Kampala, Uganda | URN | Dokolo Woman Member of Parliament Cecilia Ogwal has told the rules committee of Parliament that that Security Minister Gen. Elly Tumwine no longer respects Parliament, an institution which he has served for more than 30 years.
Ogwal was appearing before the committee that was tasked to investigate allegations of contempt of parliament levelled against Gen. Tumwine. The Committee Chaired by Kalaki County MP Clement Kenneth Ongalo-Obote was also tasked to investigate an alleged attack on Cecilia Ogwal by the Security Minister 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.
On Wednesday 31, Ogwal said that before the confrontation, her contribution on the floor of parliament was only meant to redirect the attention of the General to the gravity of the matter that had been raised by Bukonzo West MP Atkins Katusabe, on a conflict between cattle traders in Kasese.
She added that her reaction was sparked off by an arrogant tone exhibited by Tumwiine who started by bragging about his long stay in Parliament, and his contribution to the rules governing the Institution, and a champion of discipline within the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party. Tumwiine has served in Parliament for 33 years.
“His statements clearly demonstrated that it had some touch of arrogance, it was lacking humility despite the fact that various speakers did emphasize the importance of respecting the Institution of Parliament. He wasn’t responsive to the mood on the floor. He has been here for long, so nobody should remind him of the rules,” Ogwal told the committee.
She added that after the debate in Parliament, Gen. Tumwine confronted her and she reminded the Minister of an incident where he allegedly drew a firearm on her.
“It was very clear, the way Gen. Tumwine walked towards us, there was an obvious display of anger and fury. He came and directed his loud shout at me and he pointed at me. He did not come to greet me but to attack. Since then, my blood pressure has been going up and I am on medication,” Ogwal said.
She said that the mood that was prevailing at the time confused and shocked her and other people at the scene. Ogwal said that having known Gen. Tumwine for a long time, she should have been the last person he would attack.
Ogwal further told the committee that Gen Tumwiine once attacked the current Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, during his tenure as Chairperson of the Legal Committee.
In a separate submission to the committee, Amuru Woman MP Akello Lucy recollected moments when Gen. Tumwine allegedly attacked Ogwal an event that she witnessed.
Nwoya Woman MP Adong Lilly said the attack happened when a section of Acholi Parliamentary Group members was having a brief consultation outside the Parliament Chamber. She said that Gen. Tumwine walked towards Ogwal with gestures of anger.
In a related matter, Bukonzo West MP Atkins Katusabe clarified to the committee statements by Gen. Tumwine against parliament and the Speaker that he allegedly made during their meeting at his office where he had gone to seek for answers concerning his allegedly shoot to kill orders in his constituency.
He, however, told the committee that he has no eyewitnesses to the incident or any recording since his phone was withdrawn from him before engaging the Security Minister.
The committee is slated to invite Gen. Tumwine to appear and give his side of the story on different allegations in relation to contempt of parliament.