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Drama as NRM legal expert orders party to allow rebel MPs attend national conference

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The National Resistance Movement (NRM) legal director Oscar John Kihika has rescinded the party’s General Secretary’s decision to block all legislators who voted against the removal of the presidential age limit in the constitution from attending the forthcoming National Conference at Namboole Stadium.

In a letter dated Wednesday January 15, it says arrangements should be made to ensure that the dropped legislators attend the National Conference just like all other party members who were invited by virtue of the Notice of the National Conference.

NRM Secretary General Kasule Lumumba at a press conference on Tuesday said such MPs have not been invited to the party’s forthcoming delegates’ conference scheduled for next week. She said that they will first have to be cleared by the party’s disciplinary committee.

“It has come to my notice via press reports that there is a proposal to block some 30 NRM members of Parliament from attending the National Conference which is slated to convene on the 25 of January 2020.” Kihika says in the letter.

“As you are well aware, the 30 NRM Members of Parliament were entitled to attend the upcoming National Conference by virtue of Article 11(2) (j) of the NRM Constitution which lists them as members of the National Conference. To the best of my knowledge, these MPs have thus far not been dismissed from the NRM.”

“Arrangements should therefore be made to ensure that they attend the National Conference just like all other members who were invited by virtue of the Notice of the National Conference that was published in the New Vision News Paper some time in December of 2019,” the letter concluded.

The party will convene the 2nd Meeting of the 3rd Mainstream National Conference on 25th January 2020 at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole. The main purpose of this conference is to effect amendments to the NRM Constitution.

The NRM MPs who resisted the party line on the age limit Bill were Patrick Nsamba, John Baptist Nambeshe, Dr Sam Lyomoki, Monica Amoding, Gaffa Mbwatekamwa, Barnabas Tinkasimire, Theodore Ssekikubo, Sylvia Rwabogo, Silvia Akello, Maurice Henry Kibalya, Johnson Muyanja Ssenyonga, and Dokolo County MP Felix Okot Ogong.

But Tinkasimire scoffed at the party plans, saying that he is not in Parliament because of NRM.

“Should I commit suicide because NRM has blocked me from attending the Delegates Conference? Am I in Parliament because of the Delegates Conference? My powers are in the people of Buyaga County,” he said..

Workers MP Sam Lyomoki described Ms Lumumba’s announcement as baseless and illegal, adding that he is a founding member of the party who cannot be pushed away like that.

The lists of delegates to attend the conference have been verified and approved by the District NRM Leadership, according to Ms Lumumba.

“The public is hereby informed and cautioned that only displayed delegates on the lists at the NRM Offices will be accredited to attend the above meeting and therefore no claims whatsoever will be entertained from any non-participants travelling to Kampala for the Conference. Delegates are also advised to come with their national Identity Cards,” she said yesterday.

The National Conference will be preceded by the Central Executive Committee (CEC) and the National Executive Council (NEC) meetings that will be held on 23rd and 24th respectively. Accreditation for NEC will be on January 23rd while for the National Conference will be on January 24, 2020 both at Kololo Airstrip. The conference is being organised by the National Secretariat under the supervision of the oversight committee comprising some CEC members headed by the First National Vice Chairperson Moses Kigongo.

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