We sacrificed for you to enjoy, Gen. Tumwine tells MPs

Security Minister and Army MP Gen. Elly Tumwine appeared unremorseful as he appeared before Parliament’s Rules, Privileges and Discipline committee that is investigating his alleged misconduct and speaking disparagingly about Parliament.

Tumwine who is credited for having fired the first shot that kicked off the five year-guerilla war that brought the NRM government to power in 1986 told the MPs that he has no regrets for speaking about the sacrifices he and his bush war comrades made to bring democracy to Uganda.

“Am I accused of saying that we have sacrificed for this democracy? Am I accused of saying that our sacrifice has brought this atmosphere? Can I prove that that is a fact and laudable? And that can be withdrawn or anybody who talks about our sacrifice…. I have one eye, what was it for?” Tumwine asked the MPs, further going on to ask the MPs who view the “we sacrificed” talk as an accusation to apologise.

“Anybody who talks about our sacrifice as an accusation should withdraw it. It is not an allegation, it is a fact, and many of our colleagues who died, many of our struggles, many of our efforts to bring this democracy and peace is not something that you don’t like to hear. If you don’t want to hear it, it is a fact. Take it or leave it, it is a fact and if you think it is an accusation.”

Before all this, Tumwine had told the probe committee that his appearance before it was a great opportunity for him to clear his name since he had been denied opportunity to defend himself on the day allegations against him came up before Parliament.

Bukonjo West MP Atkins Katushabe accused the Security minister on July 23 when he told Parliament that Tumwine had referred to Parliament as useless during a telephone conversation.

Katushabe had called Tumwine over an alleged shoot to kill order in Bwera, Kasese district, which the MP wanted the minister to reverse.

Tumwine said that the matter was handled in a “mob justice” style because he was denied a chance to defend himself. As a former member of the Rules, Privileges and Discipline committee, Tumwine said that the manner in which he was referred to the committee was also in breach of Rule 172 of the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure.

He denied having demeaned Parliament saying that he doesn’t know anyone who loves Parliament more than he does.

He demanded that the committee avails him with the information in its possession so that he can adequately respond to the allegations against him.

Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa agreed arguing that in the interest of justice, Tumwine needs to be accorded the opportunity to adequately respond to the issues against him.

Bukooli Central MP Guster Mugoya backed Basalirwa’s position arguing that the committee needs to accord him a fair hearing by availing him sufficient information and time to prepare his evidence.

But committee chairman Clement Kenneth Obote-Ongalo, basing on Tumwine’s submissions before the committee said that the minister was on July 23 more than ready to respond to the accusations as raised by Katushabe which are straight forward allegations which don’t need a lot of preparation.

Tumwine argued that since then, a lot more has since transpired but confirmed that he is possession of CCTV footage, Katushabe’s allegations and a record of Cecilia Ogwal’s statements at Parliament and in various media interviews notably NBS TV and a radio in Dokolo.

Wilfred Niwagaba however said that the committee is only concerned with the allegations as captured in the Hansard, and has nothing to do with anything that was said in media interviews.