NRM Fires 11 Committee Chairperson amidst Corruption Crackdown on Parliament

It is now public knowledge that more that more 30 Members of Parliament are under probe for alleged involvement in acts of corruption through their work.

By press time, three MPs; Bunyole East’s Yusuf Mutembuli; Busiki County’s Paul Akamba; and, Lwengo District Woman MP Cissy Namuju were the only ones to be arraigned before the Anti-Corruption Court to answer charges. The trio has been committed to the Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court for trial after they allegedly attempted to solicit a bribe of 20 percent of the required budget of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) from Chairperson, Marriam Wangadya.

On Wednesday, MPs, Michael Maranga Mawanda (Igara East) and Ignatius Mudimi Wamakuyu (Elgon county) were detained at Natete Police station and Kira Police station respectively after being questioned by the Crime Intelligence and Investigations Division (CID) for allegedly involving in corruption using their offices in Parliament.

Amidst this storm, the National Resistance Movement (NRM), country’s ruling party decided to make changes in what has been seen as sending a strong signal against MPs who peddle influence on budgets of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) using their positions on the Sectoral Committees. The changes came on Wednesday, a day after NRM’s top decision making organ, the Central Executive Committee (CEC) which President Yoweri Museveni chairs decided to crack a whip on the Committees.

As provided for in the rules, Sectoral Committees serve for one session which runs concurrently with a financial year. After the opening of the 4th Session of the 11th Parliament by President Yoweri Museveni on June 6, the House had to convene on Wednesday to approve leadership and members of Committees. Some legislators have served as Chairpersons of Committees for several sessions.

Unlike for the Standing Committees where those dealing with accountability are chaired by the opposition legislators, the leadership of the Sectoral Committees are a preserve of the ruling party. Because of the magnitude of the ruling party’s stance on fighting corruption, some of the Committees have been left with either no leader or with only deputies as Government Chief Whip, Denis Humson Obua goes on a fish expedition that involves security checking on some of the proposed individuals.

Four survive

While designating for approval the leadership and membership of Committees, Government Chief Whip, Denis Obua only retained Chairpersons of four Committees. These are; Wilson Kajwengye (Nyabushozi County), Chairperson of Committee on Defense and Internal Affairs; Martin Ojara Mapenduzi (Bardege-Layibi Division), Chairperson Public Service and Local Government;  Dan Kimosho (Kazo County), Chairperson of Committee on Physical Infrastructure; and, Amos Kankunda (Rwampara County), Chairperson of Committee on Finance.  These have just completed their first session as Committee Chairpersons.

While Kajwengye and Kimosho have their deputies Linos Ngompek (Kibanda North) and Tony Ayo (Nwoya County) retained, Kankunda and Mapenduzi will work with new deputies after Jane Pacuto and Christine Apolot were not spared. To deputise Kankunda, Chekwii County MP Moses Aleper has been appointed while the deputy for Mapenduzi in Committee on Public Service and Local Government is yet to be named.

Janet Okori-Moe who has been a long serving Chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture has also been dropped. Having served in the capacity since the 10th Parliament, the Abim District woman MP has been replaced by her immediate former deputy, Linda Agnes Auma, Lira District Woman MP. Auma will be deputised by Hope Grania Nakazibwe of Mubende District.

The leadership of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee which handles the budget of Parliament and is also expected to process the long awaited electoral reforms ahead of 2026 has been changed. Gomba West MP, Robina Rwakoojo Gureme who has been Committee Chairperson was dropped together with her deputy Yusuf Mutembuli (Bunyole East) who remains in prison on charges of corruption. Obua did not name the substantive Chairperson of this Committee but designated John Teira, MP Bugabula South was named Vice Chairperson with the substantive leader to be appointed later.

Also dropped as Committee Chairperson is Moses Magogo who was sanctioned by the United States Government over a fortnight ago on grounds of being a spouse to the UK sanctioned Speaker Among for corruption related matters. Magogo has noted yet been replaced but his Deputy, Tonny Ayoo (Kwania County) has been maintained on the Committee on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) but the new twice was not named.

