NRM plots to throw out critical MPs
Posted Thursday, October 31 2013 at 10:29
Kampala- In preparation for the coming general elections, the ruling NRM party is working on a detailed plan to throw out more independent-minded and critical members.
The target is senior party officials and senior legislators whose lack of discipline has constantly affected the public image of the party.
According to NRM sources, some of the bigwigs under the party’s disciplinary committee radar include House Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and House Commissioner Chris Baryomunsi.
Sources say Ms Kadaga is being targeted for her continuous independence while steering House business plus her public disagreements with the party secretary general.
“She has been discussed in the disciplinary committee meetings and the party thinks her continuous behaviour both on the floor and the disagreements with her fellow party leaders is only injuring the party reputation,” a senior party official told this newspaper.
The source further added that although they may not throw the Speaker out of the party, they may want to remove her from the speakership before she completes her term and they are compiling all her actions as evidence to use against her in the disciplinary committee.
The spokesperson of the NRM caucus, Ms Evelyn Anite, said disciplining errant party member was not a new phenomenon in NRM.
“What NRM emphasises is discipline in the party and this applies to all party members regardless of one’s position,” she said.
“Our disciplinary committee has powers to call a member and find out why they are going against party positions.”
The NRM party spokesperson, Ms Karooro Okurut, could not be got for comment.
When contacted, the Speaker’s spokesperson, Mr Ranny Ismail, said the Speaker’s office “has not received any communication to that effect”. Another source, who sits on the party’s central executive committee, said Ms Kadaga’s untrusted actions is the reason government is yet to table electoral reforms in the House in preparation for the next general elections.
According to the source, the party cannot afford to have a Speaker it is not sure of to be in the chair and steer the debate on electoral reforms.
Some of the controversial scenarios involving Ms Kadaga include her refusal to remove the expelled MPs from Parliament and handling of the 2011 oil debate.
Early this year, NRM expelled four members, including Theodore Ssekikubo, Wilfred Niwagaba, Mohammed Nsereko and Barnabas Tinkasiimire over indiscipline. They are now in court challenging NRM’s move to have them equally lose their seats.
Asked why the party would want to exclude Mr Baryomunsi, the source said: “Instead of protecting the image of the party after the loss of the Butaleja legislator, he went into overdrive and joined those who poured scorn on the party...”
Mr Chris Baryomunsi said the NRM should instead rise above pettiness.