The Security Minister and army representative in parliament Gen. Elly Tumwine has told the parliamentary committee on Rules, Privileges, and Discipline that the allegations of misconduct and contempt of parliament put against him are meant to injure his reputation and that of the UPDF.
Appearing before the committee today, Gen. Tumwine said Hon Cecilia Ogwal lied to Parliament when he accused him of pulling a gun on her, insisting that the CCTV footage obtained from parliament security further confirms his position.
Gen Tumwine challenged Ogwal to produce evidence that he had pulled a gun on her.
"The allegations of Hon. Cecilia Ogwal that I pulled out a gun on her in the Parliament is a lie. Parliament is secured and I never pulled out a gun on her. This allegation of 15 years ago is intended to enrage the MPS against me and the UPDF. The best way to prove that she is not a liar is to produce evidence from the relevant records of the 7th Parliament," Gen Tumwine said adding, "this allegation of threatening her life is brought in bad faith and it is a lie. The allegation on threatening to poke a finger in her eye is also a lie and the CCTV evidence supports me. I called her a liar and told her I was disappointed with her disgraceful, sectarian, evil lies yet she claims to be a born-again Christian."
"The continuous appearance on media over the same issue, and many other lies must be challenged. Refer to audio recordings attached. Hon. Ogwal has further stated that she survived several assassinations and that if she dies or if any member of her family dies it would be Gen. Tumwine. This is a ridiculous and dramatic lie. Hon. Cecilia Ogwal had a plan of inciting the public, attacking the reputation of UPDF, attacking the Executive and many more unimaginable allegations and she used Parliament to accomplish her plan," Gen Tumwine said.
The security minister also noted that Hon. Atikins Katusabe lied to the August House when he accused him of uttering demeaning words about Parliament and the Speaker.
"My challenge to Hon. Katusabe was to tell me what role parliament would play in this matter; in resolving the dispute between butchers what is the role of Parliament? In a matter of conflicting butchers, which was already sorted, why bring Parliament? Deviating from the above context is a deliberate attempt to injure my reputation and waste parliament’s time. I cannot ask, who the Speaker is because I know who she is – Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, whom I have known and worked with for a long time. I know the roles of Parliament since I have been the longest-serving Member of Parliament for 33 years," Gen Tumwine said.
Full statement by Gen Tumwine
RESPONSE TO THE COMPLAINTS RAISED BY HON.ATKINS KATUSABE AND HON.CECILIA OGWAL AGAINST ME. The Chairperson Committee on Rules, Privileges & Discipline PARLIAMENT OF UGANDA On 26th July, 2019
I received an invitation from this committee inviting me to respond to allegations made on the floor of Parliament regarding “utterances on two separate occasions and further regarding an alleged threat upon the life of Hon. Cecilia Atim Ogwal with in the Parliamentary lobby”.
The complainants have alleged that the utterances attributed to me were intended to demean the Institution of Parliament and that the alleged threat on Hon. Cecilia constituted misconduct on my part. A.Introduction. The Chairperson of the Committee and Hon. Committee members, the allegations made by the Hon. Katusabe Atkins and Hon. Cecilia Atim Ogwal against me are false, malicious, taken out of context and made with specific intention of demeaning my character, my reputation as an experienced and long serving legislator and calling into question my discipline and that of the entire UPDF. I therefore took the grave allegations seriously and that is why I was insisting on having all the allegations made in this committee given to me in writing.
For the record, I am an MP representing the UPDF a position I have held for the last 33 years. I have served in this house on various committees including the appointments committee chaired by the Rt.Hon. Speaker. I am therefore an experienced and disciplined member of parliament. I have also served as the commander of the NRA (now UPDF), Director General External Security Organisation, Chairman of the General Court Martial, Minister of State for Defence and I am the current Minister for Security. My public service record is very clear. I am not the person who has been depicted before this committee by Hon. Katusabe Atkins and Hon. Cecilia Ogwal. B. Allegations tabled to parliament by Hon .Katusabe. During plenary of 23rd July, 2019, Hon. Katusabe alleged that I had made the following statements; “Who is speaker? Who is she? What is Parliament? Speaker rules over Parliament. She does not rule over Uganda.” He claimed that I had attacked the constitution of the Republic of Uganda, specifically chapter (6), Article 79(1),(2) and (3). I never had the chance to correct the record and false impression created by these outrageous allegations. They excited a number of members of Parliament mainly from the opposition side.
