Uganda speaker summoned to court over suspension of MPs

Friday December 29 2017

The High Court in Kampala issued fresh summons

The High Court in Kampala issued fresh summons ordering Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga and the Attorney General (AG) to appear in court. PHOTO | NMG 

Kampala. The High Court in Kampala has issued fresh summons ordering Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga and the Attorney General (AG) to appear in court over allegations of suspending six MPs during the voting of the contentious age limit Bill.

The presiding judge Margaret Oguli Oumo adjourned the case to January 3 next year after the two respondents (Kadaga and AG) failed to turn up for the hearing of the case.

“Take notice that hearing of this suit has been fixed on January 3, 2018 at 10:00am. If no appearance is made on yourself, pleader or someone by law authorised to act for, the matter shall be heard in your absence,” reads part of the hearing notice signed by Justice Oguli.

However, when Daily Monitor contacted the AG, Mr William Byaruhanga on telephone, he was shocked that he did not have a representative from his chambers.

The suspended MPs are; Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo Municipality), Jonathan Odur (Erute County South), Mubarak Munyangwa (Kawempe South), Anthony Akol, (Kilak North) Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West) and Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda (Kira Municipality).

The group that had appeared in court Thursday morning in company with their lawyer, Erias Lukwago, said they were so disappointed with the way the AG is acting. “After waiting for so long for the representative of the AG to turn up, we were only informed by the judge after making a call to their chambers that he (Mr Elisha Bafirawala) was indisposed. Not even the speaker showed up yet she was summoned,” Mr Lukwago told journalists who had been barred from entering court.

In their petition, the suspended MPs filed in Kampala High Court last week, they had contended that the matching order issued to them by Ms Kadaga, barring them from attending the debate on the Bill, is illegal.

The MPs were suspended for seven sittings during last week’s heated debate on the Bill after the majority and minority reports on the Bill were tabled for debate. They wanted court to declare their suspension invalid and to order the Speaker to rescind her decision and allow them back in the House. (NMG)

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