Sseggona, Niwagaba arrested as six MPs sue Kadaga

Wednesday December 20 2017

Police officers forcefully drag Mr Niw

Police officers forcefully drag Mr Niwagaba (R) and Mr Sseggona (M) from Parliament. Photo by Alex Esagala  

By Juliet Kigongo & Moses Kyeyune

KAMPALA- Two days after Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga ejected six MPs from participating in the on-going presidential age limit debate, she has subsequently, been sued before the High Court in Kampala over the same.

The six law makers who were ejected by Speaker Kadaga and who have in turn run to court are; Gerald Karuhanga , Jonathan Odur, Mubarak Munyangwa, Anthony Akol, Allan Ssewanyana and Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda.

But in unprecedented manner, the lawyers of the affected MPs (Medard Sseggona and Wilfred Niwagaba who are also MPs) were arrested by the police as they attempted to serve Ms Kadaga with the court documents.

They were taken to an unknown detention centre.

This was after presiding Judge Margaret Oguli Ouma ordered the affected MPs to serve the Speaker and the Attorney General who are both respondents in this matter before she can hear their case at 2pm.

The MPs in their lawsuit, contend that the marching orders issued by Ms Kadaga barring them from attending the on-going debate, are illegal since she suspended them after dissolving the morning session, hence she did not have the powers to do so.

This, they say, was during Monday’s morning heated debate after the two reports on age limit debate were tabled.

“The 1st respondent (Ms Kadaga) in closing the morning session of the Parliamentary proceedings and in utter disregard of the clear provisions of Article 28 and 42 of the Constitution, unlawfully mentioned and ordered the applicants (MPs) out of the August House without according them the slightest opportunity to explain themselves,” the court documents read in part

Because of their suspension from the House sittings, the MPs aver that they cannot, therefore, discharge their constitutional duty to represent their respective constitutes of Ntungamo Municipality, Erute County South, Kawempe South, Kilak North, Makindye West and Kira Municipality, respectively, to debate this very important age limit Bill.

Through Lukwago and Co Advocates, the affected MPs want court to issue an order prohibiting Ms Kadaga from suspending any other MP as this would deny them chance to represent their electorate.

Mr Medard Sseggona Lubega on a police

Mr Medard Sseggona Lubega on a police truck after being arrested. Photo by Alex Esagala

Mr Niwagaba being arr

Mr Niwagaba being arrested by police. Photo by Alex Esagala

The Deputy Attorney General, Mr Mwesigwa Rukutana says the two MPs were arrested in their capacity as lawyers not as MPs. He says they can only be allowed to enter Parliament if they opt to leave the court summons behind.

He says under the country's Civil Rules of Procedure, no one can be served with court orders in the House or precincts of Parliament.

"If you want to serve anyone, including myself with a court order, you wait for them outside Parliament," Mr Rukutana, who was one of the people supposed to be served by the order said.

When asked to mention the particular rules he was referring to, Mr Rukutana said: "I don't have all the Rules of Procedure and laws off my head. I know what I'm talking about."