The Minister of State for Land, Housing and Urbanism (Housing), Hon. Persis Namuganza, asked the committee investigating her to present evidence to show that she undermined Parliament.
On Tuesday, September 13, 2022, the minister appeared before the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline following a directive from Vice President Thomas Tayebwa that she be investigated for allegedly questioning the integrity of the House.
The matter arose from a report by the Nakawa-Naguru Land Cession Adhoc committee that was unanimously adopted by Parliament on May 18, 2022.
The committee, in its report, recommended that Namuganza be stepped aside for falsifying a presidential directive that saw the Ugandan Land Commission allocate such land to a section of investors.
When she appeared before the ad hoc committee, Namuganza reportedly questioned the treatment of investors and people appearing before parliamentary committees, comparing it to a torture chamber.
“When we meet with the president, sometimes he gives verbal instructions.
But when you come to the committee and deliver the instructions, they accuse you of making them up without further investigation.
This is very unfortunate,” Namuganza said.
However, lawmakers accused her of ridiculing Parliament and her leadership over the findings.
As she stood before the rules committee alongside her lawyer, Norman Pande, Namuganza said that she had nothing to say about the accusations made against her in the House of Parliament as they have no evidence.
Honorable Abdu Katuntu, the chairman of the committee, said there is no evidence to provide to the minister or her lawyers, as the evidence will be presented during the investigation.
This is after Namuganza insisted that evidence against her be presented first.
“What evidence does it require of us before we receive it?
We are here to investigate.
The evidence that we are going to hear is later: we have not heard any evidence before the committee,” she said.
Committee Vice Chairman Fr. Charles Onen also told Namuganza that the only evidence before the committee is the Hansard capturing Bukooli Central MP Solomon Silwany, Tororo Women MP Sarah Opendi and other MPs reporting that the Minister had questioned the integrity of Parliament in different statements captured by the media.
However, Namuganza insisted that she could not give any response to the parliamentarians’ claims as there is no evidence.
Atkins Katusabe, the MP for Bukonzo West proposed that the committee be able to continue its investigations into the matter, noting that the minister’s captured response should be a denial of the allegations.
The vice president ordered the minister to appear on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, together with the witnesses who had raised the matter in plenary session of Parliament.