News / Africa

Expelled Ugandan Lawmakers Seek Supreme Court Order

Uganda’s parliament is considering Bahati’s bill
Uganda’s parliament is considering Bahati’s bill
Peter Clottey
Legislators expelled from Uganda’s ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) plan to petition the Supreme Court on Monday, seeking an order to prevent their expulsion from all parliamentary activities.

The NRM expelled the “rebel” lawmakers after accusing them of undermining the party in parliament.

The Constitutional Court ruled last Friday their continued stay in parliament was illegal and barred them from participating in all subsequent parliamentary activities.  The court also ordered the electoral commission to organize elections to replace them in their respective constituencies. 

The expelled legislators include, Theodore Ssekikubo, Muhammad Nsereko, Wilfred Niwagaba and Barnabas Tinkasiimire.  Ssekikubo says the ruling party erroneously based their expulsion on their pronouncements in parliament about the country’s poor state of affairs.  The lawmakers expressed concern in parliament about problems the country faces, including corruption, poor service delivery, and alleged misuse of oil revenues.

“We are proceeding to the Supreme Court of Uganda to seek two orders; one, that there be a stay of execution of the Constitutional Court orders; two, we seek for an interim injunction prohibiting the Electoral Commission from holding fresh elections in our constituencies and also prohibiting the speaker of parliament from implementing the orders of the Constitutional Court,” said Ssekikubo.

The expelled parliamentarians would be unable to perform their legislative duties until the Supreme Court rules in their favor.  But Ssekikubo says in its ruling, the Constitutional Court refused to grant the lawmakers enough time to challenge the court’s ruling at the Supreme Court.

“Once you make your ruling, you allow a period for the appeal.  But now you don’t allow the aggrieved time to appeal or room to seek redress from a superior court.  They want [the order] to be implemented immediately,” said Ssekikubo.

He contends the Constitutional Court overstepped its boundaries in its ruling that barred them from carrying out their parliamentary duties in the legislature.

Some observers say the speaker of parliament is the only person mandated to declare the seat of a lawmaker vacant, which allows the electoral commission to organize an election in the legislator’s constituency.

Ssekikubo says the court was wrong to order the electoral body to organize elections in their constituencies.

“The speaker of parliament is the one responsible for declaring a seat vacant to the electoral commission.  But, now you can see [the] court ordered the electoral commission directly and that is why we are saying that the Constitutional Court jumped into the [political] arena,” said Ssekikubo.

He also says the expelled lawmakers have legally challenged their expulsion from the ruling party.

“We are still seeking a judicial review of the NRM decision to quash the decision of expelling us from the party,” said Ssekikubo.  “The issues we are being accused of that formed the basis for our expulsion from parliament were the facts we spoke on the floor of parliament.  Those facts are protected by the law.  Once a member of parliament speaks in parliament he enjoys immunity.”     
Clottey interview with Theodore Ssekikubo, Ugandan Legislator
Clottey interview with Theodore Ssekikubo, Ugandan Legislatori
|| 0:00:00

You May Like

Nearly Every Job in America Mapped in Detail

A nifty map pinpoints practically every job in the United States, revealing the economic character of America’s metropolitan areas, which also helps to inform the local culture

Corruption Busting Is Her Game

South African activist is building 'international online community of thousands of corruption fighters'

Former SAF Businessman Gives Books, Love of Reading to Students

Steve Tsakaris now involved in nonprofit Read to Rise, which distributes books in Soweto, encourages lower-grade primary school students to read

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Abel Ogah from: OJU Nigeria
February 24, 2014 4:42 AM
I strongly advocate for the rule of law in the emerging circumstances.

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video In Cambodian Capital, Political Motives Seen Behind Canceled Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle reports from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs