Parliament has recommended that Security Minister, Gen Elly Tumwine, be reprimanded for breaching the privilege of a Member of Parliament and bullying his colleagues.
Here is how the session went:
Kassiano Wadri (Arua Mun, Ind): The moment we have feelings that so and so is a bully, then that kind of spirit will always run through us. Parliamentary privileges only apply when you talk on the floor of Parliament.
If you talk in your office, you don’t enjoy that privilege. Where we have gone wrong, we must atone, apologise.
My appeal is that there are some of us who have stayed in this House for quite a number of years. By now, we should have courtesy for one another.
Gen Tumwine, you are the [most senior] person here; ever since you people came back from the Bush [War], you landed in Parliament. Offer leadership, maturity and show the way to these young men and women who have just come in.
Paul Mwiru (Jinja West, FDC): When we talk about the sanctity of Parliament, it means the August House is very important in this country. This is our workplace. Whereas there is a new norm where elders behave like children, we should not fall prey to such. What has happened is very embarrassing not only to Gen Tumwine but to all of us.
John Baptist Nambeshe (Manjiya, NRM): The way things are moving, these generals might degenerate into real bullies and get away with it. A minority report could have come as an iron hand to water down what the majority had done.
Solomon Silwany (Bukooli Mun, NRM): It is unfortunate that as Parliament, we are debating this. If we are to move forward, we should make peace and foster reconciliation.
Maurice Kibalya (Bugabula South, NRM): As a young generation, we appreciate what the historicals did for our country, but it is getting tough and worrying that scandals of indiscipline, scare and impunity end up with a general behind them. It is very disappointing that we have an army council and all these institutions but these scandals are all over. Before we came to Parliament, we respected all the generals but today, we are appealing to them to change what is happening because whether or not, a new breed of generals will come, and whether they fought or not.
Agnes Taaka Wejuli (Bugiri, NRM): …I conclude that we have the nostalgia of the army. Even as ordinary members who are not in the army, sometimes we have to be tolerant.
Anthony Okello (Kioga, NRM): Sometimes I am taken aback when I hear someone question the authority of the Speaker. What is the Speaker for if not to protect the sanctity of this Parliament? We need to work with integrity.
Fred Mwesigye (Bushenyi, NRM): We have all erred. What is happening now should not have happened. I think it was blown out of proportion from the beginning. My humble appeal to you Honourable Speaker is that we should retreat and review how we have erred and reflect on how we can move forward without exposing our conduct on cameras.
Hellen Grace Asamo (Workers, Eastern): We should not live in denial. Whether you came to Parliament in this term or you have been here for some time, we must conduct ourselves with respect of others.
Bright Rwamirama (Isingiro North, NRM): The allegations were made by Mr Atkins Katusabe ( Bukonzo West) and attested to by his wife. This House is one of the top organs of the state. We must condemn the indiscipline. We must respect this August House. Having come from that background, I am requesting that using your powers, you handle this matter with the chair and communicate to us the action.
Mwesigwa Rukutana (Bushenyi County, NRM): These things were blown out of proportion. They could have been addressed in a simple manner. This report, which I oppose is faulty, both in shape and substance. I did not see any form of assault. Gen Tumwine could have used heated words which do not amount to assault. I beg that we…take the minority report.
Veronica Eragu Isala (Kaberamaido County, NRM): When you listen to the majority report and sole minority, there is no evidence that the principle of natural justice was ignored. It is rather the sole writer of the minority with all legal gymnastics that is confusing this House.
Okello Ongalo (chairperson): Gen Tumwine bullied me in all the meetings only that I was strong enough to contain my emotions. I did not have to wait for anyone to tell me because I saw it.
Betty Nambooze (Mukono Mun, DP): I have heard in the main report that the only reason why Gen Tumwine is exonerated is because whatever he said was in a private meeting. I want to know whether public offices have become private places which are abused. What if you had said you will kill so and so, would you want Mr Katusabe to keep quiet?
Gen Tumwine (Rising on point of order): I have heard the proverb used by Honourable Nambooze of how someone abuses you when you are hearing. (Speaker rules in favour of Nambooze).
Nambooze: We are going to set a very bad precedent if we allow that people sitting in government offices use bad language and hide behind technicalities that they were having a private talk.
Gen Tumwine: What happened and what caused outrage for this Parliament were the lies told by Honourable Katusabe with a pre-meditated plan with his wife… I thank the committee which has cleared me of contempt. You reap what you sow, when you sow lies, you reap lies. I request for judicial justice into the matter.
Speaker Kadaga: We have heard the debate on the report, we shall do what Honourable Twesigye has proposed; we shall have some meeting.
Credit: Daily Monitor