July 16, 2013

Don’t Approve Aronda, FDC Boss Muntu Tells Parliament

General Mugisha Muntu, the FDC President has blasted President Yoweri Museveni for arm twisting parliament into approving General Aronda Nyakairima as internal affairs minister.  

FDC President Mugisha Muntu
FDC President Mugisha Muntu once served in the Museveni administration as Army commander

In the recent cabinet reshuffle, President Museveni nominated General Aronda as Internal Affairs Minister. However, the appointment committee differed his vetting and approval saying he was still a serving army officer. But in response, president wrote to the committee to approve the nominee saying it was not necessary for him to retire because he was only seconded to work in the ministry.

Now, General Mugisha Muntu says the attempt by the president to compel parliament to approve the nomination of Aronda before he retires from the army undermines the rule of law. Muntu prays that the Parliamentary appointments committee does not error in approving the appointment of General Aronda until he retires from the army.

General Muntu argued that the UPDF Act under clause 99 provides that a serving officer or militant who desires to seek political office shall first resign or retire. He also notes that Article 208(2) of the Constitution of Uganda bars uniformed army officers from being partisan and instead requires them to be neutral and professional.

Former Chief of Defence Forces General Aronda Nyakairima
Former Chief of Defence Forces General Aronda Nyakairima

Muntu argues that the only way the army image will be cleaned is when a government that will be focused on the principal of separation of powers comes into force.

General Aronda Nyakairima again appeared before the Parliamentary appointments committee on Monday for vetting but the committee deferred it final ruling on the matter on Thursday this week.

Major general Mugisha Muntu addressing opposiiton supporters in Ntungamo district
Major general Mugisha Muntu addressing opposiiton supporters in Ntungamo district

The committee chaired by Rebecca Kadaga is holding further consultations with Uganda Law Society, Attorney General and Legal Team of parliament on the legality of his appointment.

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