Following the breach of the rules by two strangers in the visitors’ gallery, the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has issued a stern warning against disrupting the important business of Parliament.
The warning follows an incident in the House on Wednesday, 19 February where the unruly strangers jumped into the Chamber from the gallery as MPs debated a ministerial statement on the upcoming Land Information Systems Conference due later this week in Kampala.
The two strangers, arrested by the Police and Sergeant-At-Arms were escorted out of the Chamber as the House continued on with its business on the Order Paper. No one was hurt in the incident.
Speaker Kadaga said that under Section 18 (f) of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act, it is an offence for any person to create any disturbance which interrupts or is likely to interrupt parliamentary proceedings adding that, ‘therefore, the two strangers have committed an offence punishable under the law’.
She said that any person(s) who wishes to demonstrate can do so in compliance with the law, but in other places outside Parliament.
“There are other ways and places of demonstrating or being dramatic; you can go to the National Theatre or the Constitutional Square and express yourself dramatically,” she added.
Contrary to mainstream and social media reports, there were no gunshots fired or heard within the Chamber of Parliament. No firearms are permitted in the Chamber.
“The noise heard was as a result of the breakage of a glass cover of one of the tube lightings that was damaged as the strangers jumped into the Chamber,” reads a statement issued by Parliament.
Investigations into the isolated incident are ongoing.