There was drama at State House Entebbe on Wednesday when President Yoweri Museveni and Dokolo South county Member of Parliament, Felix Okot-Ogong clashed at the start of the Caucus meeting.
According to sources who attended the closed door assembly on the proposed Land Amendment Bill, Okot-Ogong tried to stop Museveni from making a “tough” opening submission.
“Mzee was so tough at the beginning of the meeting. Okot surprised everyone when he dared (Museveni) at his toughest mood,” a source said.
Museveni had told MPs that some politicians mainly from Buganda, Lango and Acholi regions have been sending wrong and inciting information to the population portraying that the government wants to grab their land.
“Why misinform people that the government wants to grab their land? It’s wrong, irresponsible and unacceptable to incite people,” Museveni reportedly charge.
But before Museveni could complete his speech, Okot-Ogong daringly stood up on a point of procedure to stop the Fountain of Honor from “coercing” MPs.
Museveni according to the source stopped the Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa who was chairing the meeting from giving Okot-Ogong the microphone.
“Don’t let that man get the microphone. If he gets it we might end up fighting here. We will fight here,” Museveni said.
Nankabirwa made Okot-Ogong get back to his seat to wait for the right opportunity to raise his issues.
Interestingly, after finishing his speech, Museveni allowed Okot-Ogong to talk first.
Okot-Ogong who in 2006 attempted to challenge Museveni for NRM chairmanship and presidency, said at the Caucus that his government would be better than the one of Museveni.
“This government is disadvantaged by the chronic lack of planning. My government wouldn’t operate like this at all,” he said.
Museveni, who had reportedly calmed down, quietly listened as Okot-Ogong continued to discredit his leadership before the MPs.
At the end of Okot-Ogong’s speech, Museveni mentioned the roads whose construction has been hampered by court even after extensive planning.
At the end of the meeting it was concluded that Article 26 of the Constitution shouldn’t be amended to give government powers to compulsorily acquire land for infrastructure in case the owner disagreed on the value.
The Caucus resolved that Land Act should instead be strengthened and a special court or tribunal be put in place to only handle only handle land cases.