By Francis Lubega
11th Jan 2022
Legislators whose election to the 10th Parliament has been queried by the Supreme Court say that it is government and the Electoral Commission that need to be held accountable.
The Supreme Court last week upheld the Constitutional Court decision and ruled that six legislators representing municipalities created in mid-2016 earned over 9 billion Shillings illegally during the 10th Parliament.
A panel of five Justices including Mike Chibita, Paul Mugamba, Faith Mwondha, Ezekiel Muhanguzi and Percy Night Tuhaise ruled that the Constitutional Court was right to eject the MPs from parliament for being elected in non-existent constituencies.
The Justices say that the elections were neither conducted in a general election nor as a way of by-election which are the only recognized ways of electing Members of Parliament.
The MPs are Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa, Sheema Municipality MP Elioda Tumwesigye, Ibanda Municipality MP Tarsis Rwaburindore Bishanga, Nebbi Municipality MP Hashim Sulaiman, Apac Municipality MP Patrick Ocan and Kotido Municipality MP Peter Abrahams Lokoris.
Hashim Sulaiman, the Nebbi Municipality MP says he was elected for the seat after a vacancy in the newly created municipalities was declared by the government and the Electoral Commission –EC.
Any demands regarding the money earned during the 10th parliament term to be paid back, Hashim says that is not reasonable since they only participated in an election that was conducted by authorities.
Asuman Basalirwa, the Bugiri Municipality MP argues that they effectively represented their voters in the 10th parliament and also made laws during the period that the court has pronounced itself on.
Justice Chibita who wrote the majority decision saying that the petition was filed before the said elections was held with one of the remedies sought being a permanent injunction barring the holding of the elections therein.
The nullification of the said elections was a mere consequence of the declaration that the constituencies were unconstitutionally turned into vacancies.
As such, the appellants’ reliance on the case of Theodore Ssekikubo and others Versus Attorney General (2005) is unfounded.”