Nankabirwa right to drop ‘rebel’ MPs over age limit – Margaret Komuhangi

Nankabirwa right to drop ‘rebel’ MPs over age limit  – Margaret Komuhangi
Eazzy Banking

The Nakasongola Woman MP Margaret Komuhangi has defended the Government Chief Whip for dropping committee chairpersons who never supported the removal of the age limit from the constitution.

In a move that was widely expected Ruth Nankabirwa the chief whip on Tuesday, this week wielded the axe and unseated a number of high profile chairpersons who opposed the age limit amendments.

Key among these is the Fort Portal Municipality MP Alex Ruhunda who was dropped as deputy chairperson of the Trade committee and Mbale District Woman MP Connie Galiwango who was removed from her position as chairperson education committee.

A host of other chairpersons and deputies were unseated including Susan Ameru and Helen Kahunde.

Komuhangi has defended the NRM caucus boss for swinging the axe arguing that in a multi-party dispensation those who show loyalty to the party are rewarded and those who do not put the party above self are reprimanded.

However, the Gulu Municipality MP Leandro Komaketch has disputed this argument noting that even in a multi-party democracy those with divergent views from the party must respected.

He argues that even those with minority opinions should be given a chance to excel.

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.

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