By Kampala Post Reporter
Eastern Youth MP Ishma Mafabi Lumolo is at risk of losing his parliamentary seat over perpetual absenteeism.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga on Thursday announced that Mafabi could lose his seat after being AWOL (Absent without official leave) for more than 15 consecutive parliamentary sittings.
According to Rule 111 (6) of the Rules of Procedure, except with the permission of the Speaker, a Member (MP) shall not absent himself or herself from 15 or more sittings of the House during any period when the House is continuously sitting.
“There are members who do not attend this House. There is a member [Ishma Mafabi] who attended very poorly during the 2nd and 3rd session without the leave of the speaker and for this session (4th) he has not attended at all. I have written a warning letter to him as required by our Rules of Procedure,” Kadaga said.
She added, “I accordingly invite you to attend the next parliamentary seat and failure to do so I will refer the matter to the Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Discipline for further action.”
Under Rule111 (7) (8) of the Rules of Procedure, the Speaker is required to give a written warning to the absentee legislator and in the event that the said member persists in absenting himself/herself, the conduct of such a Member shall be referred to the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline. If the Committee investigates the conduct of such an MP and indeed proves him or her ‘guilty’ of absenteeism then that Member ceases to be an MP under Rule 111(10) and Article 83(1) (d) of the Constitution.
According to records, MP Mafabi,28, last attended plenary on December 20, 2017, during the debate and voting on controversial Constitution Amendment Bill, 2017 where he voted in favor of removal of presidential age limit. In this session that started in June 2019, Mafabi has missed all the 35 sittings.
When contacted, Mafabi who has been studying and sickly, said that he will tomorrow (Friday) meet the Speaker with an apology. “I will surely attend the next sitting as requested by the Speaker. I will also meet her in person and inform her about my personal issues that had curtailed me from attending plenary,” Mafabi said in a telephone interview.