Drama ensued at parliament Tuesday morning after Peter Nyombi, the Attorney General walked out of the legal affairs committee citing the presence of Wilfred Niwagaba, the Ndorwa East MP.
Nyombi was summoned by the legal affairs committee chaired by Stephen Tashobya to explain controversies surrounding the compensation of former workers of the defunct Coffee Marketing Board. Shortly after appearing before the committee, Nyombi said he wouldn’t participate in the proceedings citing the presence of Niwagaba.
He argued that the legislator was one of the four MPs barred by the Constitutional Court from participating in any parliamentary activities until court disposes off a petition filed by NRM challenging their stay in the house.
It follows a Constitutional Court ruling on Friday last week, barring the four MPs from participating in parliamentary activities until the main petition is discharged by court. They are Muhammad Nsereko, Kampala Central, Theodore Ssekikubo, Lwemiyaga County and Bugangaizi West MP Barnabas Tinkasimire.
Nyombi argued that participating in a meeting with the indicated MPs, would amount to contempt of court. However, the committee members wouldn’t have any of this.
Tashobya notified Nyombi that they had done nothing wrong, since the Speaker of Parliament had not acted on the court order. Nyombi stuck to his position forcing Tashobya to suspend the committee for sometime to consult Kadaga.
The duo went into a closed door meeting but Nyombi didn’t return. Tashobya declined to reveal what had transpired in the Speaker’s office saying he could only do it in the presence of both parties.
Niwagaba had already left the committee room and told local media that he was on his way to High court where he has engagements. He however, vowed to return to parliament immediately he finalizes his assignment at the court.
By the time of filing this story, the committee had reconvened for other business. Trouble for the four legislators started early this year when they were expelled by the NRM Central Executive Committee chaired by President Yoweri Museveni for alleged indiscipline.
Through its Secretary General Amama Mbabazi, NRM unsuccessfully wrote to Rebecca Kadaga, the speaker of parliament to eject them and declare their seats vacant. As a result, NRM filed a petition before the constitutional court to suspend the MPs from conducting any business in parliament until the petition challenging their legality in the house is disposed off.