Kadaga blocks Parliamentary debate on Kayihura
Last week’s arrest of former Inspector General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura caused a heated debate in Parliament that it took the intervention of the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga to have the matter rested.
Kayihura’s arrest was brought to the floor by Rose Kabagenyi, the Kisoro Woman MP who wanted Parliament to compel government to say why the former chief policeman was arrested, and his continued detention without trial.
Kayihura hails from Kisoro which explains why Kabagenyi wanted to use Parliament to get answers to her homeboy’s incarceration.
Kabagenyi said, Kayihura’s arrest wasn’t a normal occurrence and has since created anxiety not only among the people of Kisoro but the country at large.
“We are disturbed by the conflicting statements surrounding the circumstances of the arrest and detention of the former IGP and we are alarmed by the media speculation and the information the media is feeding to the country. The right of personal liberty is fundamental right guaranteed under the Article 23 of the constitution.”
She was heckled by her colleagues, but that did not deter her from going on to read from the Constitution specifically Article 23(4) which provides for the production of suspects before courts not more than 48 hours after their arrest and detention.
She received a lot of resistance from MPs notably, William Nzoghu MP (Busongora North) who rose on a point of order against Kabagenyi since it was the same Kayihura that she was trying to fight for who “presided over the arrest and criminalising of many people.”
“Gen Kayihura arrested many people and actually criminalized many people including the people whom he arrested and superintended over their killings. The Commander in Chief [President Yoweri Museveni] in his wisdom has arrested Gen Kayihura in connection with his dealings as far as criminality is concerned in this country and for the safety and security of our country.”
To Nzoghu, Kabagenyi was acting out of order to challenge Museveni’s decision to have Kayihura arrested for the sake of the peace and security of the country, and to also have Kayihura pay for his sins.
It was then that Kadaga asked Kabagenyi to explain her motive in fighting for Kayihura.
In response, Kabagenyi said that the Kisoro people just want to know why Kayihura was arrested, and ensure government respects the Constitutional dictates as enshrined in Article 23(4) which provides that a person arrested has to be produced in courts of law within 48 hours.
She received support from Bukooli North MP Guster Mugoya who argued that there was a lot about the Kayihura saga which he blamed on over concentration of power around a single person.
“When I had just entered this House, I raised the issue of over centralization of power in the hands of one man. So is it procedurally right for the member from Kisoro to come and ask Parliament to task government to come and give an explanation as to whether there were several crimes that are purported to have been committed by the officer,” Mugoya said.
Kadaga put the matter to rest when she ruled that Parliament needs not to discuss the Kayihura arrest since it is a matter that is still under investigation.
“I believe the matter is under investigation, we have no value addition at this stage. Leave that matter,” Kadaga ruled.