Several Honourable members reacted to the matter and made further disparaging statements against me before they could hear my response. Again, I did not have an opportunity to respond. I have seen the remarks Hon. Katusabe gave this committee. He claims I asked to meet him. That I met him in my office and that the only people who could hear were 3 my visitors and guards who were outside my office because the door was open. This implied that I and him were alone in the office. He said the conversation was jovial until I made the alleged remarks. The facts are that: on Monday 22nd July, 2019 after Cabinet, my ministerial colleague Hon. Sarah Opendi approached me for the third time to request me to meet her friend Hon. Katusabe Atkins of Bukonzo, Kasese District. We came straight to my office and waited for over an hour before Hon. Katusabe Atkins arrived. When Hon. Katusabe arrived, we had a jovial interaction through which I got to know more about him and the colleague Minister. They informed me that they initially met in the USA where Hon. Katusabe had spent 26 years and that they are currently husband and wife. Hon. Katusabe Atkins then introduced the matter of the conflict between Babughirana and Alisam Abattoirs in Kasese District.
He expressed to me that he was unhappy about how security was handling the matter and specifically he wanted to lobby me to support one of the conflicting groups in which it is believed he has interest, taken from this biased actions. I told him to stop inciting the people and not to disregard the District Security Committee resolutions as it was not good for security interests in his constituency and the country. He had publically told people to disobey the district security council resolution. He then said that he intended to refer it to the Parliament to protest alleged orders of ‘shoot to kill’. I told him there is no such order of “shoot to kill” and that it was not necessary 4 to drag Parliament on a matter already handled by the District Security Committee (DSC). I emphasised that that Separation of powers saves parliament from getting involved in every matter. I gave my views and he gave his views.
He disagreed with me and insisted on presenting the matter to parliament and he did. I wish to emphasize the following falsehoods and lies; i. Hon. Katusabe did not meet me alone. Hon Sarah Opendi was present all through. The impression in his testimony before the committee that he was alone in my office is false and therefore a lie. ii. Part of the three hours we spent was on personal friendly conversation and; a free and frank discussion among Parliamentary colleagues and in presence of a Ministerial colleague. The allegation that people outside my office could hear is false and therefore a lie. iii. It is also a lie that my office door was open while we were discussing. iv. Claiming that I am the one who asked him for a meeting is also false and a lie. v. Claiming that I demeaned parliament by talking about separation of powers is outrageous and another lie. 5 vi. He misled the speaker that the army took over an abattoir which is completely false. Hon Katusabe told parliament that the statements attributed to me constituted on attack or violation of Article 79 (1), (2) and (3) of the Constitution. My challenge to Hon. Katusabe was to tell me what role parliament would play in this matter; in resolving the dispute between butchers what is the role of Parliament? In a matter of conflicting butchers, which was already sorted, why bring Parliament?
Deviating from the above context is a deliberate attempt to injure my reputation and waste parliament’s time. I cannot ask, who the Speaker is because I know who she is – Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, whom I have known and worked with for a long time. I know the roles of Parliament since I have been the longest serving Member of Parliament for 33 years. Hon Katusabe, in his submission to parliament accused security agencies for what he called “Shoot to Kill orders and that I attacked the Constitution specifically chapter (6), Article 79(1),(2) and (3). There has never been a “shoot to kill order” as alleged by Hon. Katusabe. I also expected Hon. Katusabe to show how I attacked the chapter six of the Constitution. I have not stopped Parliament to do its principal duties of making laws and neither have I purported to usurp Parliament’s powers. 6 It seems Hon. Katusabe had even told the Speaker that the army had taken over an abattoir. The Rt. Hon. observed stated that, “I am told the army took over one abattoir”. Neither UPDF nor any security agency has ever taken over any abattoir in Kasese.
