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NRM supporters storm court, protest move to charge Speaker Kadaga

Some of the protesters with placards. Photo by Raymond Mayanja.

As the High Court in Kampala sets to start hearing the case in which seven legislators are accusing Speaker Rebecca Kadaga of abusing the law by suspending them, NRM party supporters have surrounded the premises.

The party supporters dressed in yellow T.shirts are protesting the move to charge Kadaga in court of law.

By press time, several of them had camped in the court compound and corridors of the court, singing songs praising the Speaker.

“Kadaga is our hero, therefore should not be charged,” said Ruthie Namukasa, NRM party supporter from Kawempe division.

Other party supporters are holding placards with statements backing the Speaker.

The storming of court premises has prompted some court officials to close their offices.

Justice Ouma Oguli of the High Court issued fresh summons last week to the Speaker and the Attorney General to appear in court today to defend themselves, in a case in which seven MPs are accusing Kadaga of abusing the law by suspending them from attending Parliament sessions.

Kadaga suspended Gerald Karuhanga, Ibrahim Nganda, Mubarak Munyagwa, Moses Kasibante and Allan Ssewanyana, when Parliament was starting to debate on the Presidential age limit Bill.

MPs run to court
The suspended MPs ran to High Court, challenging the suspension. The Speaker neither the Attorney General was presence in court.

They were, however, represented by Elisha Bafirawala, the lawyer from the Attorney General . He asked for more time to prepare the defence, prompting court to extend hearing the case today.

Last week, Oguli waited for Bafirawala for two hours to appear but he didn’t. Oguli was forced to phoned the Attorney General’s office, to know the truth.

Oguli told court that he was told Bafirawala, who is handling the case was sick. Oguli gave the accused upto January 3 2018, to defend themselves with out fail or else the court will start to hear the case.

Erias Lukwago, a lawyer representing the suspended MPs is preparing to cross examine the Speaker.

The protesters claim Speaker Kadaga followed the Constitution and has no case to answer. Photo by Raymond Mayanja.

“I want to cross examine her. I want her to tell court where she gets powers to treat MPs like nursery kids,” he added.

The suspended legislators are also in the High Court, requesting for a mandamus order. A mandamus order is a command to an inferior court or ordering a person to perform a public or statutory duty.

The suspended MPs said Kadaga acted as the law herself and her actions wouldn’t go legally unchallenged. The legislators also argue that the Speaker disregarded the provision of Article 28 and 42 of the Constitution by unlawfully mentioning their names.

NRM wins
The ruling NRM MPs, however, voted in favour of the amending Article 102b to lift the Presidential age limit.
NRM party garnered two-thirds majority votes for the second reading of the controversial Constitution Amendment Bill No. 2 (2017).

The voting that lasted two hours saw 317 MPs vote in favour, 97 against while two MPs abstained.

On the voting day, the security manning Parliament blocked MP Winfred Niwagaba, who is also the shadow attorney general from serving summons to the Speaker.

The security instead wanted him to give the court summons to Parliamentary officials but he refused, prompting the security men to use force to pushed him away.Together with MP Medard Ssegona, they were driven away in Police patrol.

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