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Gen. Tumwine Asks for More Time to Respond to Allegations

Security Minister Gen. Elly Tumwine has sought for more time to make a response to different allegations made against him in relation to contempt of Parliament.
Security Minister Gen. Elly Tumwine shortly after appearing before the Rules committee.

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The Minister for Security Gen. Elly Tumwine has asked for more time to respond to allegations made against him in relation to contempt of Parliament.

Gen. Tumwine on Thursday appeared before Parliament’s Rules, Privileges and Discipline Committee investigating allegations of contempt of parliament levelled against him by Bukonzo West MP Atkins Katusabe. 

The Committee Chaired by Kalaki County MP Clement Kenneth Ongalo-Obote was also tasked to investigate an alleged attack on Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal by Tumwine in the corridors of parliament.

Tumwine allegedly attacked Ogwal over statements she had made on the floor of parliament pinning him for drawing a gun against her. The alleged confrontation followed a debate in which several MPs accused Tumwine of severally questioning the powers of parliament and directives made by the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga. 

In the latest incident, Tumwiine is reported to have reminded members of parliament, that the country was liberated by the military and that directives issued by the legislature do not have any bearing on the army.

While appearing before the Rules Committee Gen. Tumwine argued that the happenings on parliament’s floor on 23rd July were very absurd because they infringed on the principles of natural justice.

He told the committee that he was denied the opportunity to give response to the accusations by MP Katusabe, even when he had appeared on the floor.

“I have enjoyed all ups and downs of this parliament. I have institutional memory, encyclopaedia of what has happened and I subscribe to the Constitution. I have been part of always working to improve rules of procedure and it costs me having to be thrown out twice over improving our dress code and I am happy to report our rules tended to improve our dress code,” said Tumwine who has been in parliament for the last 33 years.

He said that his biggest role in parliament over time has been to promote peace and encourage reconciliation among parties but he was disappointed not to get opportunity to speak about the matter despite his 33 year association with the Institution.

Gen. Tumwine said that there is no way he can demean an Institution of Parliament.

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He also questioned how he threatened the life of Cecilia Ogwal.

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He further questioned the process of summoning him to the committee. 

“Those who allege have the onus on them to prove. Are we doing things rightly and is this Parliament doing things the way it should?  If you think Tumwine is the problem of this Parliament, it is a good chance all people I worked with are in the public. A lot has been said both in Parliament and in the public and I have been compiling what has been going on,” Tumwine added.

He requested that the committee avails him a record of all that has been said about him in its earlier investigation before he makes a formal response.

Committee Chairperson Ongalo-Obote was not convinced by Tumwine’s request.

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Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa said that Tumwine should be given an opportunity to respond to the allegations.  

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But Ongalo insisted that Tumwine did not need more time to make a response to his committee since the issues being investigated were clear and the Minister had even expressed willingness to respond to them on the floor of parliament when the matter came up.

Tumwine insisted on first getting all the submissions made before the committee concerning his conduct saying that he cannot compromise his position on the matter.

“Members are saying that this is simple but this is not simple for someone to allege, make outrageous statements about an honourable member of this House and the people of Uganda know how much we have sacrificed. What is happening here should be on Hansard and I am entitled to this information that was made by Katusabe and other witnesses before the committee,” said Tumwine.

Bugweri County MP Abdu Katuntu cautioned Gen. Tumwine on his statements of sacrificing a lot for the country saying that these would be interpreted as a confirmation of what has been alleged against him by MP Katusabe. 

He suggested that the committee gives the Minister time to appear and make a response after getting a record of submissions made by earlier witnesses.

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The committee chairperson directed Gen. Tumwine to appear on Friday morning.

 

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