Speaker Oulanya when presiding over the plenary sitting on Thursday, 11 November 2021, has spoken out on the President’s warning to MPs that have made allegations of corruption against the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Monica Musenero. Oulanyah said the President’s remarks do not threaten Parliament.
“We have all said things in places where we should not have and in circumstances where we should not have said them. Most likely the President also said those things…..maybe he was angered by the select committee, he is passionate about science and technology,” Oulanyah said.
The allegations on the floor of the house a day before, were that Shs31billion released by the government for research that would lead to the manufacture of a COVID-10 vaccine was mismanaged by Dr Musenero and her team, and this prompted the formation of a select committee to investigate the matter.
President Yoweri Museveni while closing the science week on Wednesday, 10 November 2021 at the Kololo Ceremonial Grounds in Kampala, warned MPs who had made the allegations against Dr Musenero, threatening to ‘come’ for them.
The President’s remarks triggered the Kiira Municipality MP, Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda to demand a response from Parliament, which he said was under threat by the ‘chief executive’.
“We have taken a decision as an institution, a select committee has been formed to investigate matters relating to science and technology, but the President yesterday while presiding over the ceremony to end the science week, said he will come for them[MPs]. This is frightening, Parliament is under attack,” Ssemujju said.
Ssemujju said threats by the President have in previous Parliaments culminated into arrests and detention of Members of Parliament. He requested Oulanyah to speak to the President over the matter.
“Speak to the President not to issue public threats to Parliament and individual MPs who are protected by the law to do the work of Parliament,” he said.
Oulanyah said that Parliament does not feel threatened by the President’s remarks and guided that Parliament is able to detect what constitutes a threat and what does not.
“We will not take it a level of an attack on Parliament because this Parliament is here. We do not feel any attack as of now because we know an attack on Parliament when it comes and we respond when attacked,” Speaker Oulanyah told the plenary.