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