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14 MPs face disciplinary action over PRA

By Vision Reporter

Added 7th March 2007 03:00 AM

FOURTEEN NRM Members of Parliament face disciplinary action for supporting a motion which sought to condemn the re- arrest of PRA rebel suspects last week.

FOURTEEN NRM Members of Parliament face disciplinary action for supporting a motion which sought to condemn the re- arrest of PRA rebel suspects last week.

By Felix Osike and Cyprian Musoke

FOURTEEN NRM Members of Parliament face disciplinary action for supporting a motion which sought to condemn the re- arrest of PRA rebel suspects last week.

The NRM chief whip, Kabakumba Masiko, yesterday said she would forward the matter to the party chairman, President Yoweri Museveni, and the secretary general, Amama Mbabazi.

In the motion, the MPs had sought for a resolution asking the Government to apologise for the fracas at the High Court after armed men were deployed to re-arrest the nine PRA suspects who were released on bail.

A total of 76 NRM MPs voted against the motion , 48 mainly opposition agreed with it and two abstained.

Kabakumba named Sam Lyomoki (Workers) and Rubanda East MP Henry Banyenzaki as some of the NRM legislators who should be punished.

Lyomoki moved the motion and Banyenzaki seconded it.

“That was really irregular. I am writing to the higher authorities of the party to take action. I have talked to them before and cautioned them. But yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) behaviour needs some disciplinary action,” Masiko emphasised.

She explained that after two days of deliberations in the caucus, it had been agreed that there was no need for the motion.

The chief whip will also forward the names of 10 MPs who voted for the motion and the two who abstained.

Former minister Felix Okot Ogong, who abstained, defended his action arguing that MPs should always support pro-people motions.

“The whole issue was ugly. We need to organise our House. We will always go by the party position if it is good and condemn the wrong ones.”

Banyenzaki and Lyomoki told journalists at Parliament that the Chief Whip does not comprehend the operation of a multiparty system.

Lyomoki said: “There are selfish individuals like Kabakumba who want to hide behind the party, then there are cowardly ones, and people like us who stand for reason. Now the Kabakumbas want to coerce the cowardly ones. This is a test case that serves to liberate the cowardly ones.”

He added: “The voice of reason shall not be suffocated by anyone. No one will purport to sue us, we are MPs who are not bound by the decisions of the Cabinet, and Parliament is above the party.”

He said the NRM strategy is to “take everything to the caucus and it dies there because they coerce people from there.”

Banyenzaki charged: “Kabakumba is alleging that we MPs who expressed our free mind on the floor of the House are going to be disciplined. Before she disciplines us, she should be disciplined herself.”

The two MPs vowed not to be “coerced to serve personal interests” of the chief whip.

“She further forgets that what we say on the floor is privileged. I am cushioned against anybody taking me to any Kangaroo court. That’s her wishful thinking if not a dream and if she thinks she will make that the reality, I wish her good luck,” Banyenzaki said.

Ofwono Opondo, the NRM spokesperson, said: “We don’t agree with what they are saying. Banyenzaki has been in the opposition. He only came in NRM to win elections in Kabale but our system will catch up with them.”

14 MPs face disciplinary action over PRA

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