KAMPALA–Thirteen NRM MPs opposed to the lifting of the age limit have threatened to drag President Museveni before the disciplinary committee of the party.
The MPs say they are appealing to the top organ of the party, the Central Executive Committee (CEC), to convene a meeting and address several grievances relating to the age limit debate.
“We are writing to the party Secretary General to ensure sanity within the party….. If this party is to continue, the party chairman and caucus chairperson should be disciplined for doing things contrary to party rules of procedure,” Patrick Nsamba, the Kassanda North MP, noted in a message to Justine Lumumba, the NRM secretary general.
The MPs, who include Patrick Nsamba, Theodore Sekikubo, John Baptist Nambetsye, James Kaberuka and Sam Lyomoki, among others, accuse the President of violating the party rule book by suppressing dissenting voices and bypassing the top organs of the party in pushing for the age limit amendment.
The amendment is contained in the constitutional amendment No.2 Bill 2017 and aims to remove age the lower and upper age limits for presidential aspirants thereby allowing President Museveni who will be above 75 years in 2021 to run again for the Presidency.
The MPs have penned a statement to the Secretary General of the party calling for a meeting of the CEC to discuss their grievances short of which they will resort to the party disciplinary committee.
The Kassanda North MP Patrick Nsamba says President Museveni is aware that the party organs are against the bill and that is why he is circumventing them.
“He cannot call the NRM organ because he is aware that all Ugandans and NRM members do not support the bill,” he said.
They also accuse the party whip of superintending over their arbitrary dismissal from an NRM caucus meeting that endorsed the age limit bill noting that she must appear before the disciplinary committee with the party chairman.
The Lwemiyaga County MP Theodore Sekikubo argues that the president violated rule 6(a) of the NRM rules of conduct by shutting down any one opposed to the Magyezi bill.
Rule 6 provides for good methods of work for the party and calls for use of persuasion rather than command, listen to other peoples opinion and exercise tolerance and patience.
Sekikubo also points out that the NRM caucus leaders had decided before hand even before the meeting to kick out the rebel MPs, he refers to the New Vision newspaper headline on the 13th of October that read “NRM caucus locks out rebels “as proof that Nankabirwa had reached a predetermined decision to summarily expel them from the meeting without a hearing.
“It means that the party has been hijacked by the chairman who is the beneficiary of article 102(b) and in concert with Honorable Nankabirwa who is ready to dance to the tune to have us victimized,” Sekikubo asserted.
The MPs told the press today that they have confidence in the fact that the NRM will fail to garner the requisite two thirds majority to pass the bill.
The MPs took the opportunity to introduce the Busujju county MP David Kalwanga as another MP who has openly come out to oppose the age limit amendment and join them in fighting the bill.
“Our numbers are increasing by the day and will enable us to deny the proponents of this wicked bill the required two thirds majority,” said Manjiya County MP John Baptist Nambetsye.