Members of Parliament have voted to change the venue where the Legal & Parliamentary Affairs Committee was meeting for a public hearing on the Constitution Amendment Bill, 2017, aimed at scrapping presidential age limit.
It was Kira Municipality MP Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda who claimed that soldiers from the elite unit, Special Forces Command [SFC] have been deployed in the meeting room.
“I have a problem with this place as venue for this meeting for I don’t know where they will attack from,” Nganda said.
Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi and seconders had also appeared before the Committee which wants Magyezi, who in September moved the motion seeking leave of the House to draft the Private Members’ Bill, to justify it.
Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister, Kahinda Otafiire, on the other hand, is expected to state the government’s position on the Bill.
Jacob Oboth, the chairperson of the committee, said they will meet the Law Reform Commission, the Electoral Commission and the Uganda Law Society, then Uganda Medical Association to speak to the issue of one’s mental health when they clock 75 years old.
Chaos in the house
The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee was first halted as Members decided whether to have an in-house or proceed.
“I can’t sit in a room where people led by the Sergeant at Arms strangled me. I still have children,” Nganda protested.
— NTV UGANDA (@ntvuganda) October 31, 2017
Busiro East MP Hon Medard Segona observed that before the attack on Parliament, he talked to the Sergeant at Arms about the presence of SFC and he was ignored.
Several members of the Committee appealed to the Chairperson to have Hon Magyezi out so as the committee can have an in-house.
The Sergeant at Arms walked in to consult with the Chair Oboth as Hon Segona insisted he even felt more unsafe. “Are you saying you have brought more superior forces than SFC?”
Hon Ssemujju rose with a motion without notice about his safety requesting for a new venue.
“On the 27th of September, before the invasion of Parliament, SFC were stationed in this room, and I feel vulnerable,” he said.
Bguweri County Hon Abdu Katuntu pointed out: “I think there are issues that we need to sort now such that when the process takes off, technicalities do not arise.”
He added: “I wish we can listen to each other. A concern has been raised and nothing to the contrary.”
The committee chair agreed to relocate the meeting to another room [Conference Room A].