NRM Rebel MPs’ Petition Thrown Out

pilule geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 115%;”>After dismissing the rebel MPs from the ruling party over indiscipline, unhealthy NRM went ahead to kick them out of Parliament – a move that was rejected by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga as unconstitutional.

stuff geneva; font-size: small;”>Theodore Ssekikuubo (Lwemiyaga County), Mohammed Nsereko (Kampala central), Barnabas Tinkasiimire (Buyaga west) and Wilfred Nuwagaba (Ndorwa East) had through their lawyers asked court to stay the proceedings until when the court is fully constituted.

To support their request, Retired Supreme Court Judge, George Kanyeihamba, the lead counsel of their legal team argued that Article 37 (1) of the Constitution (of Uganda) states that ‘any question as to the interpretation of Constitution shall be determined by the Court of Appeal sitting as the Constitutional Court’.

Still under the same Article (2), states that when sitting as a Constitutional Court, the Court of Appeal shall consist of a bench of five members of that Court. “However, since we started appearing before you, you have always been three.”

He also argued that Justice Steven Kavuma leaves the panel hearing the case because “he is currently the acting chief justice who is in position to issue orders and instructions. He also seats on the Supreme Court, something which will make it a dilemma when if we are to appeal in the Supreme Court.”

He also challenged the authority to hear the matter which was presented to it because the rules under which a Constitutional Court operates had not been fulfilled.

However in their ruling on the matter, which was read out by Justice, Nshimye Ssebutuuro, “the matter of five justices applies when the court of appeal is seating as a Constitutional Court. However on a temporary injunction, then there is no mandatory requirement that the Quorum should be made up of five justices.”

He pointed out the cases of James Isabirye Versus the Attorney General and Olara Otunnu versus the Attorney General. He said that in both cases, the justices held that even a single justice could handle a temporary injunction. “And in all of these cases, the rulings were not appealed against,” said Nshimye.

They therefore ruled that since court is still ongoing, the hearing should proceed. However this was opposed by Kanyeihamba arguing that they couldn’t proceed without looking at the copies of the ruling.

“What if it was only signed by only justice Nshimye? Or what if we are to appeal? We need to first look at the rulings first.”

Earlier on, the lead lawyer for the petitioners had concurred with the court, that hearing should go ahead, “unless when the (respondents) are asking for leave to appeal”.

This was dismissed by Kanyeihamba arguing that “what if their clients had no money to appeal? We have to first look at the ruling with our clients then decide the way forward.”

Court was adjourned to 30 July after the respondents are served with the ruling.


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