Even after being dropped from the East African Legislative Assembly—EALA race, outgoing MP Lydia Wanyoto still insists she is eligible to stand. The ruling NRM caucus on Monday resolved to stop Wanyoto from contesting for a third term at the Arusha-based parliament, pointing to the fact that the East African treaty provides for two terms for a legislator.
Even after being dropped from the East African Legislative Assembly—EALA race, outgoing MP Lydia Wanyoto still insists she is eligible to stand.
The ruling NRM caucus on Monday resolved to stop Wanyoto from contesting for a third term at the Arusha-based parliament, pointing to the fact that the East African treaty provides for two terms for a legislator.
While making a special address to the NRM caucus on Monday, the legislator said that many MPs now in parliament are at logger heads with her because of her role in the NRM national primaries in mid 2011. At the time, Wanyoto, who served in the party electoral commission, was blamed for declaring the wrong candidates as NRM flag bearers for the 2011 general elections.
She claimed that most of the legislators now involved in voting EALA MPs are now paying back.
Wanyoto was disappointed that after serving for over 10 years in the East African Community, she was being repaid in such a manner.
She notes that after this process she will not be part of any NRM structure because hers is only to facilitate the process.
Wanyoto insists that if there is political will, her position will be retained at the EALA.
//Cue in: “I never contest….
She says more needs to be done to rectify the ambiguity in the East African treaty as far as the term limits for a seating MP is concerned.
But Fred Ruhindi, the deputy Attorney General told Uganda Radio Network that the only option Wanyoto has is to petition the East Africa Court of Justice over the matter. He maintains that the treaty is clear under Article 51 that a legislator shall hold office for two five-year terms.
After being in women activism for some time, Wanyoto joined EALA in 2001 aged only 32 years. In Arusha, she took on several roles with the main one being to promote equality, development and peace for Uganda and neighbouring countries.
Wanyoto was also nominated as an expert on the governance and democracy team in the Great Lakes region, while also serving as the chairperson of the committee on agriculture, natural resources and tourism.
She was re-elected in 2006, the only incumbent who made it back to the house. In her second term in Arusha, Wanyoto served as the chairperson of the EALA budget committee, and member of the EAC general purpose as well as EAC communication, trade and investment committees. In July 2010, she also headed a 25-member EALA mission that observed the Burundi general elections.
Some NRM members have blamed her for the party’s loss in the 2010 Mbale Municipality parliamentary by-election in which her husband, Dr. James Shinyabulo Mutende, was one of the contestants. Mutende stood as an independent after he was defeated by John Wambogo in the NRM primaries. The race was occasioned by the resignation from parliament of the then MP Wilfred Kajeke.
FDC’s Jack Wamanga Wamai won the seat but some NRM party members blamed Wanyoto for the loss because she did not convince her husband to step down for Wambogo.
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