As the Parliamentary Caucus of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) enters the second day at the National Leadership Institute (NALI) in Kyankwanzi, the party’s Secretary General, Justine Kasule Lumumba, has come out to accuse some Caucus leaders of illegally blocking their colleagues, the ‘rebel MPs’ from attending the retreat.
On Monday, Caucus leadership led by spokesperson, Burahya County MP, Margaret Muhanga and Vice Chairperson, Bukooli Central MP, Solomon Silwanyi, told reporters at the Uganda Media Centre, that total of six party MPs had not been invited to attend the retreat given their continued rebel activities against party positions and decisions.
“There have been some members of the NRM who have been fighting the party, we don’t have a lot of people that we disagree with, we can’t leave the 6 members to drag the party behind,” Muhanga said.
Those blocked include Theodore Ssekikubo, Barnabas Tinkasimire, Monica Amoding, Patrick Oshabe, John Baptist Nambeshe and Mbwatekamwa Gafa.
Now, while appearing on NTV’s On The Spot show on Thursday evening, Lumumba said the decision to ban the MPs from attending the retreat was illegal and mistakenly done.
She said Muhanga and Silwanyi have no authority to take such a decision, adding that it is the government Chief Whip who has to write to the Secretary General about misconduct of any legislator, from which she or he is subjected to the party’s disciplinary committee, which takes a decision.
“If Margaret Muhanga and Silwany Solomon said the ‘rebel MPs’ are not allowed in the retreat, that was wrong. They don’t have the powers to do that. That was a mistake,” Lumumba said.
“Mistakes can be made, mistakes can be corrected. Where did they get that power from to generate that list, they should have written to me as SG,” she added.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the ‘rebel MPs’ led by Mangiya County MP, John Baptist Nambeshe said they were considering suing the party leadership challenging “this act of illegally blocking us from participating in party activities yet we are fully subscribed members”.