Tayebwa Suspends Five MPs Amidst Parliamentary Disagreement

The Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa, has suspended five MPs due to their conduct in the House following a disagreement regarding the presentation of video evidence concerning the treatment and arrest of Opposition politicians. The video evidence, meant to be part of the Leader of the Opposition Hon. Mathias Mpuuga’s response to a statement by the Minister of State for Internal Affairs, Gen. David Muhoozi, was at the center of the controversy. Muhoozi’s statement during the plenary session on Tuesday, 17 October 2023, focused on incidents involving security officials, the National Unity Party (NUP) President, and some MPs in Kampala and Kayunga districts on 05 and 09 October 2023. The Opposition MPs had previously walked out of Parliament, demanding that the government explain these disruptions and arrests.

The suspended MPs include Hon. Betty Nambooze (Mukono Municipality), Hon. Francis Zaake (Mityana Municipality), Hon. Joyce Bagala (Mityana District Woman Representative), Hon. Frank Kabuye (Kassanda County South), and Hon. Derrick Nyeko (Makindye Division East). Muhoozi’s statement detailed proactive security measures taken on 05 October 2023, where police and other forces were deployed to prevent mobilization for an illegal procession by the NUP President from Entebbe to Kampala. Similar interventions occurred in Kamwokya, a Kampala suburb, and Kayunga District, where demonstrations were planned.

During the session, when given a chance to respond, Hon. Mpuuga requested a video recording of the incidents to be played in the House, but due to a technical glitch, the video could not be shown. After a vote against playing the video, the Deputy Speaker suspended the House briefly. Upon resumption, Tayebwa called for a vote on the decision to play the video, which was lost amid disruptions by MPs. Following Rule 89 (4) of the Rules of Procedure, Tayebwa suspended the five legislators from attending plenary sittings for three days. According to Article 89 (4) of the Rules of Procedure, this suspension will last for the next three sittings, excluding the sitting in which they were suspended.