Kadaga defies NRM on election of Parliamentary Commissioners
For the second time, Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has ruled against the interests of the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the NRM, stirring up a storm that could put her on a collision path with the ruling party.
During Tuesday’s plenary sitting of Parliament, Kadaga said, the era of political party chiefs deciding for MPs who their leaders in Parliament should be had come to an end.
“It was an oversight on our part in making the rules as they are a direct contradiction in the Administrations of Parliament Act which is mandated under the constitution to make this law. To avoid ambiguity, we shall use the word designation to mean nomination,” Kadaga said, adding that, “there is need for MPs to have a say on who should represent them because they are the direct beneficiaries.”
Kadaga based her ruling on Article 87 of the Constitution, Section 22 of the Administration of Parliament Act and Rule 115 of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure.
She argued that, given the fact that all decisions of Parliament are made by voting, accession to offices should be through a vote.
About two weeks ago, the CEC ratified a recommendation by the Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa to retain NRM’s three backbench commissioners – Peter Ogwang (Usuk), Robina Nabbanja (Kakumiro Woman) and Arinaitwe Rwakajara (Workers).
Kadaga is NRM’s second National Vice Chairperson and therefore a member of CEC who would ideally be expected be bound by the decisions of CEC but alas, like in 2013 when she used her Parliamentary position to shoot down a decision by NRM to expel MPs Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga), Muhammad Nsereko (Kampala Central), Barnabas Tinkasiimire (Buyaga West) and Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East) from NRM, she again thwarted NRM’s plans of retaining the three commissioners.
There had been efforts among MPs to reject the reappointment of the trio of Ogwang, Nabbanja and Rwakajara to Parliament’s administrative and policy organ for another two and a half years.
Kadaga said that Parliament had been acting in error, and directed the Rules, Privileges and Discipline Committee to look into the matter and realign the Rules of Procedure with the Administration of Parliament Act and the Constitution.
Her ruling left FDC’s Francis Mwijukye (Buhweju) in an awkward position since he may not assume the lucrative position on the commission.
FDC President Patrick Amuriat Oboi appointed him in August to replace Cecilia Ogwal on the commission but he was blocked on grounds that two and half years provided for in the Rules of Procedure had not elapsed.
FDC is already looking at the developments as a deliberate move to fail Amuriat’s appointments in Parliament while Nankwabirwa out rightly expressed NRM’s indifference to Kadaga’s ruling.
“I will be moving a motion to challenge your ruling, because I am not agreement. Am I not supposed to challenge some of the provisions in your ruling? The rules allow me,” Nankabirwa said.