Expelled NRM rebel MP Barnabas Tinkasimire has made his response to a Constitutional Court petition recently filed by the party challenging his seat.
By Andante Okanya
Expelled NRM rebel MP Barnabas Tinkasimire (Buyaga County), has made his response to a Constitutional Court petition recently filed by the party challenging his seat, saying the party's actions are an abuse of court process.
Tinkasimire filed his petition on Monday at the court in Kampala through G.W Kanyeihamba and Company Advocates. In his affidavit sworn in support of the petition, he contends that the provisions of the Constitution relied upon by the NRM, are irrelevant and inapplicable for the hearing and determination of the petition.
The NRM petition was prompted by Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga's ruling early this month, when she rejected NRM's demand to notify the Electoral Commission that the rebel MPs seats had become vacant. She said no specific provision in the Constitution on the expulsion of MPs by their political parties, leads to declaring of their seats in parliament vacant.
The other expelled MPs are Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga county), Mohammed Nsereko (Kampala central), and Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East). Government chief legal advisor, the Attorney General is listed as their co-respondent. None of the other co-respondents is yet to reply to the NRM petition.
"I have been advised by my lawyers which advice I verily believe to be true, that I did not breach or violate any provisions of the Constitution leading to this petition. The petition as presented before this court does not disclose issues for Constitutional interpretation, it is frivolous, vexatious," Tinkasimire states.
Additionally, he notes that the ruling of the Speaker in Parliament is protected by the provision in Article 97of the country's Constitution. Tinkasimire asserts that the Speaker in her role as arbiter in Parliament cannot be subjected to orders or directives of any other authority or body except Parliament itself.
NRM in its petition asserts that the expelled MPs are "strangers” who should be denied access to Parliament, as they are not recognized by their party under whose flag they contested, and therefore have no identity.
There is another pending petition surrounding the controversy of the so-called rebel MPs stature NRM filed recently by another party member Kibuku county MP Saleh Kamba and NRM supporter Marym Agasha, contesting their continued presence in the House.
Tinkasimire responds to NRM Court petition