Kampala, Uganda | GODFREY SSALI | A committee meeting between the Uganda Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Intenal affairs and officials from the Ministry of Defence turned chaotic on Tuesday after Members of Parliament MPs questioned the involvement of the army in police work.
Trouble started when the shadow minister of defence and internal affairs and Butambala MP Mohammad Muwanga Kivumbi asked the defence minister Adolf Mwesige to explain why the army is assuming police roles. He argued that soldiers may not have the expertise in investigating crime, as compared to police which has a fully-fledged directorate of Criminal Investigations.
Muwanga cited the arrest of the patron of Boda Boda 2010 and Rubaga NRM Chairman Hajji Abdallah Kitata and the release of a self confessed criminal Paddy Sserunjogi alias Sobbi.
However, before the officials that included Maj Gen James Mugira and Brig Gen Richard Kalemire could answer, the committee vice chairperson and Budaka MP Kezekia Mbogo adjourned the sitting which infuriated members.
This prompted MPs led by Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Sselikubo to block the officials from leaving before responding to the queries resulting in a brief exchange by Ntoroko MP Ibanda Rwemulikya, Ssekikubo and Kilak North Gilbert Oulanya.
Kezekia argued that the committee had invited the officials to defend the ministry’s budget but not to question the army on its operations which the members rejected.
However, due to the intervention of Rubaga South MP Paul Kato Lubwama, the angry MPs allowed the officials to go.
The committee later sat and agreed to summon the officials at a later date to address the concerns raised by the members.