Opposition Members of Parliament (MP) have walked out of Parliament in protest of several complaints.
The MPs were protesting the heavy deployment of security forces at Parliament, the ban on both NTV Uganda and NBS from airing the plenary live, and the unresolved issues surrounding the way opposition MPs Betty Nambooze, Francis Zaake, and Joyce Bagala, among others, were suspended from Parliament.
Led by the Leader of the Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga, the group said it is better to stay out of the House until government clarifies all matters of human rights violations, especially on the opposition leaders.
Mpuuga insisted that the Internal Affairs Minister must explain the security attack on the National Unity Platform party offices recently which saw the arrest of party leaders and supporters.
“I survived by the whisker, the people who attacked us came from Parliament what should scare MPs more is that the two televisions NBS and NTV always livestream they have been put off livestream, can we legislate under that kind of environment and I think it is adequate enough for me to honorably take leave,” Mpuuga said on Wednesday.
He also also protested the Deputy Speaker’s call for MPs who are not from the opposition to sit on the opposition side.
“I have received reports from my members that even when you are communicating to that effect, our house is not safe. We are actually surrounded by the military, including vehicles in which some of us were dumped during the age limit debate, and they are surrounding Parliament. Whether by your own instruction or the intervention of external forces, if the house is surrounded, that is a toxic environment. Could you use your authority to ascertain the circumstances under which the House is sitting? And if we are sitting under duress, then we have lost it,” Mathias Mpuuga, the Leader of Opposition, said.
He added, “I survived by the whisker; the people who attacked us came from Parliament. What should scare MPs more is that the two televisions, NBS and NTV, always live stream; they have been put off live stream. Can we legislate under that kind of environment? I think it is adequate enough for me to honourably take leave.”
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayeebwa, however, denied calling for security at the House but said that he had received a note from security indicating intelligence that there was a rowdy crowd on its way to Parliament.