A section of MPs is dismayed by what they have described as a public humiliation of the Deputy Head of Operation Wealth Creation, Lt Gen Charles Angina by Security Minister, Gen Elly Tumwine.
On Saturday morning, a video clip fired up social media, showing Gen Tumwine reprimanding a visibly subdued Lt Gen Angina for the alleged wrongful deployment of UPDF officers to intervene in a city land wrangle.
MP Elijah Okupa started the debate.
“The Commander in Chief [President Yoweri Museveni] should take action against Gen Tumwine; how can he say don’t mess with our army? Does it mean there are others who have no stake in the army? He should be reprimanded,” said Okupa.
Army MP, Lt Gen Pecos Kutesa sought to abort the debate, arguing that the army has its own procedure for handling such issues, questioning Okupa’s interest in the matter.
“Every institution has its way how it operates; if civilian talks about how the UPDF conducts itself; what is his concern how the UPDF conducts business?” said Lt Gen Kutesa.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, however, disagreed, saying any public officer should not be above scrutiny.
“The conduct of any government official is of concern to the country and the people of Uganda are entitled to comment on the issues,” said Kadaga.
National Resistance Movement Parliamentary Caucus Vice Chairperson Solomon Silwany condemned Gen Tumwiine, saying there was no point in humiliating Angina.
“Gen Angina was shivering; it was a very painful, unfortunate happening,” said Silwany.
MP Jacquiline Amongin (NRM, Ngora) joined in criticizing Tumwiine.
“It disturbs my understanding when I see a general being demeaned by his superior. This is not just an issue of Gen Tumwine but professionalism in the army. Gen Tumwine needs to respect his juniors,” said Amongin.
Brig Gen Flavia Byekwaso (UPDF) regretted the occurrence but lauded Gen Tumwine for reprimanding Angina, saying there’s no reason why the army was deployed in the wee hours of the morning to intervene in private matters.
“It was not correct for the soldiers [to engage in a public spat], it was unfortunate; what was not proper was deploying soldiers at 3 am, supervised by a general,” said Byekwaso.
Kadaga said Parliament does not have sufficient information to take a stand on the matter, saying the Defence ministry will supply the facts in issue to Parliament.
Gen Tumwine has in the recent past come under attack for alleged misconduct, with the recent incident involving MP Cecilia Ogwal (FDC, Dokolo), who claimed she was assaulted by Tumwine in the division lobby.
Tumwine also suffered severe criticism for allegedly disparaging Speaker Kadaga, accusations he is battling in the Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Discipline.