NATIONAL Resistance Movement (NRM) MPs must support the Land Amendment Bill, the partyâ€™s spokesperson said yesterday.
Addressing journalists at the party headquarters in Kampala, Mary Karooro Okurut noted that it was out of order for any NRM legislator to oppose the bill â€œor any part of it.â€
â€œThe party constitution is very clear. It talks about discipline, and its members have to abide by the partyâ€™s position. It is indiscipline not to do so,â€ she said.
This was in reply to a question about what the ruling organisation would do to its MPs who oppose the contentious bill.
â€œConcerning the Land Bill, people are free to take their views to the parliamentary legal committee, but the NRM Caucus already agreed on the matter and all its legislators must toe the partyâ€™s position,â€ Okurut said.
The Bill, which the Government says would stop unlawful evictions from bibanja (plots), has been opposed by the Buganda Kingdom because â€œit is intended to grab our land.â€
Flanked by the Kabula county MP James Kakooza, Okurut advised the legislators who have dissenting views on the bill to forward them to the party caucus.
She, however, noted that the Bill needed to give more chances to women to own land, as a means of enhancing women economic empowerment.
â€œPersonally, I feel the Bill did not cover womenâ€™s interests fully, but I cannot oppose it. I will just advise the caucus on this matter.â€
The party called the press conference to condemn the increasing rate of ethnicity in the country and congratulate Kenyans upon the signing of a power-sharing deal between President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga.
â€œAttaining peace in Kenya means attaining peace in Uganda. As NRM, we want to put it on record that we congratulate our brothers on the success of dialogue,â€ Okurut said.
Kakooza explained that he had embarked on a campaign among all the party â€˜s members to lobby for a fourth term for President Museveni.
â€œI have four representatives in every region. We are lobbying and I am sure when the national delegatesâ€™ conference sits, we shall bring the visionary Museveni as our 2011 presidential candidate,â€ he said.
NRM legislators told to support Land Bill