Several Members of Parliament from the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) today took to the floor to shower praises at the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga for close to three hours in a House abandoned by the Opposition.
They expressed their gratitude for her efforts to ensure that the motion seeking to lift the presidential age limit in the Constitution was tabled without hurdles that had been placed by a section of their colleagues opposed to it.
On Wednesday afternoon, chaos ensued in the Chambers following the suspension of 25 MPs by Speaker Kadaga saying that they breached rule 74 of the rules of procedure of the Ugandan Parliament by conducting themselves in a manner unbecoming of legislators in a previous plenary sitting.
The MPs resisted the suspension and engaged in fist fights with plain-clothed security personnel who stormed the House to eject them. They were later forcefully ejected from the Chambers paving way for the tabling of the motion by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi.
Today, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament Winnie Kiiza announced that the opposition will boycott three parliament sittings, in solidarity with their colleagues who were suspended on Wednesday.
Before parliament could handle any business on today’s order paper, Buzaaya County MP Isaac Musumba stood up in a one-sided House raising a motion without notice under rule 45 of the parliament rules of procedure, to appreciate the manner in which Kadaga steered the House yesterday.
“Your leadership was put to the test. Since the Tuesday sitting you demonstrated patience to a section of MPs who were not disciplined. Some members went to the extent of being violent while others attempted to grab the mace. These abused rules of procedure,” said Musumba.
He attacked a section of MPs opposed to the lifting of the presidential age limits for desecrating Parliament.
Musumba’s motion was seconded by MPs Peter Ogwang for Usuk County Nsaba Buturo for Bufumbira East.
“I stand here to join in support of the motion. What we saw was unprecedented. I haven’t seen it anywhere in Africa. We feel greatly disturbed as Members of Parliament,” said Buturo.
He said that the scenes in parliament yesterday indicate that there is something wrong in the nation before inviting his colleagues to seriously look into it.
Ogwang said Rebecca Kadaga is a true leader of the country adding that the country is behind the Speaker.
“I really want to call upon Ugandans castigating you on social media to ask themselves what if they were the ones in that Chair. We are sent here to legislate not to come and fight, we must learn to respect people we represent. We must learn that at one point a decision will be made,” said Ogwang.
Gen. Moses Ali, the deputy Leader of Government Business, noted that a society without discipline is not a good society and that he was happy that Speaker Rebecca Kadaga instilled discipline in a section of MPs like she has always done.
“On behalf of government, I want to thank everybody who supported this motion. And our Speaker must continue, Aluta Continua,” said the veteran politician and soldier.
After putting a question to the motion, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga also defended her actions in yesterday’s sitting that culminated into fist fights between the suspended MPs and plain clothed men who stormed parliament.