Police Starts Investigating Vandalism Inside Parliament Chambers

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In short
The police forensic team has pitched camp at Parliament to investigate violence and vandalism of property that unfolded inside the Chambers on Wednesday, shortly before a motion to remove presidential age limits was tabled.

The police forensic team has pitched camp at Parliament to investigate violence and vandalism of property that unfolded inside the Chambers on Wednesday, shortly before a motion to remove presidential age limits was tabled.
 
Security forces stormed into parliament as the House descended into unprecedented chaos after Speaker Rebecca Kadaga ordered the suspension of 25 MPs who had taken part in disrupting plenary proceedings the previous day.
 
At the time the security forces raided the House, the suspended legislators had refused to take leave and fighting had broken out. Chairs and microphones were broken and turned into weapons as the House turned against itself.
 
The security violently removed opposition MPs from the House, with some sustaining injuries in the process, and detained them at various police stations in and around Kampala Metropolitan area.
 
After the chaos, Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi was able to present his motion seeking leave of parliament to draft a constitutional amendment that would see President Yoweri Museveni's three-decade rule extended beyond 2021. Magyezi's motion targets Article 102(b) of the Constitution which puts 35 and 75 as lower and upper caps respectively on the presidential age. Museveni, in power since 1986, will be above 75 in 2021.
 
Ahead of today's afternoon plenary session, parliament Sergeant-at-Arms Ahmed Kagoye was seen ushering in a team of over 10 police forensic officers who took notes as they moved around the Chambers which were yesterday turned into a war zone.
 
The forensic officers were clad in white overcoats with the police badge and 'Forensic Team' words encrypted on them.
 
According to parliament authorities, the forensic investigation will establish the actual culprits that destroyed microphones, furniture and meted out violence on plain-clothed security operatives that were deployed to forcefully evict suspended lawmakers.
 
Chris Obore, Parliament's Director of Communication and Public Affairs, told URN that this police forensic team alongside the parliament Sergeant-at-Arms are assessing the extent of the damage that was caused in yesterday's chaotic scenes.
 
Obore said that this comes after Speaker Kadaga instituted an investigation. Kadaga yesterday also indicated that they will review footage to hold each MP involved in the scuffle personally liable for the damage caused while directing parliament's rules, discipline and privileges committee to take up the matter.
 
Those who were suspended by Kadaga include Makindye West Allan Sewanyana, Kumi Woman MP Monicah Amoding, Kyadondo East MP Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi, Budadiri West MP Nathan Nandala Mafabi, Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze, Kampala Central MP Mohammad Nsereko, Kawempe South MP Mubarak Munyagwa among others.
 
Others are Workers MP Sam Lyomoki, Buyaga West MP Barnabas Tinkasimire, Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake, Kilak South MP Gilbert Olanya, Erute South MP Odur Jonathan, Rubaga North MP Moses Kasibante, Makindye East MP Ibrahim Kasozi, Soroti Woman MP Angelline Osegge and Busongora North MP William Nzoghu and others.
 
Also ejected are Rukungiri Municipality MP Roland Mugume, Butambala County MP Muwanga Kivumbi, Ndorwa East MP Wilfred Niwagaba, Kalungu West MP Joseph Sewungu, Kasambya County MP Mbwatekamwa Gaffa and Manjiya County MP John Baptist Nambetsye.
 
They were detained at different police stations including the Special Investigations Unit in Kireka and Naggalama Police Station before their release without charges. Thursday's chaos in the House was the third in five days as opposition MPs determined to block Magyezi's motion.
 
The MPs have since been summoned to appear at the Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate (CIID) at Kibuli today.
 
Kadaga said the suspended MPs breached Rule 74 of the rules of procedure of the Ugandan Parliament by conducting themselves in a manner unbecoming of legislators.
 
The rule requires all members to enter and leave the House with dignity. It prohibits them from crossing the floor of Parliament or move around unnecessarily. The same rule requires other MPs to be silent and not make unseemly interruptions while another MP is speaking. It also requires a member to resume their seat as soon as they are done with their presentation in the house. 

 

About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.