KAMPALA – Seasoned Member of Parliament Cecilia Ogwal has said that Gen Elly Tumwine was badly brought up as the Security minister is a subject of investigation for allegedly pulling a gun at the legislator.
Gen Tumwine has been sent to the disciplinary committee of the House for action after he is reported to have threatened the life of the Dokolo Woman MP in the corridors of Parliament on Tuesday, July 23.
Speaking in an interview on Wednesday morning, Ms Ogwal said: “Elly Tumwine and I are friends. I have nothing against him but everything against his arrogance, especially when in uniform.”
Ms Ogwal said the minister’s behaviour is symptomatic of the impunity of militarized politics in Uganda.
“I feel like Elly Tumwine was badly brought up. He should learn how to treat women and people. He’s a mirror of militaristic politics that some people in Uganda want to continue to promote. Army men keep using this arrogance, ‘Were you there when we fought in the bush?”
She said that Gen Tumwine, a Bush War hero and a minister, should not be the one disrespecting Parliament.
“You can’t be a minister in the government and you’re the same person to rubbish and ridicule parliament and the speaker. That kind of utterance coming from a minister and a general speaks volumes. This is the second time I’m rebuking Elly Tumwine on the floor of parliament. I reminded him that he shouldn’t scratch the scar that has healed after he started praising NRA, yet it’s the same army that caused mass death and mass graves in Luweero,” Ms Ogwal added.
She said by Gen Tumwine threatening her, he was hurting the entire Dokolo District.
“The quality of leadership has come under scrutiny in this country. We’re not comfortable with the way they’re conducting matters of the state. Yesterday, Gen. Elly Tumwine attempted to poke my eye. He was poking the eye of the entire district of Dokolo, poking the eye of every women, legislator and people of Uganda. You can joke with the Executive but not with Parliament.”
She added that she expects a person who has reached the level of a general to be more humble.
“I expect a person who has reached the level of a general to be more humble, be the person calling other soldiers to order. Look at what the soldiers are doing to innocent people trying to make a living. They’re raping women, confiscating fishnets and burning property. We have soldiers in parliament who are so disciplined, very welcoming and give you the sense of what a soldier should be. Even when you find them in ordinary clothes, you wouldn’t know they’re soldiers. Then there are crude soldiers,” she added.
Ms Ogwal said it is the role of people like Gen Tumwine to make forget the bad side of the army.
“We should do everything possible to make people forget that bad side of the army. We see the President look down on the police by using the army to do his work. Saying the army is a professional institution is a falsehood. We should have seen professionalism in the way Gen. Tumwine acted. Kyaligonza did it on the street, Kasirye Gwanga did it in the garden, Gen. Tumwine took it a notch higher and did it in Parliament,” she said.
“Gen. Tumwine has now come out to unveil the face of the government, the side that people didn’t know. They can pull a pistol at Ogwal, that’s the kind of face they’re trying to portray. Let’s do what we can do. We can evoke the power of various committees that deal with discipline so that we taste the law. You can’t be in parliament and fail to respect the authority of the Speaker yet parliamentarians are the very people who approved your appointment,” she added.
On Tuesday, Ms Ogwal told Parliament 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.
Ms 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.
Gen Tumwine 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,” he said.