The Honorable Persis Namuganza, the Minister of State for Lands, Housing and Urban Development (Housing), has taken issue with a House committee investigating her over allegations of undermining Parliament.
Namuganza said that she will only defend herself before the Rules, Privileges and Discipline Committee against allegations of misconduct if she is provided with documentary evidence of what she is accused of.
AUDIO: Minister Persis Namuganza “I therefore pray that witnesses will be ordered to come forward and provide me with copies of documentary evidence of whatever nature they intend to rely on and this is a fair hearing requirement,” she said she.
The matter stems from a report by the ad hoc committee on Nakawa-Naguru Land Cession which was unanimously adopted by Parliament on May 18, 2022.
The committee, in its report, recommended that Namuganza step aside.
for falsifying a presidential directive seen by the Uganda Land Commission allocates said land to a section of investors.
Namuganza reportedly said that Parliament is powerless and unable to censure her in relation to her involvement in Naguru-Nakawa land allocations.
The minister, who was appearing before the committee on Wednesday 14 September 2022, said that she had written to the Speaker on the matter and accused the committee of not following correct procedures, before requesting to excuse herself from the meeting in protest.
The minister is also alleged to have questioned the role and mandate of the ad hoc committee set up by the president to investigate the Naguru-Nakawa land allocations through a social media post on the official WhatsApp group for members of the 11th Parliament.
Hon. Bosco Okiror (NRM, Usuk County) said that in fact no evidence had yet been presented to the committee, but stated that if there is not, it will ultimately be to the benefit of the minister.
AUDIO: Bro. Bosco Okiror Although the vice president of the committee, the Hon. Father Charles Onen, directed that the witnesses present their evidence as testimony and that Namuganza can sit down to listen, the minister rejected the method.
Four deputies, including the Hon. Sarah Opendi (NRM, Tororo District), H.E. Elijah Okupa (INDP., Kasilo), H.E. Solomon Silwany (NRM, Bukhooli Central) and H.E. Maurice Kibalya (NRM, Bugabula South) has testified before the committee regarding the accusations against the minister.
Opendi submitted printouts of messages allegedly questioning the role of the committee that Namuganza reportedly posted to a WhatsApp group of MPs from the 11th Parliament on July 12, 2022.
AUDIO: H.E. Sarah Opendi The Minister, Hon. Okupa said that he should have looked for better platforms to address his concerns than turning to social media.
Honorable Silwany was asked to present evidence that the minister had brought the institution of Parliament into disrepute with her social media posts.