President Yoweri Museveni today ordered National Resistance Movement Members opposed to the Age Limit Amendment Bill out of a meeting of the ruling party’s parliamentary caucus.
Museveni, who is also chairman of the NRM party chaired the meeting which sat at his office near the Parliamentary building.
The MPs were dis-invited to the meeting and according to reports, they had been warned earlier by Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa not to dare show up, since they shared different views on the amendment of the Age Limit, which was tabled by Raphael Magezi.
They however, insisted and proceeded to the President’s Office and sat in the room before commencement of the meeting.
The President on the advice of Mrs Nankabirwa ordered them to leave the room.
Those thrown out included Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga County), Barnabas Tinkasimire (Buyaga West), John Baptist Nambeshe (Manjiya County), Gaffa Mbwatekamwa (Kasambya County), Patrick Nsamba (Kassanda County), Sylvia Rwabwogo (Kabarole District) and Acidiri James (Maracha East). These were today joined by Kinkiizi West MP James Kaberuka.
According to one of the MPs Theodore Sekikubo, Nankabirwa told the President that the rebel MPs were sternly opposed to the amendment and that they were likely to leak some of the strategies that would be discussed in the meeting.
“In the meeting, the chief whip rose up and read our names noting that the members were not comfortable to continue with the discussions with people who have descending views,” Ssekikubo said.
Some few colleagues according to Sekikubo, tried to argue with the Chief whip to let the rebel MPs stay but many more called for their removal saying “They are either for or against us.”
The Lwemiyaga MP says he tried to argue with the President to let everyone express their views on the matter but with no success.
” We demanded that since the president was around, it was time that to discuss the matter of peaceful transition without tampering with the constitution,” he said.
The President finally decided to have them removed.
Sekikubo says their removal from the caucus was more like dismissing them from the party, because they had not broken any party laws or subjected to its disciplinary committee.
Kasambya county MP Hon Gaffa Mbwatekamwa said at the press conference, “Our party has betrayed us; we have been dismissed from our party , this is not good for our country.”