By Anne Mugisa and Hillary Nsambu
KAMPALA - The NRM party has asked the Constitutional Court for an injunction barring the expelled MPs from attending Parliament or accessing its premises until the constitutional petition is concluded.
The party concluded its case against the MPs on Friday, asking the court to declare the MPs Independents because they neither belong to the NRM nor the other parties in the House.
The MPs in question are; Bernabas Tinkasimire, Theodore Ssekikuubo, Wilfred Niwagaba and Muhammad Nsereko.
NRM lawyer Joseph Matsiko said that the MPs are independent albeit unconstitutionally since they neither belong to any constitutional category of parliamentary representatives. Otherwise, he said, they are trespassers following the Attorney General’s legally binding opinion.
Court, was however, thrown into laughter when defence lawyer, Prof. George Kanyeihamba described his clients as aliens.
Matsiko then quickly put in: “I would like to apply for a judgment on admission. I am obliged to senior Counsel Kanyeihamba for that admission.”
Matsiko had asked what exactly these MPs can be described as since they don’t belong to any party “and their lawyers say they are not independent?”
When he continued submitting on the said alien status of the MPs, defence lawyer Kanyeihamba then cunningly said: “Surely I don’t think my learned friend took me seriously.”
But the NRM lawyer did not back down. He responded that if Kanyeihamba was joking, he could withdraw what he said but that as it is, remains a court record.
Kenyaihamba did not rise to withdraw it.
Matsiko said that the expelled MPs should seek fresh mandate as Independents or on different political party tickets.
Otherwise, he said, the MPs in question are exhibiting political indiscipline, are hypocrites and opportunists because they are in parliament using someone else’s resources.
He said if the Speaker acted unconstitutionally to retain them in parliament, the court has powers to rectify the situation.
According to John Mary Mugisha, the continued stay of the MPs in the House is their respective constituents.
He explained that the constituents’ interests are not being represented in parliament and at the NRM caucus yet they were voted because they offered themselves on the NRM platform.
“These MPs constituents are now a different category because they are professing a different ideology. The damage of their continued stay cannot be compensated,” Mugisha said.