National
Parliament yet to get notice on expelled MPs
Publish Date: Feb 24, 2014
Parliament yet to get notice on expelled MPs
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga was tasked by her party to declare the seats vacant.
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By Mary Karugaba and Hillary Nsambu

PARLIAMENT has not yet been notified about the Constitutional Court ruling, which ejected from the House, the four rebel MPs expelled by the National Resistance Movement party last year.

The four legislators are Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga), Mohammad Nsereko (Kampala Central), Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East) and Barnabas Tinksasiimire (Buyaga).

In a four against one decision, the Constitutional Court on Friday ordered the MPs to vacate Parliament immediately on grounds that they automatically lost their seats in the House on being expelled from their party.

The court also directed the Speaker of Parliament to stop all the emoluments and other privileges to the MPs.

Hellen Kawesa, Parliament’s spokesperson, told New Vision yesterday that the House will only take action after receiving formal communication from the court.

“We are still waiting for a formal communication from court on the ruling. We will then study the ruling and take action accordingly,” she said.

The Attorney General, Peter Nyombi, said he had just been informed of the signed copy of the judgment, but had not yet studied it.

“I was on Saturday informed by my officers that we had received the signed copy of the final judgment. I will get and read it. It is then that I will know what to do,” Nyombi said.

The four MPs were expelled from the NRM in May 2013, over indiscipline and going against party rules. The party immediately asked the Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga, to declare the seats vacant and pave the way for by-elections.

However, Kadaga refused to declare the seats vacant, arguing that the 1995 Constitution does not provide for MPs expelled by their party to lose their seats in the House.

The matter subsequently ended up in the Constitutional Court.

The Constitutional Court on Friday ruled that when the MPs were expelled from the NRM, they left the party, but remained in Parliament as de facto independent MPs, which is an unconstitutional status.

The four MPs have filed an application in the Supreme Court, seeking to block the Speaker from throwing them out until their appeal is finally determined.

According to Julius Galisonga, one of their lawyers, the MPs were working round the clock to see that the Supreme Court hears their application today for relief until their appeal is finally determined.

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