The Leader of Opposition Mathias Mpuuga has said that the opposition legislators shall not return to Parliament until the government responds to their demands on violation of human rights and arrests of colleagues.
“At no one time are we going to return to Parliament without our demands being responded to. All we are waiting for is the date and time the regime will be ready to respond,” Mpuuga said.
Mpuuga further said he is not shaken by Speaker Anita Among’s threats to expel the boycotting MPs after missing after 15 plenary sitting as provided for in the Ugandan constitution.
“Our absence from the House is official because it was officially communicated. It’s the duty of Parliament’s presiding officers to consider how to treat official communication,” Mpuuga said.
In an earlier meeting in the Speaker’s chambers Mpuuga tasked the regime’s Ministers of Defence, Security and Internal Affairs to make a comprehensive response to each of the issues raised. They had a time frame of 30 days which elapsed last Sunday November 19, 2023.
“We received communication last week that they were unable to come with the statement because they had travelled out of the country for a security meeting. Do they want to tell us that when they travelled, did they flee into exile? Are they dead or have disappeared?” Mpuuga worried.
Mpuuga noted, “Our demand of the Speaker is to follow up on Parliament’s instructions to the executive. We expect her to be neutral; an arbiter or referee whose duty is to demand that the executive comes and answers. Other matters short of an answer are peripheral and we are not willing to be diverted into that.”
During yesterday’s session, Among ordered the Clerk to Parliament, to impose on MPs boycotting plenary sittings not to be allowed to attend Committees, and travels abroad, wondering why these MPs should be allowed to represent Uganda at the East African games in December in Rwanda, yet they aren’t representing their voters in Parliament.
The Speaker also imposed a travel ban abroad, asking to have boycotting MPs to be deleted from the list of players for the East African games & she also barred MPs boycotting plenary sittings from attending Committee meetings.