Kampala district Woman MP Nabilah Naggayi Sempala has today defended her stay in Parliament despite a law suit challenging her position.
Sempala was responding to a petition recently filed against her by a group of lawyers under the umbrella of the Uganda Catholic Lawyers’ Society; who want her out of the House.
The lawyers led by Jude Mbabaali are challenging the legality of Sempala’s stay in parliament on grounds that Kampala district ceased to be a district in accordance with article 5 of the constitution and became Kampala City Authority administered by the central government.
They claim that with the changing of the Kampala district status, she can’t represent them in parliament.
They are also seeking court orders compelling her to refund all the monies including facilitation she has been getting from Parliament as MP since May 16 2011 when she was sworn in.
But in her written defense, MP Sempala states that by the time Kampala city changed its status from being a district to an Authority, the people of Kampala had already voted her into power and even been gazetted by the Electoral Commission (EC).
Through her lawyers of Victoria Advocates and legal consultants, the legislator says that by reason of express provisions 8 (1) of the Parliamentary Act which provides for a woman representative in parliament for a city, the passing of the constitution amendment Act 2005, did not deprive the city of Kampala of a woman representative in parliament.
Ms Nabilah Sempala is jointly sued along with the EC and the Attorney General (AG).
The EC is faulted for having allowed Nabilah Sempala to be nominated and contest for the seat on FDC ticket and thereafter declaring and forward her as duly elected Woman MP for Kampala district, well knowing that Kampala had changed its status, was unconstitutional.
On the other hand, the attorney general has been faulted for having allowed Nabilah Sempala take oath of allegiance as woman MP for Kampala District which does not exist anymore, an action they say contravened articles 5 and 78 (1)b of the constitution.
The EC and attorney are yet to file their defense before a hearing date can be fixed.
On December 28 2010, President Museveni assented to Kampala Capital Bill, 2009 whose object was to establish in accordance with article 5 of the constitution (Amended) Act 2005, Kampala City as the Capital of Uganda and also provide for administration and development by the central government.
The effect of the said Bill that became an Act on assent under section (4) 2 is that Kampala District in accordance with article 5 of the constitution, ceased to be a district (a local government) and instead became a Kampala Capital City Authority administered by central government.