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The word ‘sorry’ could save minister Namuganza 

by Editorial Team
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By John Odyek 

Persis Namuganza, the State Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, still has a chance to escape censure if she can say ‘sorry’ to MPs. 

On Wednesday, December 8, Parliament passed a motion that enables the start of a censure motion against Namuganza. The motion was unanimously voted on by MPs after Namuganza refused to heed to pleas by Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja to apologise to Parliament. The successful censure motion can lead to her removal as minister.

“I ask my sister to stand up, come here and say sorry, it costs nothing,” Nabbanja pleaded. 

However, Namuganza’s apology of: “If I hurt anyone in anyway, I regret” was not convincing to MPs. In fact, MPs interpreted it as rubbing salt into a sore wound. 

Namuganza has been having trouble with the House after posting social media posts attacking MPs. The House has over the last few weeks been investigating her for giving land at Nakawa-Naguru to private investors.  

Namuganza argues that she was instructed by President Yoweri Museveni to give out the land. But MPs concluded that her actions were irregular.  

Robinah Nabanjja

Namuganza had also rushed to the High Court to block the Parliament’s committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) from investigating her actions in giving out the Nakawa-Naguru land. 

In social media posts and TV appearances, Namuganza claimed Parliament had no powers to investigate her. She allegedly levelled insults at MPs and Parliament.  

Speaker Anita Among asked Namuganza to appear before the committee on rules, privileges and discipline to respond to these accusations.

In her appearances before the committee together with her lawyer, Namuganza would leave abruptly and say the committee had no powers to investigate her. 

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa, who chaired the House on Wednesday, offered an olive branch to Namuganza if can sincerely admit to doing wrong.  

She then has to make a sincere, written and read out an apology to the House. The apology process would require Namuganza to walk out of Parliament session and the door is reopened for her.  

Upon getting into the House, she would make the sincere apology. This looks like a difficult task for Namuganza who is not willing to bend on her knees for anyone to the MPs. She said the House was against her and she was fighting a lone battle. 

Embattled Namuganza is in more hot water for saying the marriage between Anita Among the Speaker of Parliament and Moses Magogo the FUFA president and MP for Budiope East was fraudulent. She blames her woes on this fraudulent marriage. It is not clear how this marriage is related to her troubles. 

Namuganza is not the only MP to face the wrath of the House over misconduct. Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake is now required to appear before the rules committee over misconduct relating to speaking while asked to sit in the House.  

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