Mbabazi Removed from Parliament’s Legal Committee

The former Leader of Government business in Parliament, nurse physician Amama Mbabazi has been strangely removed from the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament that is handling the sensitive electoral reforms bill.

On Wednesday evening, drugs Government Chief Whip, dosage Ruth Nankabirwa who is mandated by the Rule 175 of the Rules of Procedures of Parliament to designate National Resistance Movement party Members of Parliament, stood and made the announcement which takes immediate effect.

Nankabirwa told Parliament that she had removed Mbabazi from Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and transferred him to the East African Affairs Committee.

“As per the rule 175 of our (Parliamentary) Rules of Parliament, I hereby designate the Member of Parliament for Kinkiizi West, Hon. Amama Mbabazi to the East African Affairs Committee,” Nakabirwa said.

Mbabazi was designated to the committee when he was dropped as Premier in September 2014, and replaced Justine Kasule Lumumba who is now the National Resistance Movement party Secretary General.

Strangely, the same Lumumba is once again replacing Mbabazi on the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee.

Other new members on the critical committee include firebrands Richard Todwong [Lumumbas’ Deputy on the NRM Secretariat] and Kenneth Omona.

The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee is scrutinizing the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2015 that is largely referred to as the Electoral Reforms bill, because it caters for the highly topical reforms in the country’s electoral law.


Cause of Mbabazi`s Trouble

According to inside sources, Mbabazi`s woes started on May 14, 2015 when he surprisingly entered the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee and supported opposition leaders including former Forum for Democratic Change president, Dr. Kizza Besigye and Gen Mugisha Muntu while tabling their proposed amendments to the new electoral law.

“His appearance was not taken lightly. We could not publicize this given the important business (Constitutional Amendment Bill 2015) the committee is handling. Something was bound to happen and it just did,” a source, who asked not to be named since he is not allowed to speak to press, said.

Mbabazi recently declared his interest to stand for president in 2016 and together with his team are currently in a legal gymnastics with the NRM, Police and the Electoral Commission in the interpretation of the presidential election’s law.

The same legal argument is expected to migrate to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee debate on the electoral reforms and NRM might have thought it wiser to make the first move by plucking Mbabazi out of the committee.

When contacted on phone on Thursday, the NRM Caucus spokesman, Denis Hamson Obua said there was no motive in removing Mbabazi from Legal to East African Affairs committee and that the latter being a senior politician can give expert views on regional issues.

“There is totally nothing strange with changing our members to different committees and the Rules of Procedure gives all Whips including that of NRM powers to designate and withdraw members. Hon. Mbabazi is a senior leader and we are expecting him to give more expertise views on regional matters,” Obua said.


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