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NUP hits at Among for blocking Mpuuga’s removal

Anita Among

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Unity Platform – NUP party has cried foul and slammed Parliament for blocking the removal of Mathias Mpuuga Nsamba, from the Parliamentary Commission to defend ongoing corruption practices in the August House.

NUP Secretary-General Lewis Davis Rubongoya, commented after Speaker Anita Annet Among’s letter dated 25th March 2024 rejecting the NUP’s decision to recall Mpuuga as Commissioner of Parliament and replace him with Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake.

The party nominated Mpuuga to the Parliamentary Commission in January 2024 after dropping him as the Leader of Opposition – LOP in the 11th Parliament, a position he held for two and half years. He was replaced by Nakawa West Representative, Joel Ssenyonyi.

On 18th March, Lubongoya wrote to the Speaker communicating the decision of the party’s National Executive Council – NEC to withdraw Mpuuga, the Nyendo-Mukungwe Constituency MP in Masaka City on grounds of corruptly receiving 500 million Shillings in service award from the Parliamentary Commission.

But in her reply to Lubongoya’s letter, Among rejected the decision quoting legal restrictions and procedural deficits that undermine provisions of the Administration of Parliament Act, Section (2), Capt 257, and Rule 11 (4) of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament that govern the appointment and removal of parliamentary commissioners.

“The role of parties under the law is limited to nominating candidates for election to the office of Commissioner of Parliament. Once elected by Parliament, the Commissioners so elected cease to serve individual party interests and serve Parliament as a whole”, Speaker Among pointed out.

Among emphasized that Section 4 of the Administration of Parliament Act dictates that a member of the Commission shall cease to hold office on vacating his or her seat following Article 83 of the Constitution, while Section 5 of the law unequivocally provides for their removal.

“Parties lack the requisite mandate to recall a Commissioner of Parliament once elected by Parliament… to do as you requested would amount to fettering the authority vested in the House,” the speaker noted.

In response, Rubongoya asserted that when NUP communicated to Parliament the decision to withdraw the mandate given to Mpuuga as Commissioner, it was alive to the fact Among would seek to protect him. “Her ways are therefore well known.. in any case Among chaired the Parliamentary Commission that illegally and immorally allocated 500 million Shillings to Mpuuga”, he reasoned.

Further, Rubongoya contends that NUP’s communication to the Speaker was meant to be on record to communicate to Parliament their disapproval of corruption, and abuse of office; to reaffirm that Zaake remains the legitimate representative of the party on the Parliamentary Commission.  “When the Parliamentary Commission engages in more forms of corruption as it surely will, no wrongdoing shall be imputed on NUP. At least for now, the nation knows that Mpuuga no longer represents us on the Commission”, Rubongoya concluded.

Notably, while addressing a press conference at Parliament on Tuesday, Mpuuga clarified that he has no intention to step down from the mandate, reiterating that he will not quit the party for whatsoever reason.

Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the Democratic Party, Dr. Gerard Siranda Blacks observed that the Administration of Parliament Act and Rules of Procedure of Parliament parties are unfair to political parties which undermines the principles of multi-party dispensation in the country. He proposed expedited amendments to some provisions of the Administration of Parliament Act 1997, and the House’s Rules of Procedure 2012 to let parties exercise control over members who are nominated to be withdrawn at will.

In 2018, the Forum for Democratic – FDC faced the same dilemma as it sought to withdraw Abdul Katuntu, the then Chairperson of the House’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises – COSASE to replace him with Kawempe South MP, Mubarak Munyagwa.

Similarly, in August 2020, the former LOP Mpuuga’s attempt to remove Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Gulu City West Representative as Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee – PAC Local Government and replace him with Kilak South MP Gilbert Olanya equally hit a dead end.

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URN

One comment

  1. Truth shal cm oup lt mpuga full the nation

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