Parliament has committed the Minister of Security, Gen. Elly Tumwine before the Committee of Rules, Privileges and Discipline for thorough investigations into allegations of holding in contempt the Parliament and person of the Speaker.
This followed a matter of national importance that was raised by Bukonjo West MP, Godfrey Atikins Katusabe on the shoot to kill orders that were issued to military and police which resulted in the shutdown of Milamwa Abattoir in the area.
Katusabe told the House that he was prompted to inform the Minister of Internal Affairs, Obiga Kania that he would raise the matter on the floor of Parliament, who responded that he would prepare for a response on the floor.
“I found it prudent to address the matter to the Minister of Security whose response I found to be an attack on the institution of Parliament,” Atkins said.
“Gen Tumwine responded that; who is the Speaker?, who is she?, what is Parliament? Speaker rules over Parliament, she does not rule over Uganda, this country was liberated by the military and not her Parliament; do not tell me about your Parliament, the army can not be directed by civilians,” Atkins said.
“This is critical because the future and stability of the country is under attack given such utterances which are a direct attack on the constitution of Uganda,” Atkins added.
Katusabe’s issue was amplified by Busiro East MP, Medard Segona who moved a motion to have Gen Tumwine appear before the committee on Rules so as to investigate and report back to the House.
Segona’s motion was supported by most members of the House who noted that Gen Tumwine has severely held Parliament and the Speaker in contempt but has gone scot-free.
Mukono Municipality MP, Betty Nambooze said that it isn’t the first time that Gen Tumwine is undermining Parliament.
“Gen Tumwine insulted you and this House on CBS radio when he was asked to comment on the decision that Parliament had taken ordering him out of the Nomo Gallery, he questioned where we were when they went to fought in the bush, I was a young girl. How did u expect me to fight,” Nambooze said.
Arua Municipality MP, Kasiano Wadri noted that, “Madam speaker, you are the head of the 3rd arm of govt and if you cannot be respected, then what kind of democracy are we talking about? I support the motion that Gen Tumwine should go to the Rules Committee and defend himself there.”
After several members debating on the matter, Gen Tumwine joined the house during the debate and noted that the allegations labeled against him are unfortunate and are only aimed at creating conflicts between him and the Speaker.
“If anybody loves and would defend this Parliament, then it is me. If there is anybody in this Parliament who feels I have injured them, please forgive me,” Tumwine noted.
He added that, “I spent three hours with my brother (MP Atkins Katusabe), we had a wonderful time discussing the matter of Kasese which is a security matter which we are handling patiently to resolve. I said the Constitution is very interesting, Article 1 says that all power belongs to the people which should be exercised according to the constitution. It gives powers to the President, Parliament, Judiciary, Police.”
Before Tumwine would finish his explanation, he was put to order by Segona who noted that there is no rule that allows Tumwine to offer a defense when there is a motion to which he can only debate on whether he is committeed to the committee for investigations or not.
In the event, the Speaker ruled that Tumwine appears before the committee and offer his side of the story.
The committee has been ordered to investigate the matter and report back to the house within a period of two weeks.