4 Judges Want "Rebel" MPs Out Of Parliament

2715 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Four of the five Constitutional Court judges bar the MPs, who were expelled from the National Resistance Movement (NRM), from participating in any parliamentary activities till the final judgement of the case filed by the ruling party against them.

It’s four against one at the Constitutional Court today as judges deliver ruling on the case of four embattled legislators in their bid to retain their seats in Parliament.
 
Four judges of the Constitutional Court have barred the legislators, who were expelled from the National Resistance Movement (NRM), from participating in any parliamentary activity till the final judgement of the case filed by the ruling party against them is pronounced. However, one of the five judges on the bench, Remy Kasule, disagreed with his colleagues, Justices Steven Kavuma, Augustine Nshimye, Remy Kasule, Faith Mwondha and Richard Buteera.
 
The embattled MPs are Theodore Ssekikubo for Lwemiyaga, Barnabas Tinkasimire for Buyaga West, Kampala Central MP Mohammad Nsereko and Wilfred Niwagaba, the MP for Ndorwa East.

The four judges ruled that the MPs were elected into Parliament as Members of the ruling NRM and after being expelled by the party, they can't stay in the House. They want the legislators to stay out until the original petition filed by NRM is disposed of. Justice Kavuma, the acting Deputy Chief Justice, says the petition will be heard by the 15th day of October.

The judges further ruled that Speaker Rebecca Kadaga’s decision to maintain the MPs in Parliament was wrong, noting that the NRM party that sponsored them to the House had expelled them. Court ordered the Speaker to deny the MPs seats in Parliament.

Justice Kasule on the other hand ruled that since the MPs were elected, their voters will be under-represented during the time they are out of parliament.

The lawyers of the MPs had applied for the stay of the ruling since they had appealed to the Supreme Court.
 
The legislators’ problems began early this year when they were dismissed from the NRM party for what the disciplinary committee called indiscipline. NRM Secretary General of the party, Amama Mbabazi asked the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga to also dismiss them from Parliament, a request she declined in May.
 
After Kadaga’s strong ruling, Kibuku County MP Saleh Kamba and Mariam Agasha, an NRM party supporter, filed a petition in court against the Attorney General.The ruling party filed another petition seeking the same orders to force Kadaga to dismiss the MPs from Parliament.
 
The petitioners argued that since the party had fired the MPs, they should also lose their seats in Parliament which they got on NRM party ticket.
 
The MPs however, argue that they do not represent their diverse political parties in Parliament but their constituencies.