A controversial minister in President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s government has been ordered to appear before the Rules Committee of Parliament in person to answer queries related to her statements in contempt of the legislative arm of government and its leader Anita Annet Among.
Troubles for Persis Namuganza, the Minister in charge of Urban Planning and Development, began when she punched holes in the powers of parliament in relation to presidential directives, some of which are verbal and not necessarily written down.
Namuganza, who is also the Bukono Constituency MP, opposed the powers of a Parliamentary Committee to order her suspension.
This after the House adopted a report by the Adhoc committee on the Nakawa-Naguru land giveaway.
Led by Kazo County MP Dan Atwijukire Kimosho, the adhoc committee had recommended that Minister Namuganza should step aside after it was found that she had falsified a presidential directive on which the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) relied on to dish out land allocations to investors.
But Namuganza hit back, describing the committee as ‘a torture chamber’ for her and investors.
Namuganza defended herself, saying that in some meetings with President Museveni, the head of state and government sometimes gives verbal instructions. She further said it was unfortunate that Parliament had accused her of concocting directives instead of digging deeper to find the form in which these orders were issued by the president.
The minister also questioned Parliament’s powers to suspend her yet she was appointed by the president to whom she is answerable.
Namuganza was expected to appear before the Rules Committee of Parliament on Monday, September 12, but was no show.
She instead sent her lawyer Norman Pande to appear before the committee on her behalf. Counsel Pande argued that it was improper for committee to be interrogating Namuganza on an issue that is currently before courts of law.
Rules Committee Vice Chairperson Fr Charles Onen insisted that the issues that Namuganza was being summoned for were in relation to her alleged misconduct.
Pande also claimed that Minister Namuganza had been unable to appear before the committee because she was attending Monday’s cabinet meeting.
It was against this background that Onen ordered Pande to ensure that his client appears before the Committee without fail on Tuesday, September 13.
The probe into Namuganza’s statements comes at a time when security agencies are investigating claims that some people are plotting to assassinate Speaker Anita Among. (Read Story Here).
Read our previous story on Namuganza’s troubles HERE.