NRM fires, rewards MPs over age limit

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By SOLOMON ARINAITWE

Parliament. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) has reshuffled its leadership of sectorial committees and dropped all MPs who last year opposed the passing of the controversial Constitutional Amendment Act that removed age limit from the Constitution.

On the other hand, NRM lawmakers who supported the removal of age limit have been rewarded with appointments to committee leadership positions.
Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa tabled the new names in Parliament for approval, a formality that was done without much trouble.

Amolatar Woman MP Doreen Amule, who was the seconder of the motion that introduced the contentious Bill, is one of the major beneficiaries of the reshuffle as she is the new chairperson of the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee.
She replaces Mityana Woman MP Judith Nabakooba who was often accused by members of the Committee of being soft on witnesses from security agencies.

Dokolo North County MP Paul Amoru, who was among the most enthusiastic supporters of the Bill, is the new Vice Chairperson of the Committee on Information and Communication Technology.

Kanungu Woman MP Elizabeth Karungi is the new Vice Chairperson of the Public Service Committee.
Other new entrants to committee leadership positions are Kyenjojo Woman MP Spellanza Baguma (Vice Chairperson, Health), Ora County MP Biyika Lawrence (Vice Chairman Natural Resources) and Kigulu North County MP Fred Bwino (Vice, Science and Technology).

Positions for committee leadership are coveted because Chairpersons take home Shs2.4m per month while their deputies earn Shs1.8m monthly. These payments attract a 40 per cent tax.
Committee leaders also determine which MP goes for highly-desired trips abroad as legislators are entitled to per diem of $700 (Shs2.6m) for foreign travels each day.

Kampala Central MP, another passionate opponent of the removal of age limit, was dropped as chairman of the Equal Opportunities Committee. He was replaced by Ms Hellen Asamo (PWDs, Eastern).

Fort Portal Municipality MP Alex Ruhunda, Buvuma Islands MP Migadde Robert, Amuria Woman MP Susan Amero, Kiryandongo Woman MP Hellen Kahunde and Mbale Woman MP Connie Nakayenze are the other MPs who were dropped from committee leadership positions.
They opposed the removal of age limit.

The Judgement

The Judiciary yesterday issued guidelines on how the land mark judgment in the presidential age limit petition at Mbale High Court will be handled tomorrow. The Senior Communications Officer, Mr Solomon Muyita, said because of the anxiety that has come with the judgment, the court expects a big turn up at court and that mechanisms have been put in place to curb any disruptions and chaos. He said only the five petitioners, their lawyers, a small number of diplomats and a small section of media will be allowed access into courtroom.
By Anthony Wesaka

Monitor.co.ug

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