Adjuman District Woman MP, Jessica Ababiku who has been a long serving Chairperson of the Presidential Affairs Committee has been dropped alongside her deputy, Naome Kabasharira (Rushenyi County) and they are yet to be replaced.

Charged with scrutinising policies and budgets made towards the development of the Oil and Gas Sector, the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources does not have a leader currently after Emmanuel Otala (West Budama South) and his deputy Nathan Igeme Nabeta, MP Jinja East Division failed to make the cut. Ayivu East MP, Feta Geoffrey will be in charge as deputy Chairperson until a substantive leader is appointed.

Having made a name for not being a pushover Committee leader, Mwine Mpaka, Mbarara South Division MP has seen his leadership of the Committee on Tourism and Trade last for only three sessions. Catherine Lamwaka (Omoro District Woman MP) who has deputised Mpaka in grilling top Government officials including Trade Ministry Permanent Secretary, Geraldine Ssali, has taken over as Chairperson of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Lamwaka’s position in the Committee on Tourism and Trade has been taken by Northern Uganda Youth MP, Boniface Okot.  The Omoro District Woman MP replaces her Buliisa District colleague, Norah Bigirwa at the helm of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. Bigirwa’s deputy, Fred Opolot remains as Deputy Chairperson.

On the Committee of Health, Dr. Charles Ayume, MP Koboko Municipality has been stripped of his Chairpersonship while the ruling party retained his Deputy, Dr. Samuel Opio Acuti, MP Kole North. A substantive Chairperson was not named. Similarly, the Committee on Education and Sports will for the meantime be steered by Deputy Chairperson James Kubeketerya, MP Bunya West as the NRM searches for a replacement of former Chairperson John Ntamuhira Twesigye, MP Bunyaruguru County.

Left with no substantive leadership is the Committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development after Flavia Kabahenda, Kyegegwa District Woman MP and Sarah Najjuma, Nakaseke District Woman MP were dropped as Chairperson and Vice Chairperson respectively.

Noeline Kisembo, Kibaale District Woman MP and Abdi Fadhir Kiso Chemaswet, MP Soi County have been replaced by Jeniffer Ayoo Nalukwago (Kaliki District Woman MP) and Isaac Ssejoba (Bukoto Mid-West) as Chairperson and deputy Chairperson for the Committee on East African Community Affairs.

Search continues

Obua told Parliament that the ruling party will in the next two weeks finalise the names of legislators to be approved as Chairpersons of Committees whose leadership has not been fully constituted.

“Where you have not heard leadership designated, we are composing and we shall come back to Parliament and fulfill the rules of procedure of Parliament,” stated Obua.

Sources from the NRM top decision making organ’s meeting that was chaired by President Museveni on Tuesday indicated that after scrutinising several names of both the incumbent leaders and proposed leaders of certain Committees, a decision was made to have the Government Chief Whip advertise those positions.

But, if those Committees without leadership happen to receive business before the party finalise the process, the members will have to evoke Rules to elect a Chairperson amongst them.

One month break

In what looked a surprising move, the Speaker adjourned the House to July 23, announcing that legislators need to spend one month with electorates as the 2026 general elections come in less than 18 months.

“As a House, we are giving you one month of recess. We are concerned and we want our members to come back to Parliament. You are going for recess, you will return on July 23. The business committee that we were proposed for tomorrow will not sit because we have failed to get business as yet,” she said.

Sources also revealed that ruling party’s CEC is studying the issue of the three backbench Commissioners who are under the storm for pocketing Shs400m each in service award after serving for two and a half years. These Commissioners who together with former Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Mathias Mpuuga (pocketed Shs500m) are facing a censure motion are; Esther Afoyochan, Woman MP for Zombo District; Prossy Akampurira, Woman MP for Rubanda District; and Solomon Silwanyi, MP for Bukooli Central.

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