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Jacob Oulanyah ‘Apologizes’ for SFC Raid on Parliament

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The deputy speaker of Uganda’s Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, has apologized for the raid on the house and ejection of MPs two months ago.

Oulanyah said the Special Forces Command (SFC) raid and ejection of MPs was regrettable.

“I would not be reasonable to say the events of the 27th September this year are not regrettable; I would not be acting in a sincere way,” Oulanyah told MPs on Wednesday.

“Those events were not proper and what happened is highly regrettable. It was unnecessary.”

Oulanyah also prayed that there would never be a raid on parliament and forceful ejection of MPs.

“How I pray that this House will never witness anything like that again. It should never happen again. This is a prayer that I pray to God should be answered,” said Oulanyah who was not in the house on the day SFC raided the house to eject MPs.

SSEMUJJU TO OULANYAH

On Tuesday, opposition MPs stormed out of the house after the deputy speaker declined to include discussion of September 27 raid on order paper.

On Wednesday, opposition chief whip and Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda tasked Oulanyah to explain why he was forced out yet presiding speaker Rebecca Kadaga had not ordered his exit.

“On September 27, colleagues were suspended for what had happened a day earlier. I was not among those suspended,” narrated Ssemujju.

“But I was grabbed from this Chamber, dragged and thrown on the ground in the room behind you, Mr Speaker, and driven at a very reckless speed in a police van to Nagalama Police Station.”

Ssemujju’s colleagues sustained injuries. For example, Mukono municipality MP Betty Nambooze recently returned from an operation in India.

THE GENESIS

On September 27, Kadaga ordered 25 MPs opposed to the age limit motion.

Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi had been blocked from presenting the motion that seeks to delete the upper age limit in article 102b of the constitution.

The deletion would allow three-decade president Yoweri Museveni run for president beyond the age of 75.

Museveni was born in 1944 and has been in power since 1986. That makes him ineligible to stand for president when Uganda next goes to the polls in 2021.

A day before the SFC raid on the house, opposition MPs had sung down Magyezi’s motion.

Kadaga had adjourned the house due to the noise. She would return to suspend the MPs for three consecutive sittings the following day.

But the MPs refused to leave.

Scuffles ensued between MPs on the political divide, before SFC officers swung in action to forcefully eject the MPs.

OULANYAH, KADAGA DISAGREE

Jacob Oulanyah and Rebecca Kadaga
Jacob Oulanyah and Rebecca Kadaga

Although Oulanyah has ‘apologized’, Kadaga has severally refused to take responsibility.

On October 03, the Parliamentary Forum on the Constitution Supremacy asked Kadaga to take responsibility for the events of September 27. But she refused.

“I will not apologise… There was a clear breach of our rules,”  said Kadaga on October 4.

“The conduct that we saw here brought this House into disrepute. People are trying to run Parliament from the streets. I am the custodian of rules in this House.”

Kadaga also denied asking SFC officers to help eject MPs out of parliament.

“I did not command any security organ to take any action in Parliament,” she said.

I am surprised that a civilian is being accused of commanding security agencies.”

Kadaga would later write to Museveni tasking him to explain why his elite force raided another arm of government.

It is not clear if Museveni has written back to Kadaga.

 

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