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Parliament business stalls again over report on Arua violence

By Nicholas Wassajja, Mary Karugaba, Moses Mulondo

Added 22nd August 2018 04:08 PM

Last week, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga was forced to suspend proceedings for several hours

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Elly Tumwine delivers a statement on the state of security in the country during plenary. Photo by Maria Wamala

Last week, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga was forced to suspend proceedings for several hours

Efforts to seek answers by Members of Parliament on the chaos that marred the Arua Municipality by-election are far from over.

For the second week in a row, Parliament business has come to a standstill, with lawmakers divided over a select committee report that investigated circumstances surrounding the arrest and alleged torture of MPs Robert Kayagulanyi and Francis Zaake by security forces.

The duo was arrested alongside Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo Municipality), Paul Mwiru (Jinja East) and Arua Municipality MP elect, Kassiano Wadri and scores of his supporters.

Last week, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga was forced to suspend proceedings for several hours until the Government comes up with a statement that explains where the four lawmakers that were arrested were being detained and why Zaake and Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine were tortured.

edard egona centre with other members of the ad hoc committee on what transpired in rua speak to reporters after arliament was adjourned to next week hoto by aria amalaMedard Segona (centre) with other members of the ad hoc committee on what transpired in Arua speak to reporters after Parliament was adjourned to next week. Photo by Maria Wamala

 

Kyagulanyi has since been paraded before the General Court Martial in Gulu and charged with illegal possession of fire arms but the court session was in camera whereas Zaake, who the Government had initially admitted was under their detention, is undergoing treatment at Rubaga Hospital.

The first deputy Prime Minister, Moses Ali, then told Parliament that all the said MPs were arrested and would appear before the Chief Magistrate’s court in Gulu to answer cases of treason and inciting violence except Zaake, something that incensed MPs.

Subsequently, Parliament agreed to a select committee chaired by Doreen Amule (Amolatar Woman) to head to Gulu and establish facts on the ground.

Other members of the committee included Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West), Jova Kamateka (Mitooma Woman), Medard Ssegona (Busiro North), Andrew Baryayanga (Kabale Municipality) and Jacob Oboth-Oboth (West Budama South).

However, sources privy to the committee workings say that Amule has been at loggerheads with other members from the time they visited Gulu, something that forced her not to sign the final committee report.

oreen mule right the hairperson of the ad hoc committee chats with other legislators after the speaker adjourned the session hoto by aria amalaDoreen Amule (right) the Chairperson of the ad hoc committee chats with other legislators after the speaker adjourned the session. Photo by Maria Wamala

 

“When we were going to Gulu, she did not want Oboth to go because he disagreed with her on the methodology of the investigation. When we wanted to visit Makindye military barracks to see Bobi Wine, she argued there was no need because she had been there with other Parliament commissioners but we overpowered her,” said the source.

The source added that up to Wednesday morning, Amule had refused to sign the report and instead walked out of meeting. It is on this back drop that Oulanyah adjourned the House to allow the committee more time.

According to the source, Amule disagreed with the report especially the part where the other five members insist that Bobi Wine is in a critical health condition and needs urgent medical attention.

Early this week, Amule together with MPs Peter Ogwang (Usuk County), Anita Among and Arinaitwe Rwakajara visited Bobi Wine in Makindye and asserted that his health condition was not alarming as reported, contrary to what Ibrahim Kasozi (Makindye East) who was part of the team said.

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