Gen. Aronda Approved, MPs Walk Out In Protest

Despite lots of haggling amongst different individuals and groups including MPs and legal experts, the parliamentary committee on appointments has finally approved the former army commander Aronda Nyakairima as Minister of Internal Affairs.

Early last month, President Yoweri Museveni made some slight changes in the government that saw now former army commander General Aronda Nyakairima appointed Internal Affairs Minister.

Sources that attended the committee chaired by speaker Rebecca Kadaga reveal that 13 of the committee members were in support of Aronda taking up the slot, six members were against and one of the members abstained when the issue was put to vote.

Meanwhile, there was drama as opposition MPs led by Nathan Nandala Mafabi, the leader of opposition in parliament walked out over the approval of Aronda. Mafabi said they walked out because the law was being abused.

“For us we walked out as they continued to abuse the supreme law of the land. They went ahead to agree to appoint General Aronda. Wo Unto the ‪Rule Of Law.” Mafabi wrote on his Facebook page Thursday evening.

The speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga threatened to drag those who spoke to the media over the General’s appointment to the disciplinary committee.

Gen. Aronda Briefly Appearing before the Appointments committee
Gen. Aronda (2nd L) appearing before the Appointments committee

CONTENTIOUS APPOINTMENT
General Aronda was nominated by President Museveni for the ministerial post of Internal Affairs. However, his appointment was contested considering he is a serving member of the armed forces (UPDF).

Article 208(2) of the Constitution says that UPDF shall be non-partisan, national in character, patriotic, professional, disciplined, productive and subordinate to the civilian authority.

The UPDF Act under clause 99 provides that a serving officer or militant who desires to seek political office shall first resign or retire.

Then, Parliament ordered Odongo to resign his job in the army before he could be cleared to assume the new office and to present to parliament his army discharges certificate before he could be officially sworn in as state minister.

This has formed the  basis of argument by Members of Parliament and opponents to his appointment, saying that if Gen Jeje Odong was forced to resign from the army before being cleared to become minister of state for defence, General Aronda should not be an exception.

Bugweri MP Abdu Katuntu who is also Shadow Attorney General
Bugweri MP Abdu Katuntu who is also Shadow Attorney General threatened to go to court if Aronda is approved

In 2009 General Jeje Odongo, faced the same hurdle after he was appointed State Minister for Defense.

Then, Parliament ordered Odongo to resign his job in the army before he could be cleared to assume the new office and to present to parliament his army discharges certificate before he could be officially sworn in as state minister.

Early this week, the Shadow Attorney General and Bugweri Member of Parliament Abdu Katuntu warned the Parliamentary Appointments committee not to make a mistake and approve General Aronda Nyakairima as a Minister of Internal Affairs.

Former Chief of Defence Forces General Aronda Nyakairima
Former Chief of Defence Forces General Aronda Nyakairima has been approved as Minister of Internal Affairs

IMPLICATIONS

According to some observers, General Aronda’s approval will set a precedent that will eventually see members of the army take up political positions without relinquishing their military offices, something they say would take us back to pre 1995 where the president had the power to appoint army men to cabinet.

This fear was recently expressed by vocal Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Sekikubo who said that the president would use this example to later appoint his son Brig. Muhoozi Kainerugaba as Minister in Parliament while he still holds his position in the military.

Buyaga MP Barnabas Tinkasimire earlier questioned the insistence of the president to appoint Aronda without resigning from the army saying that even the president had to resign from the army before joining active politics. He also brought forward the example of Education Minister Jesca Alupo who is a retired Major and others.

Katuntu also threatened to go to court if Aronda is approved by Parliament saying that it would be so unfair to the constitution.

General Aronda’s approval puts to rest the haggling as to whether or not he will abandon his uniform and take up the post as interior minister. What waits to be seen however is whether the threat by lawmakers to challenge the approval in court will materialise.

11 thoughts on “Gen. Aronda Approved, MPs Walk Out In Protest

  1. Yeah this shows us who has power to do what and what barking can cause but with no harm whatsoever.

    1. Well said, Ugandans should find other means rather than yelling all time like Lukyamuzi and his bench mates

  2. well this shows that Uganda is not a democratic.Thanks to the opposition Mps at last they are showing the whole world what Uganda is even there is no rule of law we make the laws and break them. The president of Uganda makes laws and breaks them to keep himself in power look at how he changed the term limits shame on him.

    The president should know that leaders come and go but Uganda will always be for Ugandans,history repeats it self,what goes around comes around.

  3. you’ve got to be kiddin me! One wise man once said, “the only thing for the success of evil is for good men to do nothin.” The likes of Hon. Theodore are playin their part. . . but as for you, what have you done?

    1. Well said, Theodore playing which part? tell me any achievement have they accomplished rather than dancing before the music is played. for my case i better keep quite rather talking rubbish or standing up with out a point to air out. we dont measure success by activities but by outcomes, M7 is outcome based thats why he has managed to run the country for almost 30 good years remember that always

  4. OH my Dear Ugandans do not mind there is the end of every thing on this earth time is coming, who had believed that the leaders who started ruling this country would leave no wonder thing will change god bless our loved counrty

  5. Can someone also be forced to retire from civil office if he or she wants to join Army?

  6. I swear dis government has no shame at all!! dat means that the constitution has turned upside down and completely uselesAm really even afraid to call ma self augandan coz its completely has completely turned into gabbage,dis is really dictatorship.if at all Museveni for da constution and dat is da reason as to why he went to da bush, then why is he acting in a contradictory manner to wat he claims he fought for???

    Thanks to the opposition who are turning to open the eyes of the ugandans!

  7. 2016? I wouldn’t be surprised if Museveni runs for re-election or Aronda becomes Museveni’s chosen successor. His smart, a tyrant of Museveni’s caliber, Army general, educated and has a few years as a politician. Talk about the Museveni project.

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