Crime & Investigation

Supreme Court Reinstates Expelled NRM Rebel MPs

The rebel MPs have won a landmark case in the country

At 5:07 Pm Pope Francis’ Shepherd One  touched down at Entebbe International Airport from neighboring Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

The Shepherd One touches Down at the Entebbe International Airport

The Shepherd One touches Down at the Entebbe International Airport

At Entebbe airport he was welcomed by President Yoweri Museveni together with his wife Janet Museveni.

His Holiness the Pope is expected to be officially welcomed in the country at State House which only stone throw from the airport.

From his chattered Allitalia plane, buy he was greeted by dozens of religious leaders, government officials including the Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, as well as  members of the public who were let in.

Religious leaders led by the Nuncio Arch Bishop Michael Blume on standby to welcome His Holiness the Pope

Religious leaders led by the Nuncio Arch Bishop Michael Blume on standby to welcome His Holiness the Pope

Also present to welcome the Holy Father was a number of local choirs,  the army band as well as traditional dancers.

Pope Francis, the third Pontiff to come to Uganda, is scheduled to hold a number of meetings with local politicians, religious leaders, civil servants, youths and vulnerable people around Kampala.

Tomorrow Saturday, he will be presiding over at an open mass at the Namugongo Martyrs Shrine where more than 2 million people are expected in attendance.

Pope Francis was welcomed by HE President Yoweri Museveni

Pope Francis was welcomed by HE President Yoweri Museveni

The Holy Father will conclude his first ever visit to the African continent, in Central African Republic where he is heading on Sunday.

The Ugandan trip has an extra significant as the Church will be marking 50 years of the canonization of the Uganda Martyrs.
The Deaf in Uganda have asked to be exempted from direct taxes such as Pay As You Earn until the government implements a social inclusion scheme that allows them to access sign language interpretation services wherever they need them like at state functions, viagra approved during presidential addresses and deliberations in parliament.

Under the auspices of the Uganda National Association of the Deaf (UNAD), tadalafil the Deaf describe the continued taxation amidst government failure to provide sign language interpretation services which is central to their communication, as double jeopardy that subjects them to extra expenses and in the process deprives majority of them who can’t afford an opportunity to live dignified lives.

This, was divulged during the launch of the Deaf Advocacy agenda titled, “Securing Our Rights: The Uganda Deaf Advocacy Agenda 2016-2021” at the closure of the 2015 International Deaf Awareness Week (IDAW) celebrations in Mukono on Thursday.

“It is important to note that Deaf people rely on support of other people such as sign language interpreters to live their lives, yet they don’t have a different salary scale from their hearing counterparts. Such exemptions will help us cater for additional costs of sign language interpreters until such a time when government provides them in public places and service centers,” reads the Deaf advocacy agenda in part.

Ambrose Murangira, the UNAD Executive Director underscored the importance of sign language to the Deaf saying, “Be it access to education, health services, access to information, they are all aided by communication through sign language.”

The Deaf advocacy agenda highlights key concerns that the Deaf want to be addressed by political actors and development partners in the next five years.

It summarizes the Deaf demands into six priority areas: Access to Information, Access to Education, Access to Health, Poverty Eradication and Economic Empowerment, Implementation of Pro-Deaf laws and  a National Awareness and sensitization campaign on Deafness.

In his speech read by the Speaker of Parliament Rebbecca Kadaga, President Museveni pledged government’s support in promoting sign language.

“As government, we shall continue to stand with you to the cause and call for massive training of sign language to the youth as well as build sign language platforms for all Ugandans,” Museveni said.

He revealed that government is in the process of establishing 18 special needs schools at sub-regional levels to cater for special categories of PWDs especially the deaf and the blind.

The president also asked the Ministry of education and sports to increase the number of special needs teachers.

On her part, Kadaga pledged to expedite the passage of the 2014 PWD (amendment) Bill presently before parliament into law before the end of the tenure of the current parliament.

“I will ensure that these matters are fast-tracked so that they are handled either just before or soon after the elections (in February2016),” she said.

Tabled in parliament on July 15, 2014, the bill seeks to repeal the PWD Act, 2006.

Kadaga also urged organisations to employ PWDs and benefit from a tax incentive that accrues according to section 17 of the PWDs Act, 2006.

It reads, “Private employers who employ ten or more persons with disabilities either as regular employees, apprentice or learner on full time basis shall be entitled to tax deduction of fifteen percent
of all payable tax upon proof to the Uganda Revenue Authority.”

Citing a recent parliamentary intervention that halted the recruitment of immigration officials by subjecting interviewees to running exercises as part of the interview process to the detriment of PWDs, she said parliament supports PWD causes.
The Supreme Court in Kampala has ruled that an MP cannot lose his/her seat after being expelled from a political party, generic Chimp Corps report.

This was contained in a 6-1 ruling issued on Friday.

Led by Justice Jotham Tumwesigye, price the judges held that MPs are representatives of the people whose will cannot be “subverted by political organisations.”

In 2014, the Constitutional Court ruled that MPs Theodore Ssekikuubo (Lwemiyaga), Barnabus Tinkasiimire (Buyaga), Mohammed Nsereko (Kampala Central) and Winfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East) should vacate their seats after being kicked out of NRM on grounds of indiscipline and conspiring against party chairman, President Museveni.

Legal experts warned then that if unchallenged, the Constitutional Court’s ruling posed serious ramifications on the democratic process in Uganda considering that a mere dismissal of an elected MP from a political party would mean losing a parliamentary seat.

Observers also cautioned that ordering the four MPs to leave Parliament due to NRM’s internal disagreements would disenfranchise thousands of voters who elected them to Parliament.

In today’s ruling, judges sided with Speaker Rebecca Kadaga who protected the MPs by “refusing to bow to pressure” from then powerful NRM Secretary General, Amama Mbabazi to have the quartet removed from their seats.

The ruling will encourage MPs to speak freely about the running of their parties without fear of being thrown out of the House.

Immediately after the court’s judgment, the MPs together with their supporters called upon all other MPs from all political parties especially in the next parliament to focus on presenting people’s grievances in parliament instead of focusing on party issues.

Kampala Central MP Muhammad Nsereko described this achievement as a sign of victory not only to them but to every Ugandan.

“It’s clear now that all MPS are going to be telling the truth while in parliament; nobody is again going to influence their decision making. We thank the speaker of Parliament and judiciary for always standing for the truth,” Nsereko remarked

Theodre Sekikuubo on his part cautioned ‘lazy Mps’ that their time had run out, as they  would no longer be able to blame their incompetence on political parties.




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