By Jane Nambi
Presidential Adviser, Maj. Roland Kakooza Mutale has come out to air his discontent on ruling party, National Resistance Movement (NRM).
In a letter titled ‘The Speaker and NRM party in dilemma: What is the constitutional status of NRM political party?’ addressed to President Museveni, Maj. Mutale challenged the president on his decision to expel the ‘rebel’ MPs saying it was unconstitutional. Maj. Mutale airs out his discontent just after another general in the army, Gen. David Sejusa openly rebelled against President Museveni by revealing some of the top most secrets which included the controversial Muhoozi project.
The 11-page letter to Museveni asks the President to stop meddling in Parliament’s affairs. “It is my duty as a citizen of Uganda to submit that NRM’s prayers for a constitutional interpretation over the expulsion of the so-called rebel MPs from Parliament is constitutionally a nullity,” he writes.
Last month, NRM filed a petition in the Constitutional court challenging Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga’s ruling which allowed the four expelled MPs to remain in Parliament. The expelled MPs are Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East) Barnabas Tinkasiimire (Buyaga West), Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga) and Muhammad Nsereko (Kampala Central).
NRM had wanted the MPs to forfeit their seats in Parliament but the speaker rejected the ruling party’s demand, saying it was not supported by the constitution. This forced NRM to petition the Constitutional court with support by an affidavit sworn by President Museveni arguing that keeping the four MPs in the House denies the ruling party representation.
“That as a party, I know that we were thereby deprived of our parliamentary seats and those four constituencies are not currently represented, yet the electorate preferred the petitioner’s hitherto flag-bearers to represent them,” the president said in his affidavit.
Thhis, is what Maj. Kakooza Mutale argues against. “The political parties have no constitutional powers of electing people’s representatives. It is the people of Uganda who have to elect their representatives periodically and not political parties,” Mutale argues. “The power to elect people’s representatives is the sovereign right of the people of Uganda and the means they may choose to do so may exclude political parties. The people even reserved to themselves the right to choose and adopt political systems through which they can exercise their power of electing their own representatives. This right of choice is not conditioned at all by the existence or non-existence of political parties.”