Fire Interrupts Committee Proceedings in Parliament

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“There was no fire but just a socket that got burnt and it was removed” Chris Obore.

The proceedings of the Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) were unceremoniously brought to an end, after fire broke out in the ceiling of the Committee room sending both the Committee members and witnesses scampering for safety to save dear life.

The committee Chaired by Hon. Ibrahim Kasozi had sat this morning to hear from members of the board in charge of the Custodian Board when eventually smoke and flames of fire started flickering out of the fluorescent lamp in the ceiling.

The Committee session sitting in the Conference Hall in Parliament was in session to receive submissions from board members of the Departed Asians Property Custodian Board on issues concerning the operations of the board in relation to the sale and management of properties of Asians who fled the country during Amin’s ‘Economic War.”

In response to the threat, the management of Parliament through the Sergeant at Arms and Police at Parliament quickly called in fire fighters to manage the situation, only to find out that the fire had already been managed.

According to one of the administrators at Parliament who preferred not to be put on record, the threat was as a result of an electric choke in the ceiling lamp that short-circuited bursting into flames and smoke.

The threat was however easily managed and the firefighters did not do anything about it but power in the conference hall was immediately switched off as electrical workmen handled the matter.

When contacted for a comment over the incident, the Communications Director at Parliament Mr. Chris Obore confirmed that it was short circuit but said there was no fire.

“There was no fire but just a socket that got burnt and it was removed” said Chris Obore.

“it was a simple matter and we handled it. It usually happens and we just replaced it” said an inside source who preferred anonymity.

The Custodian Board consists of the Minister of Finance who is the chairman of the board, the Attorney general, the Minister of trade and Cooperatives, a presidential appointee and in this case Gen. Salim Saleh, and the Minister of Lands Housing and Urban Development.

Today, only the Deputy Solicitor general Christopher Bashirabake representing the Attorney general appeared before the committee, forcing the Committee Chairman Hon. Ibrahim Kasozi to adjourn the meeting to next week when all board members are expected to appear. The committee yesterday met the secretary of the board and set to hear from the management of Bank of Uganda before a report is compiled on the matter

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