MPs have been shocked to discover that a year later, the Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs is still struggling to have a report on the deadly Kasese clashes to present to the House. The report was supposed to be presented within 45 days.
In November 2016, parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga tasked the committee, chaired by Mityana Woman MP Judith Nabakooba, to investigate the Kasese clashes between residents and the security forces of November 2016 in which about 150 people, including children, died.
Usually, committees are required to investigate and report to the House within one and half months and where the committee feels it cannot fulfill that requirement, the committee chairperson writes to the Speaker to request more time.
Following Busongora North MP William Nzoghu’s complaint to the House that the people in Kasese wanted to hold a memorial service but were blocked by security and have nowhere to complain, deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah asked for the committee report, which vice chairperson Kezekia Mbogo said was ready.
It was, however, after allocating time for presentation of the committee report that the House discovered that no report has ever been written, a year later.
Both Mbogo and Nabakooba were not available in the House and Oulanyah’s attempts to find out from the committee clerk revealed that not even a draft was about to be ready.
Butambala MP and committee member Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi said Mbogo had earlier misinformed Parliament that the report was ready for presentation.
Kivumbi informed Parliament that there was nothing that his committee has ever written down on the Kasese clashes since the time the MPs met President Museveni as one of the witnesses. He wondered how Parliament could investigate a matter that was before the courts of law.
“I attended the meeting at State House, Entebbe. The President in a tough tone wondered how Parliament would continue with investigations, fully aware of the case before court and said the matter was prejudicial and requested the Speaker to order the committee to stop work immediately and the meeting diverted to other issues, including MPs asking the President for favours, so there is not even a draft of that [Kasese killings] report,” Kivumbi said.
Oulanyah asked committee chairpersons to take their duties seriously to avoid delaying parliament business.
“So please let’s take it as our responsibility to finish matters that are before the committees in time. Complete the task so that parliament can take a decision other than playing these kind of games,” Oulanyah said.