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Rebel NRM MPs Defy Museveni on Party Discipline :: Uganda Radionetwork

Rebel NRM MPs Defy Museveni on Party Discipline

The legislators said that no body, not even the President, has the right to dismiss them from a party they joined voluntarily.

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Five NRM MPs who were this week named by President Yoweri Museveni as saboteurs, have told a press conference in Kampala that they will never apologize to the president.

The Ndorwa East MP, Wilfred Niwagaba, Henry Musasizi, the  Rubanda East MP,  Theodore Ssekikubo, the Lwemiyaga MP, Muhammad Nsereko, the Kampala Central MP and Kyamadidi Vincent, the MP for Rwampara County, told journalists at parliament that they will use the party to continue fighting against bad governance and corruption in government.

The legislators said that no body, not even the President, has the right to dismiss them from a party they joined voluntarily.

The five were responding to reports attributed to the President this week, that they face possible dismissal from the party for being indisciplined. Museveni was quoted saying that he would bring back the errant MPs into order.

Kyamadidi, assured party members that their efforts to fight corruption was genuine and should be supported by all Ugandans. He said he has never forgotten that President Museveni said that one of the weaknesses of the party is lack of people who speak out the truth for transformation.

He described as empty talk, the president’s threat to get them disciplined or dismissed from the party, and noted that what was urgently needed in the party is an honest acceptance of weaknesses and challenges.

Niwagaba, a lawyer, said he was drafting a private member’s bill on some constitutional amendments that he would table together with Museveni’s suggestion on denying bail for suspects. He said the doctrine of separation of powers between cabinet and MPs, the return of term limits and lessening of the age limit for the presidency were some of the amendments he was introducing to be debated by the current parliament.

Niwagaba and his group want the age for a Ugandan to qualify for presidency  reduced from the current 35 to 30 and for the age ceiling to be reduced from 75 to 65, to conform to the retirement age for teachers.

Nsereko argued that the two-term limit for a president was a priority amendment they were focusing on, reasoning that any leader who cannot do much for his country in two terms cannot do much for more years.

Ssekikubo used the opportunity at the press conference to call on his party Secretary General, Amama Mbabazi, to advise the president not to go ahead with the plan to entrench denial of bail in the constitution.

Musasizi said they would push ahead with the petition to recall parliament to debate arguing that theirs was a genuine cause for the country’s development.

The legislators said they would never be intimidated from fighting against the intended give-away of Mabira Forest, suggestions to deny suspects bail, corruption and support of good governance.

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