Arua shooting: Parliament turns the heat on government

Internal Affairs minister Gen Jeje Odongo had a tough time in Parliament on Tuesday as MPs demanded that apologises to the country if not resign his ministerial job over Monday’s killing of Yasin Kawuma.

Kawuma who has been a driver to Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi was gunned down by security agents as the Arua Municipality by-elections took a violent turn.

In Parliament, MPs demanded that the minister makes a statement on Kawuma’s killing and the subsequent arrest of Kassiano Wadri, a candidate in the by-election, plus MPs Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo Municipality), Paul Mwiru (Jinja Municipality East), Francis Zaake (Mityana Municipality), Bobi Wine and former Makindye East MP Michael Mabikke.

L-R: Legislators Paul Mwiru, Karuhanga, Arua Municipality MP candidate Kassiano Wadri, Robert Kyagulanyi & Francis Zaake during a match to the venue on Monday August 13.

Odong read to Parliament a press statement that had earlier on been released by the police explaining the arrest of some 34 opposition politicians who were in Arua to beef up Wadri.

“Impunity of whatever kind or amount shall not be tolerated,” Odongo said before making a suggestion that political processions should be banned.

“Processions should be discouraged, of what value are they other than deceiving the public that you have political support?”

Odongo’s statement only served to incense MPs that when the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga opened debate, lawmakers used harsh words against the former army commander and the government.
Maracha East MP James Acidri was the first on the floor and accused the minister of giving a distorted account of what transpired.

Acidri, an NRM MP, told Parliament that by the time Kawuma was shot dead, he had parked Bobi Wine’s car at Pacific hotel but not in a procession.

“The NRM has for long claimed that it is acts like this – state inspired violence for which NRM went to the bush,” Acidri said.

He also wondered by the police were keeping Wadri in detention ahead of Wednesday’s by-elections.

Makindye West MP Allan Ssewanyana called Odongo’s statement a pack of lies and merely state propaganda.

“If Parliament appropriated money to buy an armoured car for the President, how come it can be damaged by a mere stone? I think there is a planned move to hoodwink Parliament and the public as to why the young man was killed,” Ssewanyana said.

Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikubo called the minister’s statement shallow further wondering why after 30 years, the president can be associated with the killing of innocent civilians.
He called for an honest investigation to reveal the people who were at the scene of crime.