The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Taiebwa, warned lawmakers against discussing information disclosed or revealed during the committee’s investigation before the final report is tabled and adopted by the House of Representatives.
In his message at the opening of plenary on Tuesday, August 23, 2022, Taebwa expressed reservations about the behavior of some members of parliament who he said were commenting on the ongoing investigation into the operations of Uganda National Airlines.
The Committee on Commissions, Public Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) is now scrutinizing the Auditor General’s 2020/2021 financial year report on the performance of the national carrier.
However, the spotlight was on the company’s chief executive officer, Jennifer Bamutaraki, and the committee focused on her academic qualifications, admitting she had no undergraduate transcript 24 years after she reportedly graduated from Makerere University.
COSASE’s investigation into the national carrier sparked public interest and widespread media coverage, with some lawmakers accused of making public statements against the committee’s working methods.
Tayebwa directed lawmakers who have problems with the way the committees conduct business and believe it contravenes Article 90 of the Constitution and Rule 208 of the Rules of Procedure to report to the leadership of the House instead of making public statements.
“If you have a problem with the behavior of a committee, this House has leadership. I want to warn those who interfere in our work, call the commission and threaten. We will not allow anything to interfere with our work,” Taebwa said.
“I ask you colleagues to protect the image of this Parliament and next time please do not make us refer to the Rules of Procedure. Colleagues, even if you are in the commissions, do things in such a way as to protect the image of the parliament,” he added.
Bubula East Constituency Legislator, Hon. John Musila, who was quoted as accusing COSASE of corruption, rose to apologize to the House of Representatives after the Deputy Speaker said there was a need to protect the image of the high House of Representatives.
Musila told parliament that he spoke on an NBS TV talk show in the vernacular and insisted that his statements had been garbled on the campaign’s social media channels in the process of translating his material from the vernacular [Luganda] in English.
Ndorwa East Member of Parliament Wilfred Niwagaba also told his colleagues to always study the provisions of Rule 216 (2) of the Rules of Procedure before going out to disclose details of evidence and documents presented by a committee of Parliament.
“It is important that while the case is still under investigation, I would ask those involved to avoid contacting the media,” said Niwagaba, also the shadow attorney general.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.
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