Former army commander General Aronda Nyakairima’s approval as Minister of Internal Affairs on Wednesday hit a snag after Parliament’s appointment’s committee deferred the process pending consultations with President Yoweri Museveni.
This news was contained in a press statement issued by the Clerk to Parliament Mrs Jane L. Kibirige saying the committee chaired by the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga had reached the decision and agreed to defer the process to a later that will be communicated.
Elioda Tumwesigye, the nominee for Minister of State for Health’s approval was also deferred.
It should be recalled that early this month, President Yoweri Museveni made some slight changes in the government that saw now former army commander appointed Internal Affairs Minister.
However, there have been questions surrounding his appointment considering he is still a serving member of the armed forces. The law requires that one serving in the army first resign before joining politics.
Under the UPDF Act Section 66 (1) an officer may in writing tender the resignation of his or her commission to the UPDF Board but shall not, unless otherwise ordered by the Chief of Defence Forces, that he be relived of the duties of his appointment until he has received a notification in writing.
Only then shall the UPDF board notify the officer on his application to resign his commission within ninety days after receipt of his application.
Uganda is no stranger to such a situations. In 2009 General Jeje Odongo, faced the same hurdle after he was appointed State Minister for Defense.
Then, Parliament ordered Odongo to resign his job in the army before he could be cleared to assume the new office and to present to parliament his army discharges certificate before he could be officially sworn in as state minister.
This has formed the basis of argument by Members of Parliament saying that if Gen Jeje Odong was forced to resign from the army before being cleared to become minister of state for defence, General Aronda should not be an exception.
Last week, there was a rumor on social media sites Twitter and Facebook alleging that General Aronda had rejected his appointment as minister, an allegation rubbished by the government.
Below is the press statement issued by Clerk to Parliament
The Office of the Clerk to Parliament would like to inform the public that today, Wednesday 26th June 2013, the Appointments Committee of the Parliament of Uganda in fulfillment of Rule 155 of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament, convened to consider the appointment of two ministerial nominees namely;
• Hon. Gen. Aronda Nyakairima – Nominee for Minister of Internal Affairs
• Hon. Elioda Tumwesigye – Nominee for Minister of State for Health
Following consultations within the meeting before the vetting process commenced, the Appointments Committee, chaired by the Right Honourable Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, resolved to defer the vetting process of the two nominees pending further consultations with His Excellency the President of Uganda.
The new dates of the vetting process will be communicated in due course.
Jane L. Kibirige (Mrs)
Clerk to Parliament
26th June 2013