The Shadow Attorney General and Bugweri Member of Parliament Abdu Katuntu has warned the Parliamentary Appointments committee not to make a mistake and approve General Aronda Nyakairima as a Minister of Internal Affairs. He has therefore threatened to go to Court if the former Army chief is approved saying it would be unjust to the constitution.
Yesterday the committee vetted Aronda and late in the evening decided to defer his approval or not as a minister to Thursday this week to carry out more consultations from legal experts.
Katuntu said that yesterday’s stalemate was uncalled for and unnecessary. He added that anybody interpreting the constitution with an open and honest mind would come up with a conclusion that all army officers can not join or be part of a partisan institution or organ.
He added that this was exactly the essence of the Constitution making process in 1995.
Katuntu warned that once Aronda is approved, the country will revert to the period before 1995 in that the President could choose the entire army to run the country like it was before 1995.
He explained that UPDF is not part of NRM and that is why when the constitution was made in 1995. It was the reason why the name changed from NRA to UPDF saying that it is why the constitution makers found it fit to have the NRA disengaged from the political wing which was NRM.
He said that the constitution makers created a national army that can serve all NRM and should the army start being part of NRM and the people vote out NRM it would mean that the army is voted out. He said this is dangerous because an army is supposed to be an independent institution that serves all governments regardless of politics.
Katuntu also threatened to go to court if Aronda is approved by Parliament saying that it would be so unfair to the constitution. He said it would also be unfair to General J.J Odongo who took the right decision to first resign from the army before taking up an appointment as state minister for defence.
The appointments committee yesterday after a long deliberation on Aronda Nakairima was divided with some of its members standing firm against his approval and some supporting it. The committee then decided to defer the deliberations to Thursday this week to make consultations with Uganda Law Society, parliamentary Legal Team and the Shadow Attorney General Addul Katuntu himself.
Meanwhile MP Dennis Hamson Obua said that there is a strong contradiction between the laws and the practice with in the commonwealth.
He said that Aronda is a Member of Parliament and when you look at the composition of Parliament 10 members are UPDF but the same constitution says that UPDF should not be partisan.
He therefore argued that the same privileges enjoyed by a member of parliament should be enjoyed by Aronda because he is entitled to them.
He appealed to parliament to consult with the constitutional court on whether General Aronda can serve as a minister without resigning from the army.
Katuntu’s concerns come a day after General Mugisha Muntu, the FDC President, (the party Katuntu subscribes to) blasted President Yoweri Museveni for arm twisting parliament into approving General Aronda Nyakairima as internal affairs minister.
General Mugisha Muntu said the attempt by the president to compel parliament to approve the nomination of Aronda before he retires from the army undermines the rule of law.