MPs Probing Gen Tumwine get divided over presented Evidence

Gen Elly Tumwine

The rules committee of Parliament yesterday kicked off the inquiry into the alleged misconduct and contempt of the institution of Parliament by the security minister, Gen. Elly Tumwine.

The rules, discipline and privileges committee chaired by Kenneth Ongalo-Obote (Kalaki) started the probe with the viewing of CCTV footage of the alleged attack on Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal, by the army general.

Last week, the House chaired by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga referred Tumwine to the rules committee after he was accused of using foul language against the institution he serves and the House Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga.

Tumwine is also accused of attempting to attack Ogwal. Bukonzo West MP Atkins Katushabe raised the matter before the House last week, saying that when he engaged the minister over a security matter in his constituency, the minister demeaned the institution of Parliament.

“When I asked him (Tumwine) to rein in the Police and the army or I report to Parliament, the Minister for Security he simply asked me, ‘who is the Speaker? Who is she? What is Parliament? Speaker rules over Parliament, she does not rule over Uganda. This country was liberated by our army and not Kadaga’s Parliament. Don’t tell me about your Speaker and Parliament. The army can’t be directed by civilians.’”

At the opening of the hearing yesterday, the Parliamentary Police were the first to appear tabling CCTV video footage that showed Minister Tumwine walking up to a particular individual who was not captured in the footage and exchanging words in what appeared to look like a brawl between the two individuals.

However, legislators on the committee were divided over the CCTV footage evidence presented to them, saying that however much it’s evident that Tumwine was up in arms with someone throwing his arms all over, it does show who the other individual was since the camera view is only one angle.

Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalilwa raised a procedural matter on how the committee would proceed on a matter with such an anomaly of a camera recording from one angle that does not capture the two subjects who are the point of reference in the investigation. “If our footage cannot show two people in that spot, then that is a big problem, if somebody cannot be fully captured from that angle then the system must be updated,”

Basalilwa said. Ongalo-Obote also stressed the matter of the camera view saying the committee needed more clear and vivid evidence to help with a thorough and comprehensive investigation into this matter for a fair report to the House.

“I am sure there would be a camera that gives us an angle where Cecilia was, I will make another request to see if we can get more because personally, I feel we didn’t get enough,” Obote said. Rubaga North MP Moses Kasibante, who also appeared before the committee as a witness, presented a transcribed radio recording said to be of Tumwine during an interview on CBS radio.

He was reportedly attacking MPs saying they do not know what they are doing, in relation to his ownership of the Nommo Gallery. The hearing of the matter continues today.

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Lukwago Joseph grew up in a newspaper family, and rumor has it that instead of playing the guitar in his infancy, his parents put a reporter’s notebook and a pen next to him shortly after he turned born eight years. Before becoming editor of UGANDANZ, Lukwago was a parliament news editor for WBS TV. He joined UGANDANZ in July 2018, A few months after the company launched. Lukwago also spent five years as a freelance reporter, where he covered reporting for the highest bidder, intelligence, foreign policy, and Ugandan police. Lukwago graduated from Makerere University in 2008 with a B.A. in Journalism and worked on his college newspaper.