The fate of the three NRM legislators accused of being indisciplined will be determined on Tuesday by the High Court in Kampala. On Thursday, MPs Wilfred Niwagaba, Theodore Ssekikubo and Barnabas Tinkasiimire sued NRM seeking court orders stopping it from hearing the disciplinary proceedings against them that could result into their expulsion from the party.
The date was set today by Court registrar John Eudes Keitirima after listening to submissions in favor and against the granting of the interim order.
On Thursday, MPs Wilfred Niwagaba, Theodore Ssekikubo and Barnabas Tinkasiimire sued NRM seeking court orders stopping it from hearing the disciplinary proceedings against them that could result into their expulsion from the party.
The MPs claim that the party is hearing disciplinary proceedings against them without giving them a chance to give their side of the story and yet they are willing to appear, an action they say is against the natural rules of justice.
Court in its ruling will either grant an interim order blocking NRM’s disciplinary committee from its ongoing hearing or dismiss the application and make orders that will see the MPs appear before the disciplinary committee sitting at Serena Hotel in Kampala.
The outspoken legislators claim that once expelled by the party’s disciplinary committee, they will have no option to appeal against its decision since its final.
When the matter came up for hearing today, NRM through its lawyer Geoffrey Kandeebe, asked court to dismiss the application on grounds that the MPs wrongly sued the party.
Kandeebe explained that the rebel MPs, as the three are commonly referred to in the NRM circles, should instead have sued the disciplinary committee since it’s the body that is hearing the disciplinary proceedings against them but not the party.
On the contrary, the legislators’ lawyer Daniel Ogalo Wandera, asked court to grant the interim order blocking the ongoing hearing of the disciplinary proceedings to enable the substantive suit filed by the MPs be heard, since they were not properly served.
Court documents show that MP Niwagaba and Tinkasiimire, who are active members of the Parliamentary Forum on oil, opposed the party’s position on the heated oil debate. The documents further show that on November 26 2012, the MPs protested the ruling of the Speaker of Parliament to vote on the oil Bill contrary to the NRM Parliamentary Caucus decision to recommit the Bill for voting.
On the other hand, MP Ssekikubo is accused of denouncing the NRM before participating in the press conference and accusing his party of having bribed legislators last year to pass the health budget.