Following the breach of the rules by two strangers in the visitors’ gallery on February 19, 2020, the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has issued a stern warning against disrupting the important business of Parliament.
This is not the first time protocol was breached and the corridors of parliament breached when in 2017 a brawl broke out between opposing members of different political parties, leaving some MPs hospitalized and other under disciplinary measures.
The warning follows an incident in the August House when the unruly strangers jumped into the Chamber from the above gallery as MPs debated a ministerial statement on the upcoming Land Information Systems Conference due later this week in Kampala.
The two strangers, arrested by the Police and Sergeant-At-Arms were escorted out of the Chamber as the House continued on with its business on the Order Paper. No one was hurt in the incident and stories in circulation that tell of gunshots being fired have been dismissed as false and only click bait.
The Speaker said that under Section 18 (f) of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act, it is an offence for any person to create any disturbance which interrupts or is likely to interrupt parliamentary proceedings adding that, ‘therefore, the two strangers have committed an offence punishable under the law’.
She said that any person(s) who wishes to demonstrate can do so in compliance with the law, but in other places like the city square or outside the Parliament.
“There are other ways and places of demonstrating or being dramatic; you can go to the National Theatre or the Constitutional Square and express yourself dramatically,” she added.
“The noise heard was as a result of the breakage of a glass cover of one of the tube light that was damaged as the strangers jumped into the Chamber,” reads a statement issued by Parliament.
Investigations into the isolated incident are ongoing and suspects still being held for more questioning into the matter.