KAMPALA – Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah has castigated the Attorney General William Byaruhanga and Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana for playing cat and mouse games with the electoral reforms that were tabled by the opposition.
When the matter came up, Hon Oulanyah informed Parliament that Byaruhanga had informed of his arbitration duty in London of Rift Valley Railways against Uganda Railways Corporation and Mr Rukutana was in another part of Europe on official duty and requested to have the matter brought back next week to enable their presence for both of them to get another opportunity to weigh into the matter.
Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija confirmed Byaruhanga and Rukutana’s trip to which Oulanyah said,
“I placed the matter on the order paper to the knowledge of both Attorney Generals and they aren’t here. There is absolutely no basis whatsoever to entertain any further delay because the period gets shortened and might put us in very awkward position but what do we do?”
Hon Kasaija pleaded with Government to defer the matter arguing, “I suggest this matter comes Tuesday and if they aren’t here, Parliament takes action.”
Kira Municipality’s Ssemujju Nganda rejected Kasaija’s pleas arguing that the two government lawyers shouldn’t be allowed to hold Parliament hostage, “To say two cabinet ministers are away and that Parliament can’t transact business because there is no government position but two individuals, that isn’t okay.”
The Budadiri West MP, Nandala Mafabi questioned why Kasaija isn’t around during Parliament sessions to discuss financial matters that are within his docket but only chooses to show up on legal matters, of which he isn’t knowledgeable.
Oulanyah defended Kasaija saying he isn’t in Parliament to transact financial matters but to relay that the Attorney General is not in the country.
The Erute South MP, Jonathan Odur warned that failure to debate the matters risks sending a wrong signal because there have been similar motions before and there is no solid reason as why the motion shouldn’t be debated.
Abraham Byandala first castigated the Attorney General saying, “We have been waiting for over eight months. I condemn the AG for not coming all these months to come and debate this business. The Leader of Government business should have a word with them. What is the problem of waiting for one week when we have waited for one month?”
Hon Oulanyah ruled against Byaruhanga and Rukutana request asserting, “I think I know where AG is coming from. From that time it started appearing as if the AG was on trial, he never did anything from January and April, then May. So I understand why this last attempt is being made to discuss this matter next week. Where I am clear, nobody should misread me that is why it is on the order paper today. There is nothing new, its motion for leave, it has been with us for eight months, let us dispose it off today.”