Four Members of Parliament who were dismissed from the National Resistance Movement (NRM) have accused Secretary General Amama Mbabazi and party Chief Whip Justine Kasule Lumumba of contempt of Parliament.
The legislators accuse Lumumba and Prime Minister Mbabazi of acting against rule 2 (1) (1) of the rules of procedure of Parliament.
Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikubo, one of the suspended legislators, says they referred the matter to the rules, privileges and disciplinary committee of Parliament and await the committee’s findings on the conduct and behavior of the two party leaders. Ssekikubo says the issues on which the party based to dismiss them were parliamentary matters.
Mbabazi announced yesterday that MPs including Ssekikubo, Muhammad Nsereko of Kampala Central, and Barnabas Tinkasimire for Buyaga West, and Wilfred Nuwagaba, the MP for Ndorwa East, had been dismissed from the party. Rwampara MP Vincent Kyamadidi was given a three months suspension.
The MPs are accused of campaigning for the opposition candidates, de-campaigning official NRM candidates in by elections, willful and intentional reporting or dissemination of false and malicious information against the NRM in the media.
But Ssekikubo says the action was an attempt to block MPs from discharging their duties as provided for in the constitution among other laws.
The NRM Central Executive Committee (CEC) found the MPs engaged in forming cliques and intrigue within NRM, contrary to rule 4 (1) a of the NRM code of conduct. This is in reference to being members of the Parliamentary Forum on Oil and Gas.
The MPs say the Oil Forum is not a clique but a recognized platform that started in the 8th Parliament chaired by MP Henry Banyenzaki, who is now a minister.
They cite other forums in Parliament such as the Children’s Forum, food and security, climatic change and Uganda Women Parliamentarians Association (UWOPA),
Today, Ssekikubo, Niwagaba and Tinkasimire rejected the NRM CEC findings saying Parliament is the legitimate Forum to present and air matters of public concern.
Niwagaba says their dismissal is a clear indication that the NRM does not believe in the rule of law and good governance. He notes that Mbabazi and the President were both complainants, they sit on the disciplinary committee, and CEC to approve their recommendations.
Niwagaba did not leave out Captain Francis Babu whom he says stood as an Independent against the duly accepted candidate for the Kampala Mayoral seat in 2011 and now has the audacity to be part of the group dismissing them.
However, David Pulkol the Director of African Leadership Institute, describes the MPs’ dismissal as amateurism in which people are gagged. He says it is hard to get people in one party to have the same position on a particular matter and eventually those with opposing views are sent away from the party. He suggests that there is need to diversify participation in Parliament from the caucus instead of pushing the will of the few in the party.