16 January 2013

Uganda: Museveni Wants 'Rebel' MPs Punished

President Yoweri Museveni has backed a proposal by the NRM Caucus to have rebel MPs punished in accordance with the party constitution.

The MPs lined up to face the disciplinary committee are Theodore Ssekikubo, Barnabas Tinkasimire, Wilfred Niwagaba, Vincent Kyamadidi and Mohammed Nsereko.

Sources, who attended the closed-door meeting of NRM MPs in Kyankwanzi, said the President discussed issues of party discipline and assured the caucus that "necessary sanctions" will be taken against the legislators.

The MPs are accused of not toeing the party line, repeatedly criticising the President and going against the party's positions in Parliament.

The move to punish the MPs was initiated in Parliament last week when the Government's Chief whip reportedly wrote to the party's Secretary General, Amama Mbabazi, asking him to forward the names of the MPs to the party's national disciplinary committee.

The president was not present when the caucus discussed the behaviour of the MPs on Monday, but made the remarks later in the evening.

President Museveni reportedly said there was no rift between the Executive and Parliament and called on the NRM legislators to implement the contract the party made with Ugandans, given to them during the last general elections.

During the meeting yesterday, the MPs agreed to budget more carefully for planting materials, especially seedlings like coffee, tea, mangoes, oranges and support the establishment of fish hatcheries.

NRM party spokesperson Evelyn Anite said the MPs also unanimously supported the idea to involve the NRM parliamentary caucus in the budgeting process to ensure implementation of the party's manifesto.

"We agreed to create and manage a budget process that is priority-based. For example, the President pointed out the energy fund that has led to the establishment of electricity dams in Moroto, Dokolo, Otuke, Moyo and Adjumani," she said.

The caucus also agreed to expeditiously revisit the operationalisation and working of the youth venture fund.

Anite said the President encouraged the caucus to support the idea of building fully-serviced industrial estates to boost investor confidence.

President Museveni reportedly attributed low investment to poor planning.

The MPs also said stiff penalties and strict enforcement of punitive measures were needed for institutions that do not adhere to the budget process, which in turn affects the objectives of the National Development Plan.

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