Lead petitioner Ken Lukyamuzi signs the impeachment papers as his co-petitioner Odonga Otto waits for his turn at Parliament yesterday. Seven MPs signed the papers on Day One. PHOTO BY Geoffrey Sseruyange

The lawmakers say the President, who faced a similar though unsuccessful challenge during the 7th Parliament from former MP Aggrey Awori, is guilty of economic crimes.

However, pro-ruling party members, who enjoy a commanding majority in the House, were quick to pour cold water on the attempt to unseat the President under Article 107(1)b of the Constitution, describing it as “diversionary, irresponsible and unwarranted.”

“Those MPs who want to impeach the President are jokers,” Information Minister Karooro Okurut said. “Impeaching the President
would be taking an aimless walk in the political desert”.
President Museveni’s Spokesperson Tamale Mirundi later described the MPs as an “impotent lot”.

He said: “There is no serious Ugandan who is going to take them seriously. In fact, they are like a married man who spends a lot of time in a bedroom with his wife but cannot produce a kid.”

Mr Odonga Otto (Aruu, FDC) and Mr Ken Lukyamuzi (Rubaga South, CP) yesterday morning launched the impeachment process which requires at least one-third of Parliament’s 386 members to sign for it to progress.

Other members who appended their signatures are Wafula Oguttu, (Bukholi Central, FDC) Ssemujju Nganda Ibrahim,(Kyaddondo East, FDC), Joseph Gonzaga Sewungu (Kalungu West, DP) Deo Kiyingi (Bukomansimbi, DP) and Bernard Atiku (Ayivu, FDC).

“We the undersigned MPs do hereby append our signatures fully persuaded that Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda, be removed from office on grounds that he has abused his office and willfully violated the oath of allegiance and the presidential oath and other provisions of the Constitution,” Mr Otto announced shortly before the legislators appended their signatures.

Allegations
Mr Otto and Mr Lukyamuzi first revealed their intention to try to impeach Mr Museveni in January, listing 74 grounds for their cause.

“We strongly believe that the continued stay of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in office as the President is against the national interests of Uganda,” Mr Lukyamuzi said yesterday.

The legislators alleged that President Museveni diverted over Shs100 billion from a British government grant intended for recovery programmes in post-war northern Uganda in 2008 to the purchase of his presidential jet without parliamentary approval.
The MPs also want President Museveni to take responsibility for the withdrawal of $735 million (Shs1.7 trillion) from Bank of Uganda to buy fighter jets and other military hardware without prior parliamentary approval.

“President Museveni has conducted himself in a manner which has brought the office of the President into hatred, ridicule, contempt and disrepute. He has dishonestly done acts and omissions prejudicial and inimical to the economy and the security of Uganda,” said Mr Otto.

The petitioners further accuse the President of disregarding parliamentary resolutions by allowing Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and Internal Affairs minister Hilary Onek, who were accused of taking bribes from oil exploration, companies to continue working.

They say the President has also frustrated the prosecution of individuals who caused financial loss, citing the Shs142 billion businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba was paid in inflated compensation.

The MPs also cited the Shs500 billion Chogm scandal, and the country’s external debt standing at $4 billion which they attributed to the President’s “reckless public expenditure”. The MPs have also profiled 112 loans the government has contracted between 1996 to 2011 which they say the government has abused.

By MERCY NALUGO, Daily Monitor

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