5 September 2017

Uganda Parliament Suspends Business Over Women Murders

Photo: The Monitor
Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah

Kampala — Uganda's Parliament has suspended business to force government to present a statement on the ongoing gruesome murders of women in Entebbe, Katabi and Nansana. Up to 20 women have been reported murdered in the past four months.

Following the administration of oaths to the new Kibanda North MP, Taban Amin Tampo Jegejege and a moment of silence to pay tribute to the murdered women, MPs expressed concern about the ongoing killings of women in suburbs of Wakiso and Kampala and the failure by government to provide an explanation.

The Parliament plenary, presided over by Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, had only met for about an hour having resumed sittings from a month's recess this afternoon.

Joy Atim Ongom (UPC, Lira) said that women needed safety and protection considering that they were now living in fear as they do business. She said that women lived in fear as they were not secure in their country anymore.

The Leader of the Opposition Winfred Kiiza (Kasese) said that it was not proper for the House to proceed discussing the matter in the absence of the responsible sector ministers.

"The Ministers of Defence, Security and Internal Affairs are not in the house to listen to our cries. The matter of mothers of the nation being killed is not a trivial one. We need a statement from government immediately," she said.

Otto moves motion

Samuel Odonga Otto (FDC, Aruu North), said that Parliament and the country urgently needed answers about the murders and moved a motion to adjourn the House until government presents an explanation.

"We have been watching the killings on TV; we have just returned from recess and the main business today should have been a statement on the killings," said Odonga Otto. He said that as the House sits to consider other business, another woman would be killed.

Last week, the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, addressed a press conference and directed the Minister of Internal Affairs to present a statement to the House explaining the murders when parliament resumes sittings.

Government has not come up with a clear statement or action to curb the on-going cold-blooded murders which have brought the number of victims to 20.

Oulanyah had informed the House that the Minister of Internal Affairs would present the statement to the House during Thursday's sitting.

The Minister of state for Primary Education Rosemary Seninde (Wakiso), supported the motion saying that more women were killed even as Police said that the suspects had been arrested. "It's so saddening that up to now, we have not got the actual suspects. These women leave behind children," said Seninde adding that "I support the motion but I beg my colleagues to wait for the Minister's Report."

Butime statement ignored

Despite a statement by the minister for local government (Rtd) Col.Tom Butime (Mwenge Central) that the line ministries will present an official statement since investigations are going on, Winnie Kiiza and MPs from all sides of the house were not satisfied by his response.

Butime was representing the government Chief Whip who is currently attending the Ugandan North American Association (UNAA) convention in Miami, Florida with a host of other ministers and MPs including Speaker Kadaga.

The Prime Minister Dr.Ruhakana Rugunda and other ministers are escorting the president on his countrywide sensitization campaign on land matters while the rest of the ministers led by the First Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Leader of Government Business in Parliament and Adjumani West Mp Gen.Moses Ali were attending the government annual performance review retreat at the office of the prime minister.

Before voting on the motion, the Deputy Speaker said that MPs from various areas including Buhweju, Kween, Erute North, Budadiri and Mpigi had wanted to raise issues that could concern women and children in their areas. MPs rejected his advice that the House listen to those issues before adjournment, and voted for an immediate adjournment.

This as women activists from various civil society organizations who were sitting in the public gallery led by former minister of ethics and integrity Dr.Miria Matembe and the Chief Executive

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