Kampala Central Member of Parliament, Muhammad Nsereko, says legislators have now shelved the bid to impeach ICT minister, Frank Tumwebaze.
This comes after President Yoweri Museveni extended the deadline for the registration and verification of sim cards to August 30, 2017 following an appeal by MPs during a ruling party NRM caucus on Monday.
Museveni directed Tumwebaze, security agencies and Uganda Communications Commission [UCC] to do the necessary and ensure Ugandans re-register their sim cards during this period.
By yesterday, Members of Parliament had started collecting signatures to impeach Tumwebaze for pushing for the disconnection of unverified and unregistered sim cards even after the house passed a motion barring telecoms from deactivating the sim cards.
MPs including James Waluswaka, MP for Bunyole County West and shadow Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister, Medard Lubega Sseggona (Busiro East), accused Tumwebaze of “contempt of parliament [and] an abuse of people’s power”.
Sseggona said they were in the initial stages of drafting the censure motion.
Appearing on “NBS TV morning breeze” programme on Tuesday, MP Nsereko said democracy would be broken in this country, if institutions are compromised.
“People will take matters in their hands. In the caucus, they came up with the resolution for extension. This means the censure [of Tumwebaze] will be off the table,” he said.
He clarified: “The bid to impeach Hon. Tumwebaze is now off the table. What we wanted has been achieved. I think he might have lobbied many people in the caucus to vote for extension. The decision was out of pressure.”
According to Nsereko, the censure of MPs is provided for in the constitution; it is how Parliament disciplines its members.
“If President Museveni had not extended SIM card verification deadline, I’m sure Tumwebaze’s impeachment would have been successful,” Nsereko added.
He warned the public not to be overconfident but control their expectation.
Some MPs are representing them well, Nsereko said, warning that one cannot secure a nation by registering SIM cards.
“This information is not tamper proof.”
He cited a need for mass education, saying the rush to convince the president that investigations on murder of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi were being made created a rush in decision making.
“If you remember digital migration, it was as if the world was coming to an end. It wasn’t even a global policy.”