SHEEMA: Dr Elioda Tumwesigye’s plan to contest for the parliamentary seat in the newly-created Sheema Municipality on the NRM ticket is in jeopardy after an aspirant petitioned the NRM electoral commission, declaring it illegal.
Through his lawyers of Barya, Byamugisha and Company Advocates, Mr David Kamukama, who intends to contest for the MP seat, says Dr Tumwesigye, who is also the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, does not qualify to contest in the municipality since he is not registered there as a voter and is already serving as the Sheema North MP. Dr Tumwesigye has been the MP for Sheema North since 2001.
“Dr Elioda, by virtue of still being minister and of still being a Member of Parliament of another constituency, of which he has not resigned and seeks to contest for another constituency, is not only illegal and in contravention of Uganda laws but also creates a bad precedent in Uganda’s electoral process of allowing Members of Parliament to contest and hold two seats of different constituencies in the same term,” Mr Kamukama’s petition reads in part.
“The Constitutional Court observes that a Member of Parliament is only free to converse for elections in the dependency of the term of Parliament in the last six months to the expiry of the term of office,” the petition that is copied to the party chairman, secretary general and legal directorate reads in part adds.
In the petition received by the NRM Directorate of Legal Services on Tuesday, Mr Kamukama adds that whereas Dr Tumwesigye has picked nomination forms to contest for the seat on the NRM ticket, he is not eligible since he is a public servant.
“Hon Elioda Tumwesigye cannot, by virtue of Article 175 (a) of the Constitution of Uganda as he is a public servant as he serves as such in a Ministerial position of the government and his emoluments of which are directly payable from the consolidated fund,”
The petitioner also quotes Section 4 of the Parliamentary elections Act 2005, which indicates that a person holding a public office shall in the case of a general election resign his or her office at least 90 days before nomination day.
“In case the NRM continues with the nomination of Dr Tumwesigye, we have instructions to challenge the same in courts of law,” the petition adds.
When contacted, Mr Tanga Odoi, the chairperson NRM Electoral commission, said they are looking into the matter.
The petition comes two years after sections of ruling party leaders in the district accused Dr Tumwesigye, who is also the district NRM chairman of dividing party supporters on religious lines.
Catholic and Anglican Christian clerics in the district blamed the minister for taking sides in the general elections and dividing the people along religious lines.
The Minister is said to have campaigned against the then incumbent Woman MP Rosemary Nyakikongoro and district chairperson Mugisha Pastori in the elections, who were carrying the NRM party flag.
It is said that the Minister backed Anglican Independent candidates Jacklet Atuhaire and David Kabigumira who won as district woman MP and LC5 chairman seats respectively, defeating Nyakikongoro and Mugisha who are Catholics.
However, Dr Elioda said allegations were false and the minds behind them aimed at promoting more hatred and polarization in society.