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Rebel MPs Fault Constitutional Court for Booting Them out of Parliament

REBEL MPS:  Theodore Sekikuubo and Mohammad Nsereko at court in Kampala recently

Muslims in the country have been alerted that Holy month of Ramadhan will not commence tomorrow Wednesday as earlier expected, treat http://dan-caragea.ro/wp-content/plugins/yuzo-related-post/yuzo_related_post.php but Thursday June 18.

The UMSC Director of Sharia Sheikh Yahaya Ibrahim Kakungulu announced Tuesday evening that the moon had not been sighted thus fasting would start the following day.

“Fasting for this year’s holy month of Ramadhan will therefore commence on Thursday 18th June 2015, visit this site ” he said.

Sheikh Yahaya further revealed that the Taraweeh prayers at the National Mosque – UMSC Headquarters Old Kampala would begin at 8:30 pm every day throughout the holy month of Ramadhan.

“Darasas (Islamic Seminars) will be held every Sunday from 10:00 am throughout the month of Ramadhan,” he added before wishing the entire Muslim community a fruitful month of Ramadhan.
Hearing commenced Tuesday of the petition in which four NRM Members of Parliament commonly referred to as the ‘rebel MPs’ are seeking the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling by the Constitutional court that they were not supposed to be in parliament after being expelled from the party.

The 4 legislators Theodore Ssekikubo, remedy http://coronaextra.com.au/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/ajax/class.ajax_controller.php Barnabas Tinkasimire, store http://class-actions.us/wp-includes/class-wp-http-ixr-client.php Muhammad Nsereko and Wilfred Nuwagaba were expelled from the ruling NRM over indiscipline according to the party CEC, viagra 40mg which asked the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga to kick them out of the house. Hon Kadaga however declined on grounds that the Constitution does not provide for such.

The ruling party took to the constitutional court for redress and got the ruling in its favor. The MPs however, rushed to the Supreme Court which upheld their stay in the House until the case in cleared off.

In their submission to the panel of 7 judges at the Supreme Court, including Jotham Tumwesigye, Benjamin Odoki, Esther Kisakye, Stella Amoko Arach, John Wilson Tsekoko, Geradino Okello and Christine Kitumba, the rebel MPs’ lawyers faulted the constitutional court’s ruling in favor of the NRM stressing that basing on the opinion of the Attorney General who had advised the Speaker to expel them was wrong.

According to the lawyers led by Sam Muyizi, Peter Walubiri, Caleb Alaka and Ben Wacha, the Constitutional court ought to have addressed the fact that the Attorney General’s view was inconsistent with article 186 of Constitution.

Lawyers for rebel MPs led by Caleb Alaka (L)

Lawyers for rebel MPs led by Caleb Alaka (L)

“The court should have ruled that the duty to give advice to the Speaker had to be upon the High court and not the Attorney General. This gives opportunity to the MPs to give their side in High Court, “Caleb Alaka said.

“Article 186 of the Constitution and Section 86 of the Parliamentary Elections Act gives mandate to High Court to determine when the seat of a member of parliament can be vacant.”

The lawyers argued that it was wrong for the constitutional court to allow the affidavit sworn by President Museveni who also doubles as the NRM party chairman, because he is a Fountain of honor who according to the constitution can’t be liable to proceedings in any court.

“The President can’t give evidence, taken to court or defend himself because he is immune. What if during cross examination embarrassing questions are put to him? There ought to have been other people to do it other than the president.”

The lawyers further said that the constitution doesn’t recognize expulsion as one of the methods of losing a member of parliament seat  adding that there is nothing like a ‘de-facto independent’ as the rebel  MPs were highlighted by the constitutional court.

“That court was only trying to smuggle into the constitution what is not there. They smuggled in the numerical strength of a party which doesn’t exist in the electoral laws. They therefore introduced in a non -existent concept to back up their interpretation of the constitution,” Wacha said.

However, the NRM and Attorney General lawyers led by Kiryowa Kiwanuka, Chris Bakiza, Joseph Masiko and Richard Adrole argued that the fact that the expulsion of the rebel MPs from the party was never challenged meant that they agreed it was right.

“None of them challenged the decision by the CEC to expel them. Only Nuwagaba, Sekikubo and Tinkasire challenged the disciplinary committee but Nsereko didn’t because they agreed it was right to expel them,” Joseph Masiko argued.

According to the lawyers, if a person leaves a political party for which he stood for Member of Parliament, they have to vacate their seat in parliament.

“There is no better way of finding the meaning of the word ‘leave’ than how the dictionary describes it as stopping to belong to an organization. Under article 83, the Constituent Assembly intended to cover both leaving voluntarily and expulsion.”

The lawyers noted that many parties are founded on ideology and if members leave, this would affect their performance and this is not allowed by the constitution.

“If an MP is elected to parliament on the card of Uganda Federal Alliance whose ideology is federalism and the legislator leaves the party, it would then lose out. This can’t be allowed and that’s why the constitution provides for independents,” the NRM lawyers argued.

According to the lawyers, there are only 2 ways of becoming a member of parliament either through a party card or on the independent basis but the constitution doesn’t allow for change of status.

“If the party gives you mandate to stand on its ticket, you can’t change the party mid-way .If you do so then you have to go back to the voters to give you another mandate. The NRM party allowed their nomination and also provided financial resources to the tune of Shs20m each.”

“This is evidence they were elected on the NRM ticket and can’t change it unless through another election.”

The Supreme Court panel of judges said they would give their ruling on notice.

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