The Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa wielded Rule 89(4) like a gavel, suspending five Members of Parliament from the House for a span of three days.
Among the suspended MPs are notable figures like Betty Nambooze MP Mukono Municipality, Joyce Bagala MP Mityana Municipality, Derrick Nyeko, Makindye East, Frank Kabuye ,Kassanda South, and Francis Zaake Mityana Municipality.
According to Rule 89(4), it’s laid out that, “If a member is suspended, his or her suspension in the first occasion in a session shall be for the next three sittings excluding the sitting in which he or she was suspended; on the 2nd occasion in a session, for the next seven sittings excluding the sitting in which he or she was suspended, and on the third and any subsequent occasion.”
The suspensions came about amidst chaotic scenes that unfolded within the parliamentary chambers following a report presented by the State Minister of Internal Affairs, David Muhoozi, regarding the government’s handling of the situation involving Kyagulanyi and his supporters.
Muhoozi stated, “This is not the first time, and most likely won’t be the last time, that Kyagulanyi is traveling in and out of the country. He has traveled numerous times before with a valid Ugandan passport, which is the property of the Government of Uganda. His movements are not restricted, and he can peacefully travel as he wishes.”
Muhoozi added, “There is nothing exceptionally exciting about Kyagulanyi’s travel to and from the country. Whether official or private, it should not be a matter of public concern unless it is done in a way that may result in breaches of public order and safety.”
However, this stance did not sit well with the opposition MPs in attendance, who demanded that a video depicting the events during the arrest of the NUP Party principal be played in parliament.
Leader of the Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga, raised concerns about the disappearance of the technical officer tasked with playing the opposition’s submitted video, suggesting deliberate sabotage to prevent its presentation in Parliament.
In the midst of the unfolding drama, electricity mysteriously vanished within Parliament premises as the Deputy Speaker was putting the question of whether the Opposition’s video should be put to a vote. However, the generator was promptly switched on.
Isaac Otimgiw from Padyere County called for the matter of whether the Opposition’s video should be put to a vote, similar to the case with the Zaake-Kinyamatama video. Yorke Alion from Aringa South questioned the equal merit given to a video concerning non-MP Bobi Wine’s arrest in comparison to the Zaake-Kinyamatama video, considering the latter two are MPs.
The raucous protest from opposition MPs, including noise, singing the national anthem, and ringing bells, led to the Deputy Speaker adjourning the house for 10 minutes. Upon resuming, Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa issued a stern warning to MPs against disrupting proceedings and vowed to take drastic actions if disruptions persisted. Eventually, MP Zaake was allowed to make his submission.
The crux of the matter revolves around Kyagulanyi’s controversial return to Uganda, with allegations of mistreatment and arbitrary arrests of his supporters.