Kadaga supporters camp at High Court over suspended MPs case

Wednesday January 3 2018

Some of the people who claim to be supporter

Some of the people who claim to be supporters of Speaker Rebecca Kadaga. Photo by Abubaker Lubowa.  

By Juliet Kigongo

A group of people claiming to be supporters of Ms Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of Parliament, on Wednesday camped outside the High Court in Kampala where she was expected to defend herself over allegations of illegally suspending six members of Parliament during the voting on the contentious age limit law.
The High Court issued fresh summons ordering Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga and the Attorney General (AG) to appear in court to defend themselves.
The supporters wearing National Resistance Movement T-shirts bearing the picture of President Yoweri Museveni, carried posters denouncing the court summons.

Daily Monitor could not verify reports that most of the alleged supporters of Ms Kadaga are members of Kampala crime gang commonly known as Kifeesi.

Some of the placards read: “Leave Kadaga alone”; NRM Oyee, Leave Kadaga alone; the quorum was there (317).”

At the last court appearance on December 27, 2017, the presiding judge Margaret Oguli Oumo adjourned the case to January 3 2018, after the two respondents (Kadaga and AG) failed to turn up for the hearing.
The MPs who were suspended by Ms Kadaga and are now seeking redress are; Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo Municipality), Jonathan Odur (Erute County South), Mubarak Munyangwa (Kawempe South), Anthony Akol, (Kilak North) Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West) and Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda (Kira Municipality).
The group that had appeared in court December 27, 2018 said they were disappointed with the way the AG was acting.
“After waiting for so long for the representative of the AG to turn up, we were only informed by the judge after making a call to their chambers that he (Mr Elisha Bafirawala) was indisposed. Not even the speaker showed up yet she was summoned,” Mr Lukwago told journalists who had been barred from entering court.

This is not the first time that unknown people carrying placards in support of a big public official storm court. In 2016, a similar scenario happened at Makindye Chief Magistrates Court when rowdy people claiming to be supporters of Gen Kale Kayihura, the Inspector General of Police, raided court in a bid to stop the the then criminal prosecution of the police chief.

In their petition, the suspended MPs filed in Kampala High Court last week, they had contended that the matching order issued to them by Ms Kadaga, barring them from attending the debate on the Bill (now law), was illegal.

Some of the suspended MPs and t

Some of the suspended MPs and their colleagues in court on Wednesday. Photo by Abubaker Lubowa

Some of the pro-Kadaga supporter

Some of the pro-Kadaga supporters at the High Court. Photo by Abubaker Lubowa

The MPs were suspended for seven sittings during heated debate on the Bill after the majority and minority reports on the Bill were tabled for debate.
They wanted court to declare their suspension invalid and to order the Speaker to rescind her decision and allow them back in the House.

The matter has since been refered to the Constitutional Court for interpretation.