Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) newly elected representatives in Parliament have justified their role in Parliament saying they play a key role in developing policies related to security.
In January 2021, the UPDF elected 10 representatives to Parliament. They are; General David Muhoozi, the Chief of Defence Forces, Works Minister, Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala, the Deputy Chief of Defence Forces, Lt. Gen Wilson Mbadi and Commander of Land Forces Lt. Gen Peter Elwelu as UPDF representatives in Parliament.
Others elected are; Lt. Gen James Mugira, the managing director and chief executive officer of the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC), the Deputy Commander Land Forces, Maj Gen Sam Kavuma and the UPDF Chief Political Commissar, Ma Gen Henry Masiko. The female representatives are Colonel Dr. Victor Nekesa, Lt Col Charity Bainababo and Maj Dr. Jennifer Alanyo.
However, MPs and some members of the public have been calling for the removal of army representatives to Parliament saying they are listening post. However, led by the CDF David Muhoozi, the Army has said their role is crucial in Parliament especially when it comes to security matters.
He was yesterday speaking to journalists after being sworn in as one of the Members of Parliament representing the Army in Parliament. Muhoozi was asked by journalists if the army should be represented in the Hous yet they are only listening posts as stated by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
Muhoozi said that they will listen, but more importantly engage in issues related to the security and defence of the country. He said it is not true that the UPDF is militarizing politics by being represented in Parliament, and that there is no need to ask them out of the House. He also said they do not participate in partisan issues.
Major General Henry Masiko, the UPDF Chief Political Commissar said the Army’s representation is provided for by the constitution and it doesn’t matter who wants them out. He said the army is a representative of the history of liberation.
Lt Gen James Mugira said the Army is non partisan and is focused on the development of Uganda. He says that they took an oath to defend the constitution, and the constitution which provides for the army’s representation in Parliament should not be undermined. URN