Friday February 28 2014

Supreme Court sets March 4 for hearing of rebel MPs’ case

Mr Ssekikubo and Mr Nsereko and Wilfred Niwagaba

Mr Ssekikubo and Mr Nsereko and Wilfred Niwagaba after a recent court session. PHOTO BY FAISWAL KASIRYE 


KAMPALA- The Supreme Court has set March 4 for hearing of an application in which four former ruling party MPs are seeking to temporarily halt a Constitutional Court order kicking them out of Parliament until their appeal is heard and determined.

The setting of the date follows last week’s orders by court to the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, to stop the MPs from accessing and or participating in parliamentary activities.

The court said the MPs; Mr Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga), Mr Muhammed Nsereko (Kampala Central), Mr Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East) and Mr Barnabas Tinkasiimire (Buyaga) were illegally in office upon expulsion from their party last year.

The legislators are now seeking interim orders stopping the Speaker from throwing them out of Parliament and the Electoral Commission from conducting a by-election in the respective constituencies.

The court had also asked the Electoral Commission to organise by-elections in the four constituencies.

The legislators have asked Speaker Kadaga to desist from acting upon the order that is not approved by both parties as required by law.
Justices Richard Buteera, Faith Mwondha, and Steven Kavuma ruled against the MPs.

However, Justice Remmy Kasule in a dissenting judgement dismissed the NRM petitioners, arguing that the MPs’ continued stay in Parliament was right because they did not declare that they had left the party.

Mr Ssekikubo confirmed the hearing date in an interview but explained that the application to be heard is for temporary relief pending determination of the appeal.

“We are here to seek justice and we hope that the country’s highest appellate court would prevail over the issues which we believe are in violation of the law and rules of natural justice. We are pleading for the interim such that our appeal is not rendered useless,” he added.

Orders served
Mr Severino Twinobusingye, one of the lawyers representing NRM, said the orders have been served to the Speaker and all other organs of government, including the police and clerk to Parliament and that they have been complied with by the respective organs of government.

“The MPs cannot be allowed in the parliamentary chambers because they are now ordinary citizens after they have been evicted from their respective offices,” said Mr Twinobusingye describing the intended appeal as academic with no effect.