Hon. Katusabe’s intention must have been to deliberately injure and spoil my reputation and that of UPDF. The officers and men of UPDF and other Security agencies serve this country at great personal sacrifice and careless allegations against those gallant Ugandans should not be taken lightly. In any event, what exactly does Article 79 say which I violated? Even if the allegations of Hon. Katusabe were true, which they are not, would they represent a violation of this Article? In my opinion, Hon. Katusabe’s interpretation of Article 79 is far-fetched and irrelevant. The Article is in plain English which Hon. Katusabe appears not to understand and speak very well. The Article states as follows; Article 79. Functions of Parliament. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament shall have power to make laws on any matter for the peace, order, development and good governance of Uganda.
(2) Except as provided in this Constitution, no person or body other than Parliament shall have power to make provisions having the force of law in Uganda except under authority conferred by an Act of Parliament. (3) Parliament shall protect this Constitution and promote the democratic governance of Uganda. 7 The Article is about making laws. When I state that Parliament should not be involved in an already handled matter, am I violating Article 79? Even if it was true, can Hon. Katusabe’s misrepresentation of our private discussion in my closed office amount to a violation of Article 79? The answer is no. According to him he was shocked by my views which he chose to deliberately misrepresent. However Article 29 (1) (a) and (b) provides; (1) Every person shall have the right to— (a) freedom of speech and expression which shall include freedom of the press and other media; (b) freedom of thought, conscience and belief which shall include academic freedom in institutions of learning; Therefore, opinions, thoughts and beliefs on the roles and functions of parliament are constitutionally protected. In this particular case I am accused of expressing my opinion in a private conversation with my colleagues.
If this had been an official meeting, there would minutes and the committee would have asked for copies. Official meetings must have minutes and the most recent precedent is the COSASE committee where the bank of Uganda was criticised for not keeping minutes of official meetings. In this particular case which is taking plenty of precious time of parliament, my ministerial colleague was introducing to me Hon. Katusabe as her husband among other issues. Private communication is constitutionally protected. Article 27(2) provides; 8 Right to privacy of person, home and other property. (2) No person shall be subjected to interference with the privacy of that person’s home, correspondence, communication or other property. Let us go back to Article 79(3); this parliament is commanded by that article to protect the constitution. Hon. Katusabe having admitted that this was a private conversation, cannot be in order in bringing the same matters to parliament. So, I wish to point out that the real act of demeaning Parliament is to appear before this committee and tell deliberate lies by deviating from the context of our private discussion.
C.Allegations/complaints raised by Hon. Cecilia Ogwal. Regarding the complaints by Hon. Cecilia Atim Ogwal, the alleged threat arises from my assurances to her that she was lying when she stated that I pulled out a gun on her. She lied before parliament that I threatened her life due to her strong position against use of DDT. My firm statement to her that she is a liar was also called a threat to her life and she again repeatedly lied that I was touching a gun as I talked to her. She has also continued to attack me through the media and to make serious sectarian and divisive statements about the UPDF. On 23rd, July 2019 Hon. Cecilia Ogwal while appearing on NBS Television (Morning Breeze) alleged that I attempted to poke a finger in her eye. She claimed that under the Obote government senior army officers from the North were disciplined and humble unlike me. She gave an example of Oite Ojok among others.
