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35 independent MPs at risk of losing their seats

11 February 2015, 21:57 Godfrey Olukya

Kampala - A group of 35 Ugandan members of parliament could lose their seats for going against the constitution.

They are in trouble after their colleagues started a political war against them accusing them of going against the constitution by identifying themselves with the ruling party.

Their fellow members of parliament have threatened to censure them.

The 35 are independent members of parliament but have decided to go and attend the on-going ruling party, NRM's retreat. The retreat that is attracting a delegation of over 200 MPs is taking place at Kyankwanzi school of politics about 200 kms from Kampala.

The  independent legislators are being accused of betraying their cause for planning to secretly attend the ongoing NRM retreat in Kyankwanzi.

Addressing a press conference at parliament, some of independent MPs who never went to Kyankwanzi including Gerald Karuhanga, Gilbert Oulanya and Lucy Akello said that whereas the independents at the beginning of this parliament term held three meetings, chaired by Sam Otada, their colleagues have allegedly deviated from the decisions of those meetings.

Gerald Karuhanga said: ''In those meetings, we discussed extensively our legal status in the wake of persuasion by NRM officials for them to sign memorandum of understanding with ruling party. We agreed that none us should sign the MoU to avoid litigation since we came to parliament as independents.''

Oulanya said that the members went to Kyankwanzi in their individual capacities but their presence there was not sanctioned by the independent MPs caucus executive led by Otada who himself did not attend the retreat.

But opposition MP, Reagan Okumu said that it is not surprising that those independent MPs have gone to attend NRM retreat because all of them had originally subscribed to stand on NRM ticket but stood as independents because of disorganized primaries that left them feeling cheated.

Uganda parliament has 45 independent MPs, of which 35 are inclined to the ruling party.

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