Gen. Tumwine accused of taking Parliament probe into ‘circumlocution’
A Parliamentary probe into the conduct of Security Minister, Gen. Elly Tumwine may turnout into a show of might between the legislature and the military man whose role in the guerilla war that brought President Yoweri Museveni to power 33 years ago could make put him among the “untouchable” government officials.
Tumwine appeared before a Parliamentary probe committee twice last week to defend himself against accusations of undermining Parliament and the Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga, as well as attempting to assault Dokolo Woman MP, Cecilia Ogwal.
But each time he has appeared before the committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline where he was referred to by Parliament on July 23, Tumwine has attempted to prove a point that the committee cannot try him.
On the first time he appeared, he told the committee members to first probe the manner in which he was referred to the committee which he said was in breach of Rule 172 of the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure.
He also reminded the MPs of the sacrifices they made as fighters of the National Resistance Army (NRA), the rebel outfit that thrust Museveni into power in 1986 before asking for more time so that he can make adequate response to the accusations against him.
Re-appearing before the committee, Tumwine again told the MPs that he needed more time, probably a week to study the allegations and concerns raised against him.
“Mr. Chairman, there were many things said about me by the MPs, I need to study them plus what transpired on the media. The media has been allowed to take center stage in the matter and they have broadcasted a lot. I need one week to be in position to make my responses,” Tumwine told Clement Kennath Obote-Ongalo, the committee chairperson.
But committee members such as Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiaga), Abdu Katuntu (Bugweri) and Joseph Gonzaga Ssewungu (Kalungu West) accused the minister of trying to take the committee for granted.
“Mr. Chair it is inappropriate for the witness (Tumwine) to drag this committee to circumlocution. Let him take the committee serious and save our time,” said Ssekikubo.
Obote-Ongalo gave him up to Tuesday to prepare and present his defence to the committee.