She added that some 9 disciplined Generals such as the late Gen. Aronda had the advantage of studying from the North. On the same date, on NBS live at 9 (News bite), she alleged that I attacked her and attempted to pull out a gun on her. She also alleged that I raised my voice at her. She also alleged that I had pulled out a pistol on her in the Parliament due to her firm position against use of DDT. She also stated that she has survived several assassination plots and that if she died it would be me. She added that even if any member of her family died I would be responsible. In short, Hon. Cecilia Atim Ogwal has engaged in a sustained and systematic media campaign tarnishing my name even while this committee is handling the matter. This is contempt of parliament and shows the true intention of Hon. Cecilia’s lies. She is just playing bad sectarian politics. While appearing before the committee, she again lied that I doctored the CCTV footage by virtue of the fact that I am minister for security.
This was after realising that the footage does not favour her earlier lies. For the record, it is the speaker and the sergeant at arms who control the security of parliament and Hon Cecilia knows this. If she claims that the CCTV footage was doctored, then that is an attack on the office of the Rt.Hon. Speaker and that is the kind of attack that demeans parliament and the Speaker. It constitutes contempt of parliament contrary to Rule 221 of the Rules of parliament. The same contempt applies to the allegation that I always access parliament with a gun which is false.
This brings into 10 question the security of parliament. This compromises the dignity of parliament and its performance of its duties and should not be taken lightly. The allegations of Hon. Cecilia Ogwal that I pulled out a gun on her in the Parliament is a lie. Parliament is secured and I never pulled out a gun on her. This allegation of 15 years ago is intended to enrage the MPS against me and the UPDF. The best way to prove that she is not a liar is to produce evidence from the relevant records of the 7th Parliament. This allegation of threatening her life is brought in bad faith and it is a lie.
The allegation on threatening to poke a finger in her eye is also a lie and the CCTV evidence supports me. I called her a liar and told her I was disappointed with her disgraceful, sectarian, evil lies yet she claims to be a born-again Christian. The continuous appearance on media over the same issue, and many other lies must be challenged. Refer to audio recordings attached. Hon. Ogwal has further stated that she survived several assassinations and that if she dies or if any member of her family dies it would be Gen. Tumwine. This is a ridiculous and dramatic lie. Hon. Cecilia Ogwal had a plan of inciting the public, attacking the reputation of UPDF, attacking the Executive and many more unimaginable allegations and she used Parliament to accomplish her plan.
All her accusations against me and the UPDF are malicious and lies. Parliament’s work the whole afternoon was unjustifiably obstructed, incited, enraged in an effort to obstruct me from discharging my work both as a Member of Parliament and a Minister of Security telling outrageous lies and causing outraged to Parliament affronts the dignity of Parliament especially over its security. Conclusion: It is a bad practice for individuals to use Parliament for their selfish motives and especially to turnish and injure the reputation of their fellow members of Parliament who work so hard to maintain their clean record throughout the years of service in Parliament of Uganda. The attached evidence indicates a deliberate attempt to incite hatred against me and the UPDF. This is a threat to peace and security and I implore parliament to take interest for the good of the entire country. The false accusations constitute contempt of Parliament; they demean Parliament, constitute an attack on the constitution, have caused outrage, fear and insecurity to members of Parliament and the complainants must take responsibility. As I already observed, the allegations against me have no basis and no proof and they should be disregarded. I want to let it be known that I reserve the right to exercise all my legal rights on these matters.
Evidence in support of my response. 1. Written statement by Hon. Katusabe dated 23rd, July 2019 marked A’ 2. Audio recording of Hon.Cecilia Ogwal on talk show program, Dokolo FM on 28th, July 2019. marked B’ 3. Interpreted version of Hon.Cecilia Ogwal’s presentation on talk show program, Dokolo FM on 28th, July 2019 marked C. (It is at Makerere University for authorised interpretation). 4. Audio recording of Hon.Cecilia Ogwal appearing on NBS TV live at 9 on 23rd, July 2019 marked D’ 5. Audio recording of Hon.Cecilia Ogwal appearing on NBS TV, morning Breeze on 24th, July 2019 marked E 6. Audio recording of Hon.Cecilia Ogwal appearing before the committee of rules privileges and discipline marked F’.