Kadaga: NRM can’t block oil resolutions
By Mercy Nalugo
Posted Tuesday, October 25 2011 at 00:00
Speaker vows to reject attempts by ruling party caucus to overturn decisions of Parliament regarding oil agreements and ministers accused of receiving bribes.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga yesterday said political party caucus decisions cannot challenge resolutions of the House, shutting the door on attempts by the leadership of the ruling party to engineer a reversal on positions recently agreed on the oil sector. She said as Speaker and head of the Legislature, she still stands by the resolutions made by the House during its special session on the sector two weeks ago.
Among the more contentious of the resolutions was that all ministers named in an alleged billion shilling oil bribery scam to step aside while Parliament investigates the matter, and for government to cease transacting in the sector from until necessary laws have been passed to give effect to the National Oil and Gas Policy for purposes of enhancing transparency and accountability.
“I have been telling people that I don’t accept what comes out of party caucuses otherwise I would be obliged to go and attend DP press conferences, UPC press conferences, and others. Parliament is Parliament and the decisions it makes are final,” she said.
Ms Kadaga, who was meeting a delegation of women leaders from South Sudan, had earlier met a section of MPs both NRM and independents. MPs Wilfred Niwagaba, Theodore Ssekikubo, Barnabas Tinkasiimire, Mariam Nalubega, Mohammed Nsereko and Cerinah Nebanda said they met Ms Kadaga about disagreements with some of their colleagues over the oil debate.
“Our concern was to tell her that when the controversial issue comes back to Parliament for discussion, we will not rescind our earlier position. She also agreed that she has nothing to do with whatever takes place in party caucuses,” Mr Tinkasiimire said of the meeting.
A 10-point resolutions motion, upheld by majority legislators through voice-voting during a special session on the oil sector two weeks ago, has now pitted the President against some of his party members with his alleged demands that the resolutions be revised.
The NRM, which enjoys a supreme majority in Parliament, just returned from a retreat at the National Leadership Institute, Kyankwanzi, where Mr Museveni’s sentiments were discussed, and saw some MPs walking out on him in disagreement.
The legislators have since revealed a plot to move a motion to adopt roll-call voting instead of the voice-voting, as part of an alleged plan to ‘blackmail’ MPs into siding with Mr Museveni. “We will vote to uphold the resolutions of Parliament, which we took because they are good resolutions. The President promised to dismiss us from the party but we represent our people who sent us to Parliament and not him,” Mr Tinkasiimire said.
“In principle we feel we cannot proceed with them because the caucus has turned itself into the Parliament of Uganda and there is a process to oust the resolutions of Parliament,” said Mr Ssekikubo.