City Lawyer Nsubuga Kenneth Ssebagayunga from Nsubuga K.S and Co Advocates has petitioned his party in the Constitutional Court because some of the provisions in its constitutional are contrary to the country’s constitution.
Nsubuga who is a member and leader in the National Resistance Movement (NRM) handed in his petition on Wednesday alluding that the NRM party constitution contains a lot of provisions that infringes the constitution of the Republic of Uganda and his human rights and those of other Ugandans (members of NRM) are being violated and further infringed by the said provisions.
Nsubuga who once participated in the NRM primaries for Mukono North Member of Parliament and lost to former minister Ronald Kibule noted that said provisions within the party’s constitution have acted as barriers for some members to penetrate into the top leadership of the party.
Nsubuga notes that although Article 21(1) of the 1995 Constitution, all persons are equal before and under the law, in the NRM constitution not everybody is equal, some people are bigger than others. Since some positions are monitored by the National Executive Committee (NEC) who is always biased especially if the applicant is to compete with one of the members of the NEC.
Article 12(3)(e) of the NRM Constitution lists as one of the functions of NEC to recommend to the National Conference candidates for Party National Chairperson and Presidential Candidate, and National Vice Chairpersons recommended by the Central Executive Committee (CEC). President is among the members of the NEC.
And article 44(2)(a) of the NRM Constitution provides that a presidential Candidate for NRM shall be elected by the National Conference from a candidate or candidates recommended to the National Conference by the NEC pursuant to Article 12(3)(e).
Article 13(3)(f) of the NRM Constitution lists as one of the functions of the CEC is to recommend to NEC candidates for Party National Chairperson and Presidential Candidate, and National Vice-Chairpersons. Which breeds conflict of interests.
However according to Nsubuga, articles 12(3)(e),13(3)(f) and 44(2)(a) of the NRM Constitution, are inconsistent and contrary to the Preamble and the Democratic Principles of the National Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy of the 1995 Constitution.
He also noted that articles 12(3)(e),13(3)(f) and 44(2)(a) of the NRM Constitution still are inconsistent and contrary to Article 21 of the 1995 Constitution which guarantees equality and freedom from discrimination.
“Articles 12(3)(e),13(3)(f) and 44(2)(a) of the NRM Constitution are inconsistent and contrary to Article 38 of the 1995 Constitution in as far as it limits the right of Ugandan citizens of NRM and the Petitioner to participate in the affairs of government,” reads the petition.
He added that that same articles also infringe on the additional rights of Ugandans to offer themselves for leadership of the NRM party and as NRM Presidential flag bearers. “That Articles 12(3)(e),13(3)(f) and 44(2)(a) of the NRM Constitution contravene the universally acceptable constitutional facet or rule against Bias as CEC members sit and determine matters in their own causes.”
He further emphasized that the NRM constitution contains elements of contradictory within itself such as Articles 12(3)(e), 13(3)(f) and 44(2)(a) contradict Articles 6(2), (3), 9(e), 44(i), and 44(2) yet a constitution should be consistent and harmonious.
Nsubuga prays that the constitutional court declares that; Articles 12(3)(e),13(3)(f) and 44(2)(a) of the NRM Constitution, is inconsistent and contrary to Article 21,28,38, 42 and 45 of the 1995 Constitution.
That Articles 12(3)(e), 13(3)(f) and 44(2)(a) of the NRM Constitution contradict Articles 6(2), (3), 9(e), 44(i), and 44(2) of the NRM Constitution.
He also prays that court orders for redress by expunging Articles 12(3) (e),13(3)(f) and 44(2)(a) from the NRM Constitution and rendering them null and void.
According to Nsubuga if such articles remain strong and active within the NRM constitution, it will be very difficult for the party members from the lower structures to get into the top cream structure because the members in the top cream leverage on the ambiguity within the constitution to stick on power despite the occurrence of party primaries.
Recent examples are when the State Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development (Lands) Persis Namuganza tried to take on former Speaker of Parliament but failed, Haji Moses Kigongo’s unopposed move as NRM National Vice chairman also left many party members who had shown interest to compete against him wondering why they were disqualified.
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