Constitutional Court to Hear Museveni's Interim Application Against rebel MPs

1991 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The MPs were expelled from the ruling National Resistance Movement last month by the central executive committee chaired by Museveni for alleged indiscipline.

The constitutional court will on Tuesday this week hear a petition, in which NRM is seeking the temporary suspension of four MPs from parliament. They are Theodore Sssekikubo, the Lwemiyaga County MP, Wilfred Niwagaba MP Ndorwa East, Muhammed Nsereko, Kampala Central and Buyaga county MP Barnabas Tinkasimire. The MPs were expelled from the ruling National Resistance Movement last month by the central executive committee chaired by Museveni for alleged indiscipline. Following the expulsion of the MPs, Amama Mbabazi, the NRM secretary general wrote to Rebecca Kadaga, the speaker of parliament to eject the MPs and declare their seats vacant.

In her ruling, Kadaga declined to expel the MPs and declares their seats vacant arguing that there is no legal basis. Kamba Saleh, the Kibuku county MP filed a petition before the constitutional court challenging the ruling of the speaker. The petition is yet to be heard before the constitutional.  However, days after NRM filed another petition before the constitutional court seeking the temporary suspension of four MPs from parliament until the main suit is disposed of. The party argues that the main petition may be rendered null and void if the MPs continue participating in parliamentary activities and draw salaries. President Yoweri Museveni, the NRM chairperson and Prime Minister Amama, the NRM secretary general swore affidavits to support the petition.

In the affidavits, Museveni and Mbabazi concurred with the issues brought forward in the petition, saying the actions of the respondents were undermining NRM as a party and violent provisions in the NRM constitution. Last week, Ssekikubo and Tinkasimire cried foul play saying the fresh application filed by Museveni is a clear indication that the Judiciary is under immense pressure to give away the rule of law. According to the MP’s the interim application by President Museveni would then lead to a court injunction of four months. This means together with the adjournment period, totaling to six months, the attorney general would automatically write to the electoral commission to declare their seats vacant to pave way for by-elections.
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Ssekikubo makes a passionate plea to the judiciary to stand steadfast and strong saying President Museveni’s numerous petitions have spanned them to a point of dizziness.

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Tinkasimire quotes Article 78 of the constitution that considers them Members of Parliament. He urges the Judiciary to emulate Kadaga who despite being arm twisted by the Central Executive Committee, stood firm because Parliament is an independent an arm of government. President Museveni is to be represented by John Chris Bakiza, John Mary Mugisha, Sam Mayanja and Twinobusingye Severino.

The Rebel MP’s on the other hand are represented by retired Supreme Court judge George William Kanyeihamba, lawyers Caleb Alaka and Nicholas Opio. The judges of the constitutional court are Justice Steven Kavuma, Justice Augustine Nshimye and Justice Remmy Kasule.