There was an uproar during plenary on Tuesday when the State Minister for Lands, Housing, and Urban Development, Persis Princess Namuganza decided to sit on the front bench reserved for Ministers despite her censure on January 23, 2023.
At least 348 out of the 356 legislators voted to censure the minister for alleged misconduct and violation of the oath of parliament. Namuganza’s decision to sit on the front bench didnt go down well with some legislators.
Citing rule 109 of the Rule of Procedure of Parliament, Solomon Silwanyi, the Bukooli Central Constituency legislator protested the sitting arrangement and asked Speaker Anita Among to pronounce herself if it was procedurally right for the censured Minister to sit on the front bench.
Namuganza, who doubles as the Namutumba District Woman Member of parliament was attending plenary for the first time since her censure. Among noted Silwany’s concern without delving into the matter and called on the House to proceed.
Although the Constitution requires a Minister against whom such a motion of censure is carried to resign her position in the exercise of moral integrity, the Ministers do not necessarily lose their seat.
The minister’s trouble started when she was accused of making various ‘hateful’ and ‘reckless media statements aimed at attacking the person of the Speaker. A seven-member Select Committee appointed by the Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa found Namuganza guilty and recommended her censure.
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.
Following her censure, the Taybwa reassured legislators that he would within 24 hours, relay to the President the decision of the House, who will ‘take appropriate action’ as required under Rule 109 of the Rules of Procedure, and Article 118(2) of the Constitution.