By Hillary Nsambu
THE Constitutional Court on Wednesday again blocked the MPs expelled from the NRM party from proceeding to the Supreme Court in pursuit of cross-examining President Yoweri Museveni on affidavits.
It, however, immediately ordered that the hearing of the main petition seeking to unseat them should start without any further delay.
“We are not satisfied that the applicants have made out a case for this court to warrant a grant of the permission sought to appeal to the Supreme Court against its ruling. The applicants can pursue their appeal after the petition has been concluded. For purposes of hearing constitutional petitions expeditiously, this court, therefore, is inclined to proceed with the main petition now,” the ruling read by Justice Richard Buteera read.
Acting Chief Justice/Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma headed the coram. The other members were Justices Augustine Nshimye, Remmy Kasule, Faith Mwondha and Richard Buteera.
Following the court’s ruling, the expelled MPs, Theodore Ssekikubo, Wilfred Niwagaba and Barnabas Tinkasimire immediately walked out of court, visibly angered, save Mohammad Nsereko, who was not in court.
The team of the lawyers representing the MPs also told the court that they would strongly appeal against the rulings which they said stifled the rights of their clients to a fair trial.
At the hearing, the team representing the petitioners strongly asked the court to order the four Members of Parliament expelled from the NRM party to also vacate their seats in Parliament on the ground that they left the party on whose ticket they found their way into Parliament; where they are now strangers and trespassers.
It was also strongly argued that the four MPs were nominated and endorsed by the NRM party for which they stood as candidates. They also picked its money that amounted to sh20m each for their campaign.
The lawyers blamed the Speaker of Parliament for creating a special seat for the expelled MPs instead of ordering them to quit after having been expelled from the party.
The lawyers also asked the court to order the MPs step out of Parliament temporarily pending the conclusion of the petition against them.
The team included John Mary Mugisha (leader), Chris Bakiiza, Joseph Matsiko, Sam Mayanja and Severino Twinobusingye.