Nommo Gallery: Tumwine in trouble for badmouthing Speaker

Members of Parliament have tasked the Minister of Security, Elly Tumwine to apologize for allegedly demeaning the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and Parliament.

Tumwine was last week directed by Parliament to vacate Nommo gallery and pay rent arrears of Shs 1.6bn which has accumulated since 1998 .  The directive follows failure by Tumwine to appear before the Parliamentary committee on Gender, Labor and Social development over failure to pay rent.

However Tumwine has distanced himself from owning Nommo Gallery, saying that he is only an artist and is benefitting from the donation by former President Apollo Milton Obote to artists. Tuwmine says he rehabilitated the Gallery, which is a property of artists and not Government.

However barely a week after the directive by Parliament, In an audio recording arising from an interview on a local radio, Tumwine is heard saying he won’t allow government officials to illegally take the gallery.

Tumwine said the Speaker “doesn’t know what she is talking about.”

“That Parliamentary recommendation is impossible because Nommo gallery is not for government, I repeat; Nommo gallery is for visual artists. President Milton Obote donated one of the houses that were part of State House at Nakasero and from then Nommo gallery is for artists, not government,” he charged.

Now today before the house, Rubaga North MP, Moses Kasibante supported by several of the members including; Buhweju County MP, Francis Mwijukye, Aruu County MP, Odonga Otto and Iganga Municipality MP, Peter Mugema asked the Speaker to summon Tumwine to make a personal statement on the issues raised.

“The General should be invited to make a personal statement for attacking the character of the Speaker and Parliament as an institution,” Kasibante requested.

The Speaker said the Minister  should appear before the house to offer an explaination  over the allegations.

“I was just waiting to finish the reports on the budget, I have also been reading the nonsense that is the press, but certainly, he will be required to come here and explain himself in this House and I believe, a number of issues will have to go to the Rules Committee. As soon as we finish the budget reports, he will come here and make a statement,” Kadaga said.

Although Tumwine was absent in the house, he returned in the chambers after the session had already proceeded to another item, other than that of matters of national importance, from which the issue of Nommo Gallery arose.