Parliament has suspended business, to force government to present a statement on the ongoing gruesome murders of women in Wakiso District.
The Parliament plenary, presided over by Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah, had only met for about an hour having resumed sittings from a month’s recess this afternoon.
Following the administration of oaths to the new Kibanda North MP, Hon. Idi Amin Taban; and a moment of silence to pay tribute to the murdered women, MPs expressed concern about the ongoing killings of women in suburbs of Kampala and the failure by government to provide an explanation.
Hon. Joy Atim (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, Hon. Winfred Kiiza 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.
Hon. Odonga Otto (FDC, Aruu), 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 Hon. Odonga Otto.
He said that as the House sits to consider other business, another woman would be killed.
Last week, the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, addressed a press conference and directed the Minister of Internal Affairs to present a statement to the House explaining the murders.
Oulanyah had informed the House that the Minister of Internal Affairs would present the statement to the House during Thursday’s sitting.
The Minister for Primary Education, Hon. Rosemary Seninde, 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.”
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.
At least 20 women have so far been killed in a spate of macabre murders around the Kampala Metropolitan area that have generated fear as some bodies have been recovered with blunt objects like sticks inserted in their private parts.
The Internal Affairs Minister Gen Jeje Odong was on Tuesday expected to tell MPs who is behind the killings but he chose to skip the sitting while Security Minister Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde was also absent.
Prime Minister and Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda and the Deputy Leader of Government Business, Gen Moses Ali were also absent; leaving the government with no explanation about the killings.
The government was last week put on notice by the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga to table an explanation about the killings. The bi-partisan condemnation of government’s lacklustre response to the killings came on the heels of the death of another woman, who has since been identified as Maria Nabilawa, whose body was recovered dumped in a shrub in Nyanama, off Entebbe road on Monday.
Police have arrested a man from a shrine in Nakaseke District in connection with the latest murder.
With no government Minister available, to defend the government, Aruu County MP Odonga Otto moved a motion without notice, calling for Parliament to be suspended until the government explains who is behind the killing of women in mainly in Entebbe and Nansana areas.
“We have no business in this House until we get information on why our women are being killed. The whole world wants to know why these women are dying. Women are being killed every day and the Police do not appear confident when communicating who is responsible for the killings,” Mr Otto said.
Last week, 12 people, were arraigned before a Chief Magistrates Court in Nabweru and charged with terrorism, murder and aggravated robbery. They had earlier been arrested over the women killings.
The dozen suspects were remanded to Luzira Prison until September 12 when they will re-appear in court for mention of their cases.