Govt  Chief Whip Thomas Tayebwa told to apologise for insulting remarks on Northern MPs

(Last Updated On: 25 March 2022)

Thomas Tayebwa was endorsed for the race of deputy speaker.

Kampala, March 25, 2022: The Government  Chief Whip Thomas Tayebwa has been told to withdraw his recent remarks on Members of Parliament from Northern Uganda after they demanded that the speaker of Parliament should come from the region.

On March 22, 2022, Members of Parliament drawn from the Acholi, Lango and West Nile Parliamentary Caucus convened to discuss matters concerning the burial arrangements for the Rt Hon Speaker Jacob Oulanyah and the Speakership race.

The meeting made resolutions which culminated in writing a petition to H.E the President of Uganda and the Chairman of the NRM party.

“By writing a petition, the members of Parliament from Northern Uganda representing 7,437,790 people exercised their Constitutional rights enshrined under Article 29 which provides for freedom to petition and further Article 32 which provides for affirmative action,” Hon Samuel Opio Acuti, MP Kole North said.

He added that it is with utter shock that after making public this petition, the Government Chief Whip, Hon Thomas Tayebwa resorted to making media remarks in which he stated that, “If your argument is that someone should be voted because he is from Northern Uganda, go to hell.”

“I have obtained voice recordings to this effect,” Samuel Opio Acuti told this digital newspaper.

These remarks, he said, are “derogatory, deprecatory and disparaging”. “They are brutish, censorious and contumelious and not just made against the MPs from Northern Uganda but the 7.44 million people that live in Acholi, Lango and West Nile as applied by the principle: ‘an attack on one is an attack on all.’

Rule 15 of the Rules of Procedure in Parliament provides for the whips and their roles which includes, acting as intermediaries between the party and its members and as tellers during divisions.

By making such reckless statements the government chief Whip acted in violation of rule 15(10) (e) and (g) and rule 85 appendix F(4) and (5) which put the house into disrepute, Opio, also Secretary General of LPG stated.

“There are various dictionary and slang meanings of the term ‘go to hell’ which include: to become completely ruined; to be ruined and now useless; I hate you and wish you were dead and burning in hell; angry dismissal or contempt. There are others which are obscene that I cannot mention for gentility sake.”

“These words are not expected from a person of such a high calibre. If anything, he should have demonstrated leadership and used his Whip to align the MPs that fall under him.”

The MP noted that the rules and privileges committee of Parliament affirmed that rules of procedure governing the conduct of Members of Parliament apply both within and outside Parliament.

“It is on this basis that Hon Zaake Francis was subjected to it for his statements made on social media. This case is not different.”

“I have therefore given the Government Chief Whip Hon Tayebwa Thomas a deadline of  28th March 2022 to withdraw this statement and issue a written apology to the MPs of Northern Uganda,” MP Opio Samuel demands.

Tayebwa was endorsed by the NRM on thursday to become the next deputy speaker.

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