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NRM MPs spar over Mandela tributePublish Date: Dec 12, 2013
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By Moses Walubiri

Legislators of the ruling NRM have appealed to the top echelons of their party to stop washing their dirty linen in public in form of incessant public standoffs, urging the Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi to amicably sort out the impasse over Nelson Mandela’s tribute with Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga.

Speaker of parliament, Rebecca Kadaga

The executive has lately crossed swords with the legislature over Kadaga’s decision to sanction a session paying tribute to the fallen anti-apartheid icon in the absence of cabinet.

Minister of Information, Rose Namayanja, said on Tuesday that government had taken exception to the House debating a government sponsored motion without cabinet input, describing as sacrilegious Leader of Opposition, Nandala Mafabi, moving the said motion on behalf of government.

With earlier on Wednesday Kadaga describing as “over” the issue of Mandela’s tribute finding its way back on the Order Paper as suggested by government, NRM held its caucus yesterday morning, with the aim -  according to sources privy to the meeting – of finding consensus among its members about the issue.

“Members were opposed to the idea of the house having a similar debate on an issue that had been debated exhaustively on Tuesday,” a source who preferred anonymity told New Vision.

Another source privy to the meeting chaired by Mbabazi indicates that a host of MPs led by Medard Bitekyerezo, Emmanuel Dombo and Patrick Nakabale urged that bringing the issue of Mandela’s tribute back to parliament would project a party at war with itself.

Another source said Mbabazi told members that he had spoken to Kadaga earlier in the day about the issue, with the Kamuli woman MP giving him green light to issue a statement in parliament, but no motion and debate.

“The Prime Minister told us that he is either allowed to move a motion paying tribute to Mandela, or nothing,” another source said.

However, voices calling for Mbabazi and Kadaga to find common ground over the issue prevailed.

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