MP Kamba in Court Over Ministerial Post

1814 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Kibuku County Member of Parliament Saleh Kamba has sued the Attorney General for improper conduct over failure by Parliament to approve his ministerial appointment last year.

Kibuku County Member of Parliament Saleh Kamba has gone to court to challenge failure by Parliament to approve his ministerial appointment last year.
 
Kamba, who filed his suit before the Constitutional Court in Kampala on Friday, claims the Appointments Committee of parliament over-stepped its mandate when it declined to approve his appointment as a Minister for Bunyoro Affairs due to lack of academic qualifications.
 
He claims that the work of the Appointments Committee is to approve Presidential appointees, which is a transitive exercise but not to vet the appointees, saying this amounts fettering a Presidential prerogative of making ministerial appointments. 
 
According to the petition, Kamba claims that his academic qualification was adjudicated upon and courts cleared him as a fit and proper person to hold the elective office of Member of Parliament. He argues that Parliament has no power to impeach or challenge the academic qualities of an MP as that is the preserve of court and recall by the electorate.
 
Kamba submitted that by purporting to reject his appointment or stay it on grounds that he is not academically qualified, the appointments committee grossly violated constitutional principles of separation of powers and independence of the judiciary in so far as the issue of his academic qualification to serve as MP was dully resolved by court.
 
The retired army Lieutenant was among the four Presidential appointees who were rejected by the Appointments Committee of Parliament over questionable morals and academic qualifications respectively.
 
The other appointments rejected by the Committee that was headed by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga include; former Kampala Mayor Nasser Ntege Ssebaggala, who had been appointed Minister without Portfolio, and former Bukoto South MP Muhammad Mbabaali Muyanja, who was destined to take the Investment docket. Mbabaali went on to lose his parliamentary seat over the same reasons. Former state minister for primary health care James Kakooza was also rejected after being appointed to continue serving in the same office.
 
In his suit, Kamba also faults fellow MPs on the Appointment Committee for having a spirit of discrimination since the majority of those rejected were Muslims.
 
This, he said, undermined the spirit of equality and freedom from discrimination contrary to the constitutional safe guards against discrimination.
 
He also claims in his suit not to have got any official communication from the Appointments Committee about the outcome of the vetting he went through but claims to have heard from the media of how he was rejected.

The MP is now seeking court declarations that the act of the Appointments Committee of vetting instead of approving all ministerial appointments was contrary to Article 98 (1), (2), 111, and 113 of the constitution.
 
He further wants court to declare that the failure by the appointments committee to observe rules of natural justice by taking decision against him without evidence was inconsistent with the constitution and should be declared null and void.
 
The court is yet to summon the Attorney General to file in his defense as per the allegations in the suit.