
“We used what was on the record and what we have on record is that she conceded to the utterances,” said Agaba.
But Namuganza says she will not accept any disciplinary action recommended in the report, claiming it was written by Kadaga and only endorsed by the committee.
Namuganza’s troubles started in March when she launched a scornful attack against Speaker Kadaga, condemning her of interfering in cultural matters of Bukono. This after Kadaga had presided over the installation of a chief in Bukono County, Namutumba District. Namuganza also accused Kadaga of being personally responsible for underdevelopment in the Busoga sub-region and also claimed that the Speaker had threatened to harm or kill her.
The wrangles between the two prompted the Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah, to direct Parliament’s Committee on Discipline to investigate why the minister and the Speaker were squabbling and recommend a way forward.
During the Committee’s hearings, Kadaga absolutely denied all the allegations that she was planning to either harm or kill Namuganza and insisted that she did not blunder in her attendance of the ceremony on February 26 in Bukono County.
According to the report, the statements turned Ms Kadaga into a curious subject of interest, particularly through the media, as members of the public begun to debate her character, competence and professionalism.
“The false, offensive and derogatory statements made against Ms Kadaga were indeed defamatory as they had the effect of interfering with her right to her good name and injuring her image,” notes the report.
Parliament will handle the report when it comes back from recess on November 6 and decide the fate of Namuganza.