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Cabinet, NRM tell Masiko to resign

By Vision Reporter

Added 13th December 2011 12:13 PM

A special NRM caucus meeting held on Monday at State House Entebbe resolved that the embattled minister for presidency, Kabakumba Masiko, should do "the honourable thing' and resign.

Cabinet, NRM tell Masiko to resign

A special NRM caucus meeting held on Monday at State House Entebbe resolved that the embattled minister for presidency, Kabakumba Masiko, should do "the honourable thing' and resign.

By Moses Mulondo and Henry Sekanjako

A special NRM caucus meeting held on Monday at State House Entebbe resolved that the embattled minister for presidency, Kabakumba Masiko, should do "the honourable thing' and resign.

The Cabinet had earlier met in the Cabinet library and resolved that Masiko should resign. They, however, referred the issue to the caucus to make the final decision.

Kabakumba is accused of using a transmitter and other broadcasting equipment belonging to Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC), the public broadcaster, without paying for them. This happened while she was still information and national guidance minister. 

According to sources that attended the heated meeting, the MPs asked Kabakumba to emulate colleagues Sam Kutesa (foreign affairs), John Nasasira (Chief Whip) and Mwesigwa Rukutana who recently stepped aside over CHOGM.

“The MPs asked her to resign, saying if she failed they would force her to,” said a source.

Another source added: “The good thing was that the President allowed us debate the matter freely, without influencing the direction of the debate.

“It is no surprise that at the end of the day, the resolution was that she should resign in order to save the Government’s image, and to show our resolve to zero tolerance to corruption,” the source said.

“The President said he would not take a position on the matter until investigations are concluded,” the source said. Midway through the meeting, Museveni excused himself to attend another meeting, but gave the MPs the mandate to resolve the matter. 

Deputy Chief Whip David Bahati took over the chair. 

After the meeting, Bahati said the turn-up was good. “We listened to her case and advised her to resign. She will communicate.” 

Another source said there was a rift when Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and Anifa Kawooya pleaded with the MPs to spare Masiko until after the investigations.

According to sources, the meeting was hostile, with everyone telling Kabakumba to resign to save the party’s image. The source said the MPs rejected the advice to wait for the Police investigations, saying many cases had been investigated but the outcomes had not been seen. 

“So we have resolved that she resigns,” the source said. 

According to the sources, in response Kabakumba said she had listened to the caucus’ advice and would consult other leaders on the way forward.

The Police last week raided Kabakumba’s King’s Broadcasting Services, a radio station in Masindi and recovered a UBC transmitter which had gone missing three years ago. 

Appearing in Parliament that very week, Kabakumba denied any wrong-doing and blamed the matter on people who want to tarnish her name. She claimed her station only rented the UBC mast like other stations do. The sources said she repeated her position during the caucus meeting. 

The meeting, the source added, however, insisted that even then she should resign to let the Police finalise investigations without interference.

Among the people who pushed for Kabakumba’s resignation were Capt. Mike Mukula, Jim Muhwezi and Cerina Nebanda.  

The meeting was called by Museveni, the chairman of the ruling party. 

Before the MPs left Parliament for the meeting, Bahati said it was in order for a political party to discuss matters affecting its members.

“There are issues or allegations that a member engages in that affect a party and when such issues come up we sit down as political party and see what to do,” Bahati said.

The MPs have already drafted a censure motion. MP Gerald Karuhanga, one of the lead petitioners, said yesterday a petition had been drafted to be sent to the President who should act within 30 days.

According to the Constitution, the proponents of the censure hand their petition to the Speaker of Parliament who transmits it to the President.

The petitioners said yesterday they were waiting for the outcome of the NRM caucus to determine their next action. 

By Friday last week 150 MPs from both the ruling party and opposition had signed up for the censure. 

The NRM caucus recently drafted stringent rules to bar members from disclosing what has been discussed in party closed meetings.

Cabinet, NRM tell Masiko to resign

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