February 11, 2015

Supreme Court Set to Hear Expelled MPs Appeal

The Supreme Court has fixed March 10-23, 2015 to hear the main appeal in which four expelled NRM MPs are fighting to remain in Parliament.

(R-L) Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikubo, Buyaga West MP Barnabas Tinkasimiire and Ndorwa East Wilfred Nuwagaba.
(R-L) Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikubo, Buyaga West MP Barnabas Tinkasimiire and Ndorwa East Wilfred Nuwagaba.

A single judge Stella Arach-Amoko will first seat on February 16 to conduct a pre-hearing ahead of the full bench panel of seven on the set dates.

The MPs who were expelled from the NRM party in April 2013 obtained an interim order to stay the execution of the orders of the constitutional court which had ruled that they vacate their seats in parliament since they were no longer members of the party, whose ticket they were elected to parliament. NRM accused them of indiscipline.

Earlier, the Constitutional Court on February 21 2014 threw out the MPs; Theodore Sekikubo (Lwemiyaga), Muhammed Nsereko (Kampala Central), Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East) and Barnabas Tinkasimire (Buyaga County) out of Parliament and declared their seats vacant.

The court also ordered Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga to stop the MPs from accessing and or participating in Parliamentary activities.

The court also ordered the Electoral Commission to organize fresh elections in the respective constituencies.

However, the MPs through their lawyers asked the Supreme Court to stay the implementation of the orders of the Constitutional Court and indeed the Supreme Court issued express orders stopping the Constitutional Court orders.

The MPs have since filed an appeal challenging what they describe as the erroneous interpretation by the Constitutional Court that once an MP is expelled from the party, he or she automatically vacates their seats in Parliament.

Speaker Kadaga equally maintained their status as legislators on account that their dismissal from the party cannot constitutionally translate into expulsion from the House.

The expelled NRM MPs were booted out of their party over alleged indiscipline.

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