The party secretary-general and legal director are at odds over whether the MPs should attend
There is an ongoing debate on whether the 30 MPs who defied their party by not supporting the Age Limit Bill, should be allowed to attend the National Resistance Movement (NRM) national delegates conference.
Whereas the party secretary-general, Justine Kasule Lumumba, says they will not be allowed into the venue, the NRM legal director, Oscar Kihika, says the party constitution does not restrict the MPs from attending.
The MPs who dissented are James Acidri, Monicah Amoding, Susan Amero, Silvia Akello, Bildad Adome, Norah Bigirwa, Evelyn Chemutai, Hellen Kahunde, Justine Khainze, Henry Kibalya, Lowila Oketayot, Sam Lyomoki, Gaffa Mbwatekamwa, Robert Migadde, Connie Galiwango, John Baptist Nambesehe, James Kaberuka, Patrick Nsamba Oshabe, Felix Okot Ogong, Sylvia Rwabwogo, Theodore Ssekikubo, Micheal Timuzigu Kamugisha, Richard Gafabusa, Johnson Muyanja, Sarah Nakawunde, Barnabas Tinkasiimire, Anthony Semuli, Micheal Timuzigu Kamugisha, Denis Sabiiti and Alex Ruhunda.
Here are some of the quotes from the MPs during the debate and passing of the Bill.
“We are NRM but we want to tell you that this thing (Bill), we don’t know about it and we are distancing ourselves from it. Some people in NRM fear him (president) because he uses ill-gotten money to intimidate, but not us. We shall crush his plans because his time is up.”
“We have God on our side because even the religious leaders are sharing our view. We are committed to go the whole way and nothing will bar us from achieving what is in the best interest of the country. We are on this by conviction and our motive is really to make sure that our country is saved and it can continue on the path of stability and peace.”
“This issue was presented by Ssekitoleko and it was rejected, therefore, you can’t present it again. Also, constitutional amendments require consulting with the people. Where did these MPs consult from?”
“This is a Private Member’s Bill and nobody should carry it as a party matter. The secretary general, the leadership, the central executive committee and the national executive committee members are not aware about this thing of lifting age limit.”
“But why should it be a Private Member’s Bill when even the minister of constitutional affairs is behind it? Why is the Executive fearing to present the Bill? If they are fearing, it means they are doing the wrong thing.”
“What consequences now? When I am in my constituency it is me building the party; is that (lifting age limit) really a party position? Which party structures were consulted on that matter? I don’t believe there were party structures which were consulted on that matter.”
“We have decided to move without the Government because the court observed that the late amendment of electoral laws has a negative effect on the conduct of elections.”