MPs seeking to censure the minister of state for Housing, Persis Namuganza have reportedly achieved the required minimum 176 signatures.
Last week Friday, Agago North MP, John Okot Amos, seconded by Ntungamo Municipality MP Yona Musinguzi wrote to the clerk to parliament, Adolf Mwesige expressing their intention to move a motion of censure against Namuganza on grounds of misconduct and misbehaviour.
This prompted Mwesige to display the motion for a resolution of parliament to censure the minister on the parliament notice board, a step that put into force the collection of signatures from MPs in support of the motion.
The rules require that any signature appended to the list shall not be withdrawn and after at least one-third of the MPs have appended their signatures in support of the proposed censure, the sergeant-at-arms shall forward the list to the clerk. Out of the total 529 MPs in the 11th parliament, at least 176 had to append their signatures for the censure to make it to the order paper.
Parliament director for communication and public affairs Chris Obore says 176 MPs have already signed the censure motion.
“By yesterday, the mandatory number of 176 had been reached. Currently, the petitioners are still looking even for more signatures. The petitioners want as many signatures as they can mobilize. The final number will be communicated after the collection process closes,” says Obore.
He added that if the petitioners were only interested in the mandatory signatures, they would have already submitted the collected signatures to the clerk.
“They are still collecting. When they finish the process, we shall know how many signed. No step provided in the rules will be skipped as far as the process is concerned,” Obore adds.
According to the rules of procedure, the clerk will receive a report from the sergeant-at-arms regarding the signatures collected and in turn report to the speaker’s office. The speaker will then cause the motion to be listed on the order paper for a parliament debate and a final vote.
Parliament okayed the proposed censure of Namuganza last week after MPs adopted a report by the rules, privileges and discipline committee recommending the same. The report followed an inquiry into allegations of misconduct levelled against Namuganza, who also doubles as the Bukono County MP by his Bukooli Central counterpart, Solomon Silwany on July 13, 2022.
Silwany accused Namuganza of using social media and television to criticize the operations of parliament and questioning the powers and integrity of the presiding officers of parliament to form ad hoc committees. Her comments against parliament came after another report compiled by the ad hoc committee that investigated the giveaway of Nakawa-Naguru land, which recommended that Namuganza steps aside as minister for falsifying a presidential directive that led to the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) to allocate the land to some investors.
But Namuganza reportedly questioned the way investors and people who appear before parliamentary committees are handled, equating it to a torture chamber. In the subsequent probe, the committee found that statements by Namuganza were unfounded, baseless, malicious, demeaning, and contemptuous.