By Anne Mugisa
The NRM "rebel" MPs have lost their bid for a temporary Court injunction to block their Party Disciplinary Committee from going on with disciplinary proceedings against them.
The MPs, Wilfred Niwagaba, Theodore Ssekikuubo and Barnabas Tinkasimire had run to the Court accusing the Committee of proceeding in their absence though they would have wanted to defend themselves. They complained that the Committee is denying them chance to defend themselves and had not served them with the particulars of their alleged misconduct.
However, the NRM Party lawyer, Ntambirweki Kandeebe, said that the MPs were lying that they were never served with the particulars of their misconduct or that the Committee was proceeding without them. He said that the MPs were duly served and were lying as an excuse they were using not to appear before the Committee. He said that the committee remained open to hear them out, but they were deliberately snubbing it.
In his ruling Tuesday, High Court Registrar John Eudes Keitirima said that he sees no reason why the MPs cannot appear before the Committee. He said that the rules under which to grant the injunction they sought from Court are clearly laid out and they did not convince the Court that they would suffer irreparable injury.
"I see nothing barring the applicants (MPs) from appearing before the Committee. If they are not satisfied with the outcome, there are ways they can seek recourse… There is nothing irreparable if this application is not granted. I dismiss this application. The costs will abide the outcome of the main application," Keitirima ruled.
Only Ssekikuubo and Niwagaba were in Court. Tinkasimire was absent both yesterday and the previous day when the application was argued.
The temporary injunction the MPs had sought was to stop the Disciplinary Committee from proceeding against them until their main application for a permanent injunction is heard on May 13, 2013.
Outside the Court, Niwagaba vowed he is not appearing before the Committee despite the Court ruling. "My matter has not been determined. I am still in Court. So I won't go to the Committee. Let it go on if it wants but I won't appear there," he said.
He complained that the NRM was criminalising his holding a different opinion debated and passed before the floor of Parliament. He said that some of the charges brought against him concern his position on the Petroleum Exploration, Development and Production Bill. The others, he said, were that he denounced the MPs who changed positions on the floor of Parliament on the health budget.
He said that he considers his first obligation as being to the nation, the second to his constituents and the Party comes third.