Chaos erupts in Uganda Parliament over age limit motion

Tuesday September 26 2017

Uganda MPs fight in Parliament after trading

Uganda MPs fight in Parliament after trading accusations of smuggling a gun in the House during plenary on September 26, 2017. PHOTO | ALEX ESAGALA | DAILY MONITOR 

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Chaos erupted in Uganda Parliament on Tuesday shortly after Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said the Order Paper had been amended to include the controversial Raphael Magyezi’s motion to amend the age limit cap on presidential candidates.

A section of opposition members alleged that one of the legislators had entered the House with a gun sparking protests as MPs exchanged blows.

The House proceedings were interrupted for about 20 minutes as Ms Kadaga looked on.

Busongora North MP William Nzoghu claimed that some members had entered the House with guns, adding that even the Speaker was not safe to debate in such an environment.


Busiro South MP Merdard Lubega Sseggona asked the Speaker to adjourn the House for security personnel to conduct a thorough search on each member.

However, Ms Kadaga said she could not adjourn the proceedings on mere allegations.

This did not solve matters as MPs scuffled and chairs started flying.

Some MPs fled to safety while others tried to calm those who were fighting.

State Minister for Water Mr Ronald Kibuule was s accused by opposition and independent MPs of being armed but they denied the claims.

Two lawmakers, Lwemiyaga County MP Theodore Ssekikubo and Mr Kibuule exchanged blows.


“The issue of our security takes precedence over everything even the ministerial statement on the energy sector. At the moment we don’t know who has the gun. Mr Kibuule warned me before the beginning of the proceedings that if I am not careful, I would be harmed,” Mr Ssemujju, the Kira Municipality MP said.

He said Mr Kibuule was sandwiched by some men and in the process the firearm he was carrying disappeared.

“Before we proceed, all members should be checked. I care about my life. The procedural issue I am raising is about my life. How can we proceed as if nothing has happened?” he posed.

Speaker Kadaga told MPs that she would get evidence if at all Mr Kibuule threatened Mr Ssemujju.

The ruling by Ms Kadaga prompted more chaos as opposition MPs crossed the floor to check if colleagues on the other side were armed.

“We want guns! We want gun! The opposition and independent MPs chanted as Speaker Kadaga helplessly begged them to return to their seats.

The Speaker finally ordered the Sergeant-at-arms to carry out a body search of all MPs.