News / Africa

Uganda Supreme Court to Hear Case of Expelled MPs

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, November 30, 2012.
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, November 30, 2012.
Peter Clottey
Uganda’s Supreme Court plans to begin hearings on Wednesday on a petition challenging the expulsion of four members of parliament from President Yoweri Museveni’s ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).

The expelled lawmakers include Wilfred Niwagaba, Barnabas Tinkasiimire, Mohammed Nsereko and Theodore Ssekikubo. Ssekikubo says their expulsion from the NRM was unjustified and illegal. He expressed confidence that they will soon return to parliament.

“We are sure and confident that with an impartial Supreme Court we do hope that justice will prevail,” said Ssekikubo. “We are sure that even the matter that we had put to the High Court contesting our expulsion, it should be a strong, sound and very good reason for them to have stayed the proceedings in the Constitutional Court.

“We hope the seven justices of the Supreme Court would not be biased as those in the Constitutional Court,” he said.

Last week, a Constitutional Court ruled that the expelled NRM members be prevented from taking part in parliamentary activities or accessing the building until the Supreme Court’s hearing.

“We have raised it to the president to stop meddling in the affairs of courts. We have information and we raised it with the judges that they should not entertain the president’s intervention and influence because he was a party to the proceedings,” said Ssekikubo.

But government officials dismissed Ssekikubo’s accusation, saying Uganda has the most independent and impartial judiciary in the East African region. 

Some Ugandans have urged the expelled legislators to join other political parties or become independent candidates in the various constituencies they represent in parliament.

But, Ssekikubo disagreed, saying the suggestion goes against the ruling party’s constitution.

“The repercussions of quitting of the party means that we have amended the constitution, [and] the constitution is clear that a member loses his or her seat on leaving the party,” said Ssekikubo. “It will stifle democracy and members of parliament would not be able to discharge their oversight functions because every Member of Parliament would be fearing to be dismissed from the party.”

Ssekikubo says they are being unfairly targeted for insisting that senior government officials who have engaged in graft and other financial malfeasance be removed from their positions.

“We stood out, and we were warned that if we continued being what they called stubborn, they would be decisively dealing with anybody [like that]. And the president at the caucus of the party said anybody digressing from the party position was undisciplined, and he said he would not tolerate it. And he said ‘You wait I am going to show you,’” said Ssekikubo.

The ruling party executives have rejected the accusation, saying the legislators were expelled for refusing to abide by the rules governing the NRM.
Clottey interview with Theodore Ssekikubo, Ugandan Legislator
Clottey interview with Theodore Ssekikubo, Ugandan Legislatori
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs