Do you remember the indomitable NRM ‘rebel’ MPs that gave President Yoweri Museveni and his ruling party hard times in the run up to the 2016 elections?
While they had reconciled with Museveni and somehow went silent in criticizing government, on Wednesday, they showed their true colours when the y addressed the press at Parliament, lashing at the 246 NRM MPs who signed a motion in which they agreed to table a Private Member’s Bill to lift the Presidential age Limit on Tuesday.
The rebel MPs were led by Kampala Central MP, Muhammad Nsereko, who generally blamed voters for sending such ‘bogus’ leaders to Parliament.
The other rebel MPs included Barnabas Tinkasimire of Buyaga West, Theodore Ssekikubo of Lwemiyaga County and Wilfred Niwagaba of Ndorwa East.
New recruits include Felix Okot of Dokolo South and John Baptist Nambeshe of Manjiya County.
An angry Nsereko mocked the legislators who spoke yesterday, noting that they “either been contributing rubbish or have been silent throughout their tenure and career.”
He blamed voters for crying foul yet they are the same that elect such leaders.
“When you send here such people, what do you expect? You reap what you sow! Proud are those that voted for these honourable MPs (in reference to rebel MPs) as they will walk with their heads high, but shame unto those from the constituencies where those MPs emanate [from]. Go to them and tell them we didn’t send you to do this,” Nsereko said.
He termed as stupid and bogus a move by the NRM MPs to table a private member’s bills to lift age limit.
“They are talking about the unthinkable. Altering the constitution through the use of their irresponsible numbers that have mutually consented or conspired to do something that is not only bogus, but also will go down to them as one of the most stupid acts that MPs have done,” he said.
On his part, Tinkasimire asked Ugandans to reject the removal of age limit like they have done with constitutional amendments to allow compulsory take over land. He wondered why Museveni is laboring to explain the proposed amendment on land laws yet Ugandans have rejected it.
He claimed that people told them through ‘wide consultations’ that Museveni “who has moved from one radio station to another” is interested in the land of Ugandans.
He asked the president to produce his birth certificate to authenticate his citizenship.
“What we should be discussing is who is going to be the successor of President Museveni. And since that debate hasn’t started in that meeting, we begin that debate or we continue with the debate because we started it long time ago. We want to internally discuss who should replace President Museveni,” he said, adding: “Yes you are a good dancer, but your time is over. You aren’t going to do everything for this country.”
Nsereko supported Tinkasimire saying: “The good and bad that you have done for this country, everybody knows. By now should be the time to talk about an amendment to see which privilege you should get as a retired leader of this nation.”
Ssekikubo described as treason by NRM MPs tampering with the constitution.
“I don’t know that members are aware that they are acting treasonably. But what they are doing is treason to this country because they believe they can use underhand methods. They want to use treachery, deception to hoodwink bonafide MPs into saying that amending the constitution is a national cause, whereas it’s not,” he said.
Niwagaba sounded war drums, saying that if the opponents of the bill fail at killing it, then Uganda should take the route of Somalia.
“It is quite sad that people who have been voted to uphold the constitution have decided to rape the constitution. We should stop calling it the constitution of the Republic of Uganda and call it the constitution of NRM and Museveni and fold our hands and let the country go to the dogs as it surely will,” Niwagaba.
He added: “… I laugh at people who say that limiting age is unconstitutional. Then open up for babies also so that those who were born today can vote.”
On his part Nambeshe said: “Whenever an article is going to affect an individual, must it be removed? What kind of constitution will this be? Ugandans this time around, even if there is numerical strength on the part of members who have been splashed with money, appointments and pledges and other fraudulent inducements this shouldn’t be the time to throw our hands in the air and we look on as the constitution is accorded mob justice.”
The rebel MPs have asked Ugandans to shun MPs supporting constitutional amendments. The big question remains: Are the rebel MPs genuine in what they are saying or they are trying to up their value?