PARLIAMENT – General Elly Tumwine, who also doubles as Minister of Security has been asked to appear before the Parliamentary Rules, Discipline and Privileges Committee to explain why he attempted to pull a gun at Dokolo Woman MP, Cecilia Ogwal within the premises of Parliament.
The directive followed a matter raised by Hon Ogwal who told Parliament on Tuesday, July 23, that Tumwine physically pointed fingers straight to her eyes in the presence of other legislators accusing her of spreading lies and propaganda against him.
“Honourable Speaker and members it is unfortunate that Gen. Elly Tumwine attacked me when I headed to the washroom. He pointed at my eyes and said he can do anything to me.” Hon Ogwal narrated her ordeal.
“Tumwine attempted to pull a pistol at me and I told Parliament that this same General some years ago attempted to pull a pistol at me and I had to call the sergeant at arms.
The General came charging at me, poking at my eye and said you are a liar and he was using another arm to touch his behind, actually the women around me were scared that he was about to pull a pistol.” She explained further.
Indeed, Hon Ogwal’s statements were backed by some MPs who claim to have witnessed the scenario, in their testimony they accuse Gen Tumwine to have threatened Hon Ogwal.
The legislators who testified to this include; Betty Nambooze, Hatwib Katoto (Katerera County), Silas Aogon (Kumi Municipality) who claimed to have witnessed the scary scenario.
The confrontation between Gen Tumwine and Hon Ogwal was brought to light after a complaint raised by Bukonjo West MP, Atkins Katusabe who had asked Parliament to reign over Gen Tumwine for issuing a directive to shoot and kill following the recent palace disagreements within the Rwenzururu kingdom in Kasese district.
Hon Katusabe said that when he sought an explanation and intervention from the Security Minister, Gen Tumwine arrogantly told him off to go report to the useless Parliament if he wants but he wasn’t about to ask the soldiers to stand down the earlier order.
Gen Tumwine defended himself and denied the allegations that he disrespected Parliament.
“If anybody loves and would defend this Parliament, then it is me. If there is anybody in this Parliament who feels I have injured them, please forgive me we discussed the issue of Kasese with my friend (Hon Katusabe) which is a security matter and it will be handled in that way.”
However, Gen Tumwine’s apology wasn’t enough to sway lawmakers who demanded to have him referred to the Rules Committee for insulting the person of the Speaker and Parliament in general as alleged by Hon Katusabe.
Hon Nambooze pointed out that it isn’t the first time that Gen Tumwine is undermining Parliament and reminded the Speaker of the time that the General appeared on a radio station her over the directive to vacate Nommo Gallery at National Theatre.
“Gen Tumwine insulted you and this House on radio. When we complain, they ask where we were when they fought in the bush, I was a young girl. How did u expect me to fight?” She said.
The Attorney General, William Byaruhanga rejected the request to send Gen Tumwine to the Rules Committee arguing that since the allegations on Gen Tumwine have been made in the House, he should be given an opportunity to make a statement on the floor and a decision can then be made for referral to the Committee.
However, Arua Municipality MP, Kasiano Wadri reminded the Speaker, that as the head of the 3rd arm of government, “If you cannot be respected, then what kind of democracy are we talking about? I support the motion that Gen Tumwine should go to the Rules Committee and defend himself there.”
MPs voted to have Tumwine referred to the Rules Committee a decision he protested.
“Cecilia Ogwal, raises a matter and tells a lie, an outright lie where God is seeing that I pulled a gun.” Gen Tumwine told journalists after the session.