Friday, 22 November 2013

Ugandan Parliament kicks out former spy agency chief

Kampala. Following two months of inquiry, MPs yesterday voted to strip former spy chief, Gen David Sejusa of his seat after he was found guilty of being absent without permission.
With Speaker Rebecca Kadaga presiding, MPs adopted the Rules, Privileges and Discipline committee report, which said Gen Sejusa had breached Article 83(1) of the Constitution and Rule 101(6) of the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure.
“The committee recommends that Gen Sejusa ceases to be a Member of Parliament under Article 83(1)[d] of the Constitution and Rule 101(10). The process for his replacement be initiated in accordance with Article 81(2) of the Constitution,” said Mr Fox Odoi the Rules committee chairperson, while presenting the report.
Article 83(1) gives circumstances under which an MP can vacate his or her seat, including a provision that a member who is absent without leave for 15 sittings lose their seat.
There were, however, fierce exchanges on whether Parliament had the mandate to throw out Gen Sejusa under Article 83 or 86 of the Constitution.
The Speaker later ruled that Article 86 cannot apply because it has nothing to do with the matter since there was no petition challenging Gen Sejusa’s election.
Other MPs Ibrahim Ssemuju (Kyaddondo East) and Betty Nambooze (Mukono Municipality) wondered why Parliament was chasing after Gen Ssejusa yet other Generals and some MPs often don’t turn up for Parliamentary duty.
Whereas 14 MPs signed on the committee report to kick out the General, Maj Gen (rtd) Jim Muhwezi and Lt Gen Charles Angina, both members of the committee, never signed.