KAMPALA – The legal director of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), Mr Oscar Kihika, has advised against blocking party MPs who voted against lifting the presidential age limit from the party’s forthcoming delegates’ conference.
On Tuesday, January 14, NRM Secretary-General Kasule Lumumba said the group will be replaced by Independent MPs who lean to the ruling party at the delegates’ conference. He said they will first face disciplinary action before being allowed into the party.
Mr Kihika, in a January 14, 2020 letter to Ms Lumumba, said the NRM Constitution guarantees the rebel MPs a right to attend the National Conference.
“It has come to my notice via press reports that there is a proposal to block some 30 NRM members of Parliament from attending the National Conference which is slated to convene on the 25. &January 2020,” the letter reads in part.
“As you are well aware, the 30 NRM Members of Parliament were entitled to attend the upcoming National Conference by virtue of Article 11(2) (I) of the NRM Constitution which lists them as members of the National Conference. To the best of my knowledge, these MPs have thus far not been dismissed from the NRM.
Given the above, I advise that the MPs should be allowed to attend the National Conference. Arrangements should, therefore, be made to ensure that they attend the National Conference just like all other members who were invited by virtue of the Notice of the National Conference that was published In the New Vision News Paper sometime in December of 2019,” he adds.
Some of the NRM MPs who resisted the party line on the age limit Bill were Patrick Nsamba, John Baptist Nambeshe, Dr Sam Lyomoki, Monica Amoding, Gaffa Mbwatekamwa, Barnabas Tinkasimire, Theodore Ssekikubo, Sylvia Rwabogo, Silvia Akello, Maurice Henry Kibalya, Johnson Muyanja Ssenyonga, and Dokolo County MP Felix Okot Ogong.
But on Wednesday, Mr Tinkasimire scoffed at the party plans, saying that he is not in Parliament because of NRM.
“Should I commit suicide because NRM has blocked me from attending the Delegates Conference? Am I in Parliament because of the Delegates Conference? My powers are in the people of Buyaga County,” he said.
Workers MP Sam Lyomoki described Ms Lumumba’s announcement as baseless and illegal, adding that he is a founding member of the party who cannot be pushed away like that.
The party will convene the 2nd Meeting of the 3rd Mainstream National Conference on 25th January 2020 at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole. The main purpose of this conference is to effect amendments to the NRM Constitution