There are mixed feelings among members of parliament on the decision to throw General David Sejusa out of Parliament following his persistent absence.
This after Parliament adopted a report by the committee on rules, privileges and discipline indicating that General Sejusa is deemed to have vacated his seat as a member of parliament under article 83 (1) (d) of the Constitution. Sejusa was one of the ten representatives of the army in the august house.
The decorated army officer quietly left the country in April this year after writing a controversial dossier alleging a plan by President Museveni to eliminate political and military officers opposed his son’s rise to the top office. First Son Brigadier Muhoozi Kainerugaba is currently the Commander of Special Forces.
He subsequently rejected an ultimatum to appear in Parliament, issued by Parliamentary speaker Rebecca Kadaga prompting an investigation by the committee on rules.
Basing on the committee findings, Several MP’s noted that the move was long overdue since the member had not been absent for only the period he left the country but previous records indicate that he was not consistent.
Youth MP Evelyn Anite notes that although the rules state that action would be taken after missing 15 consecutive meetings, the renegade general has not already missed 26 consecutive sittings of Parliament. She adds that this move will ensure that Members of Parliament vastly respect the laws of the land.
Makindye East MP John Ssimbwa argues that a member of parliament is expected to be available and r debate for the good governance and development of the country and that if he or she continues to abscond from duty then space should be given to someone else willing to build the Nation.
However, Kyadondo East MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda questioned why Parliament is acting now on the issue of absenteeism of MPs saying that there are other MPs who have continued to absent themselves from the plenary sessions and the Committee sittings albeit with no action against them.
He questions whether constituents will understand the selective application of justice.
On a lighter note, Aruu County MP Samuel Odonga Otto questioned why someone would want General David Sejusa to come back to the country or to parliament when recently MP Ibrahim Nganda was harshly evicted while other MP’s cannot attend sessions because their homes are surrounded by armed men.
Another Army MP General Elly Tumwine referred to the rules committee investigations as a ‘good product of a drama skit’ saying they set a bad precedent when they used masqueraders to represent General Sejusa before the committee and the sending of summon papers in General Sejusa’s pigeon hall well knowing that it was not accessible to him.