The Minister of State for Internal Affairs, Gen. David Muhoozi (middle) and other legislators during the Tuesday sitting of the House
Government will present a response to the Opposition demands on reports of human rights violations next week, the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, has said.
“I have been notified that a response from government on their position will be ready by 19 November 2023, but being a weekend we shall receive it during the sitting on Tuesday, 21 November 2023,” she said during the House sitting on Tuesday 14 November 2023.
In the statement, government is expected to give its position on the alleged abduction, arrests and detentions of opposition leaders and supporters.
Selected opposition MPs, mainly from National Unity Platform, staged a walkout from plenary sitting on 10 October 2023, protesting continued arrest and detention of their supporters. They demanded that government accounts for all their missing and detained supporters.
The MPs led by the Leader of the Opposition, Mathias Mpuga, have since boycotted Parliament sittings, which Among said could tantamount to suspension as per the rules of procedures of Parliament.
She however warned that she would suspend the MPs over continued absence from the House.
“As a leader of this House I am going to invoke the rule on 15 sittings, do not be deceived that you can walk out and stay there, I will count 15 sittings and we shall see what will happen,” Among said.
Geoffrey Macho (Ind., Busia Municipality) re-echoed Among’s position urging government to act faster on a matter so critical, while encouraging his fellow legislators to abandon the boycott.
“It does not benefit our brothers and sisters in opposition to take their complaints about human rights to the streets, are they still the voice of the people?” he said adding that “I also want to call on government to act fast, why are they taking long to respond? The more they do, the more we give the opposition the opportunity to show that we are not performing”,
Hon. Cecilia Ogwal (FDC, Dokolo district) appealed to her colleagues to return to Parliament, saying it is their only platform for addressing matters of national importance.
When a Member persists in absenting himself or herself from sittings of the House after having been warned by the Speaker, states sub- rule 8, the conduct of that member shall be referred by the Speaker to the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline. A member may thereafter cease to be an MP depending on the findings of the committee.