Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Rules, Discipline and Privileges Committee of parliament has questioned the CCTV footage submitted by police officers attached to parliament in relation to a confrontation between Security Minister, Gen. Elly Tumwine and Dokolo Woman MP, Cecilia Ogwal last week.
The Committee Chaired by the Kalaki County MP, Clement Kenneth Ongalo-Obote has started probing the allegations of contempt of parliament leveled against Gen. Tumwine. The committee was also tasked to investigate the alleged attack on Ogwal by the Security Minister in the corridors of parliament over her statements during plenary in which she testified against Gen. Tumwine for drawing a firearm on 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. The debate was sparked off by a matter of National Importance raised by Atkins Godfrey Katusabe, the Bukonjo West MP where he accused the Minister of questioning powers of Parliament and the speaker’s directives on the military.
According to Katusabe, Tumwine allegedly said that the country was liberated by the military and not parliament. The Rules, Discipline, and Privileges committee started its investigation with reviewing the CCTV footage captured on June 23rd 2019 in the corridors of the Chamber. The footage shows Tumwine walking towards Ogwal at 6:05 pm but lacks sound.
Ogwal is not captured clearly in the exchange. The Bugiri Municipality MP, Asuman Basalirwa questioned the video footage, saying it had blind spots since it doesn’t show Ogwal and only captures Gen. Tumwine’s angle. He said that the omission creates a big challenge on the person Gen. Tumwine was interacting with.
The Committee Chairperson Obote said there is need for police to avail the legislators another copy of the footage to facilitate their investigations. He conquered with Basalirwa the availed footage has blind spot and promised to request for detailed footage.
Betty Muzanira, the Rukungiri Woman MP queried the footage alleging that it looks doctored. Obote said the matter would be investigated fully to ascertain the merits and demerits of the footage and who is responsible.
Akello Rose Lilly, the Karenga Woman MP also said that the omission of the audio from the footage possess a big challenge to their investigations. However, Obote explained that CCTV cameras in parliament don’t capture audio because of privacy.
The committee received testimony from Rubaga North MP, Moses Kasibante in regard to statements made by Gen. Tumwine on CBS Radio last year following a directive by parliament asking him to vacate Nommo Gallery.
Kadaga had then directed that Gen. Tumwine pays the rent and vacates the public facility, which his company, Creations Limited had occupied since 1998 without paying rent to Uganda National Cultural Centre.
Kasibante said in his interview with CBS radio, Tumwine belittled the Speaker and legislators, saying they didn’t know what they were talking about.
The Rules Discipline, and Privileges committee is slated to meet MPs Atkins Katusabe, Cecilia Ogwal and others on Wednesday before scheduling a meeting with Gen. Tumwine.