The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has asked the House Committee on Rules to investigate Security Minister, Gen. Elly Tumwine, over comments he allegedly made disparaging Parliament.
Bukonjo West County MP, Godfrey Katusabe, who raised the issue, said that Gen. Tumwine made the comments when informed about the shoot-to-kill order following the deployment of the Police and army to quell riots in Kasese district when Mirama abattoir was shutdown.
Katusabe told the Plenary chaired by Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, on Tuesday, 23 July 2019 that Tumwine made comments downplaying the influence and power of the Speaker and the House, to intervene in the matter.
“Gen. Tumwine reacted and said ‘Who is the Speaker?’ This country was liberated by the military and not Parliament,” Katusabe quoted Tumwine.
Hon. Medard Sseggona (DP, Busiro East County) moved a motion to refer Gen. Tumwine to the Rules Committee for investigation.
“The Committee would take the occasion to take him through some form of induction and also inquire whether he actually made the statements,” Sseggona said.
MPs rejected a proposal by the Attorney General, Hon. William Byaruhanga, to allow the Security Minister to explain himself about the allegations on the floor of Parliament.
“The rules of Parliament are that since the allegations have been made in this House, it is our humble view that he (Gen. Tumwine) comes here and gives a response,” said Byaruhanga.
MPs said that since the comments touched the Speaker, it would tantamount to conflict of interest since she was chairing the sitting.
Hon. Cecilia Ogwal (FDC, Dokolo district) advised that the Security Minister desists from defending himself on the floor of Parliament but faces the Committee that would investigate the allegations and present a report.
The MP also said that Tumwine had pulled a pistol on her in the 7th Parliament, a case she reported to the Sergeant at Arms, who is in charge of security in Parliament.
Gen. Tumwine told MPs that he had discussed the security concerns in Kasese district with Katusabe, and that provisions to harmonize the impasse had been established.
Speaker Kadaga asked the House Committee on Rules to also investigate the concerns raised by Cecilia Ogwal on threats by the Security Minister and present a comprehensive report.
“Hon. Members, I am not happy to be in this seat today because part of the issues raised concern the office of the Speaker. The only fair thing to do is to establish whether he said those things,” Kadaga said.