State Minister for Housing and Urban Development Persis Namuganza and Parliament of Uganda’s Committee on Rules seemed to be running circles on who should bring evidence in a case in which the controversial Museveni minister is accused of contempt of Parliament and for questioning the powers and integrity of the legislative branch of government whose leader is Speaker Anita Annet Among.
On Tuesday, September 13, 2022, Namuganza appeared before the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline that is investigating her over misconduct on orders of Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa.
This followed a recommendation by an adhoc committee investigating the giveaway of land in Naguru and Nakawa to investors, that Namuganza should step aside for falsifying a presidential directive that saw the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) allocate land to a section of investors.
The minister, who is also the Bukono Constituency MP, accused the committee of being a torture chamber for her and investors.
She also noted that Parliament and its leaders have no powers to suspend her.
After failing to appear before the Rules Committee on Monday, Minister Namuganza showed up with her lawyer Norman Pande.
She told MPs on the committee that she had no response to the allegations made against her because she was yet to see any evidence to prove the claims.
Namuganza said she would only respond after looking at the evidence adduced against her.
Rules Committee chairperson Abdu Katuntu explained to the minister that evidence would only come during the investigation and that there was none at the moment.
“What evidence do you require from us before we receive it? We are here to investigate. The evidence we are going to hear is later – we have not heard any single evidence before the committee,” said Katuntu.
Committee vice chairperson, Fr Charles Onen informed the minister that the only evidence before the committee is the Hansard that recorded Bukooli Central MP Solomon Silwany, Tororo Woman representative Sarah Opendi and other law makers claiming that she had told the media how the integrity of Parliament and its leadership were wanting.
But Namuganza stuck to her guns, refusing to respond until she had seen evidence adduced by her accusers.
In the end, Namuganza was directed to return on Wednesday, September 14. MPs like Silwany are expected to face off with the minister as they seek to provide evidence to back up their allegations.