The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Thomas Tayebwa, took action yesterday, suspending five members of the Opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) party for three consecutive sittings.
The MPs who faced suspension are Ms. Joyce Bagala (Mityana District Woman MP), Mr. Francis Zaake (Mityana MP), Mr. Frank Kabuye (Kassanda South), Mr. Derrick Nyeko (Makindye East MP), and Ms. Betty Nambooze (Mukono Municipality).
According to Mr. Alex Esagala, the senior press secretary to the Deputy Speaker, the reason for their suspension was their continuous disruption of House proceedings and turning the Parliament into chaos, in violation of parliamentary rules.
The suspension came after a disagreement among legislators about playing a video that showed alleged brutality against NUP leader Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine) and his supporters. This video was submitted by the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Mr. Mathias Mpuuga, and it also highlighted unfair arrests of Bobi Wine and his supporters.
The issue began when State Minister for Internal Affairs Gen David Muhoozi presented a statement about incidents involving security officials, NUP president, and some NUP MPs on October 5 and 9 in Kampala Metropolitan Area and Kayunga.
Mr. Mpuuga requested that the video be played before he could proceed with his statement. Initially, there were technical difficulties, but Mr. Tayebwa suggested continuing without it. However, Mr. Mpuuga insisted on playing the video, leading to some Opposition legislators refusing to comply.
During a brief break, parliamentary leaders and MPs held a closed-door meeting. When the session resumed, there was no consensus on playing the video. Mr. Tayebwa proposed a vote, and the majority voted against playing the video. He ruled that the video would not be shown.
This decision angered some legislators, and Mr. Tayebwa suspended the session, later adjourning the plenary.
In response to the suspension, Mr. Mpuuga emphasized that they were advocating for important issues like constitutional order, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, suggesting that the objection to playing the video was to conceal human rights violations and arrests of political leaders.