20 December 2017

Uganda: Why Suspended MPs Dragged Kadaga to Court

Kampala — The six suspended MPs have petitioned the Kampala High Court Civil Division seeking to quash the decision of the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga to stop them from participating in the ongoing debate intended to ammend the constitution.

They want the Court to compel Kadaga to let them back into parliament and participate in the "Age Limit" debate, and a restraining order prohibiting the Speaker from repeating the alleged illegal action in future. They argue that the speaker was wrong and violated the most cardinal principal of natural justice, which is the right to be heard.

The Speaker on Monday suspended the six Members of Parliament for misconduct.

Those suspended include the opposition chief-whip Ibrahim Semujju Nganda (Kira Municipality, FDC), Mubarak Munyagwa Sserunga (Kawempe South, FDC), Anthony Akol (Kilak North, FDC) Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West, DP), Jonathan Odur (Erute South, UPC) Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo Municipality, Ind).

The suspended MPs faced her wraht as they were making it so hard for her to proceed with the sitting to hear the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee Report on the Constitution Amendment Bill that was being presented by Jacob Markson Oboth Oboth (West Budama, Ind). The Mps were raising continuous points of procedures.

Part of the rules of procedure raised was that some members who signed the report belonged to more than one committee , which is not allowed. The other is that there is a case in the East African Court of Justice concerning the current Bill making it subjudice to debate but this was overruled by the speaker.

Earlier on, the Speaker who holds a master's degree in Women Law from the University of Zimbabwe warned that she would suspend errant MPs for seven sittings.

At Court, representing the MPs is Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago from Lukwago and Co. Advocates who met Justice Magret Oguli Oumo who has directed Lukwago to serve the Speaker and the Attorney General and report back at 2pm for hearing of this case.

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