The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has Wednesday afternoon suspended the House following demands by some legislators to know the whereabouts and state of their colleagues who were arrested in Arua district.
About five Members of Parliament including Robert Kyagulanyi (Kyadondo East), Paul Mwiru (Jinja East), Francis Zaake (Mityana municipality), Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo Municipality) but their locations remain unknown.
They were arrested in connection with the attack by opposition supporters on the convoy of the President on Monday.
The motion for suspension of Parliament was raised by the Leader of opposition, Betty Aol Ocan who said it would be dangerous for Parliament to simply gloss over as their colleagues rot away in jail in unknown places of detention.
Her call was echoed by Kapelebyong MP, Julius Ocen and Kilak South MP, Gilbert Olanya before attracting support from other legislators including those in the ruling party.
“Today is me, tomorrow is somebody else, its me and you that must stand for our colleagues. Yesterday we demanded to know their whereabouts and it wasn’t very clear. They haven’t been taken to court and can’t be given any police bond because we are not sure they are in police cells,” Aol said.
“We are not going to sit and legislate as if everything is okay. For us who care about our colleagues, we shall not sit here, if it means dividing among ourselves so that we can hunt for them, that is what we are going to do,” Ochan said.
There have been reports claiming that some of those who were arrested have been subjected to torture. Photos emerged on Wednesday on social media showing a bed ridden MP Zaake with a bruised face and badly injured hands.
The Speaker asked the first Deputy Prime Minister, Gen. Moses Ali to explain to the House the whereabouts of the legislators, but in response Gen Ali said he had no information.
“I am sitting here and I have no information to begin with and therefore I have to look for information to present to you. As of now, I have no whereabouts of our colleagues,” Moses Ali said.
But his response did not sit well with the angry MPs who said that since the Prime Minister didn’t know the whereabouts of their colleagues, they would not sit to continue with business as usual.
The Speaker subsequently suspended the House for an hour to allow the Prime Minister to return to the chamber with clear information.
The First Deputy Prime Minister Gen Moses Ali agreed with the proposal saying that a correct explanation can be obtained.