There was drama at Parliament when opposition MPs protested the presence of President Yoweri Museveni at the election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
In a new procedure, the first time in twenty years, the President, was in the House, administered oaths and handed over the Mace – the symbol of power of Parliament, a copy of the Constitution and Rules of Procedure to Speaker Kadaga.
“I have been in Parliament for four terms. I have never seen this. Why today of all days?” FDC Secretary General, Nandala Mafabi raised a point of order questioning Museveni’s presence.
Deputy Attorney a general Mwesigwa Rukutana dismissed Mafabi’s order saying there was no law preventing Museveni from attending.
Acting Chief a justice, Steven Kavuma ruled Mafabi out of order, stating that his role was to oversee the elections.
However, Agago North MP, Hon. Ogenga Latigo, believes Museveni was too anxious about the result of the election between deputy speaker Jacob Oulanyah and Kampala Central MP Muhammad Nsereko.
Museveni had earlier asked Nsereko to step down, an offer the legislator turned down.
Hon. Ogenga Latigo says President Museveni’s appearance at the 1st 10th Parliament sitting where speaker and Deputy speaker were elected, was driven by anxiety.
Latigo, a former Leader of Opposition in the 8th Parliament returned in the 10th Parliament.
“I think the 10th Parliament is going to be tough at the beginning but members will cope up,” he told NBS TV.
Heckling by MPs
Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze is quoted by The Observer as having asked loudly in Luganda; “Naye lwaki tota Besigye?” [Why don’t you free Besigye].
Museveni retorted “naye akkirize eggwanga liberemu emirembe (He [Besigye] should also accept to have peace in the country).
The heckling continued; Museveni then whispered to Kadaga before excusing himself from the hall to allow voting to continue.
He moved to his office behind the Parliamentary buildings and returned immediately after voting to witness the tallying of votes.
When the president warned MPs against corrupt tendencies, they reminded him of how he “bribed” NRM legislators with Shs5m to elect Oulanyah.
“Our intention was to liberate our colleagues who think that it is impossible to challenge Museveni and we intend to use this Parliament to put the government on record for its wrongs,” Nambooze told Observer.