Uganda’s Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has notified the four embattled legislators of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party that they have been barred from sitting in parliament or taking part in any parliamentary activity as ruled by the constitutional court.
The constitutional Court on Friday February 21 ruled that MPs Bernabas Tinkasiimire, Wilfred Niwagaba, Theodore Ssekikubo and Mohammad Nsereko vacate their seats in parliament since the party on whose ticket they were elected to parliament had expelled them.
While chairing today’s plenary session of parliament Kadaga acknowledged receipt of the letter from the Attorney General asking her to comply with the court ruling. The letter restrained Kadaga from allowing the four legislators to continue sitting in parliament or to take part in any parliamentary activity and also to stop payments of any salaries, allowances, or other emoluments and entitlements to them.
She said that she had no choice but to comply and that she has notified the four members and instructed the Clerk to Parliament to act accordingly.
One of their lawyers Caleb Alaka said they lodged an application in the Supreme Court to stay the execution of the judgement of the Constitutional Court as the highest court hears their appeal.
The problems for the MPs started in April last year when they were expelled from their party-NRM for alleged indiscipline. Upon expulsion, the party wrote to Speaker Kadaga to force them to vacate their seats in Parliament and write to the Electoral Commission declaring them vacant.
Kadaga, however, refused to throw them out and allocated them space in the house but the constitutional court headed by acting Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma ruled that it was illegal for the four to continue sitting in parliament yet the party upon which they were elected had expelled them. Only one of the five judges, Justice Remmy Kasule, ruled otherwise.