Members of the opposition led by Nandala Mafabi have expressed extreme dissatisfaction with the appointment of General Aronda Nyakairima as Internal Affairs Minister.
On Thursday, parliament’s Appointments committee approved former Chief of Defense Forces commander General Aronda Nyakairima’s controversial appointment as Internal Affairs Minister.
The matter was first raised by MP Dokolo County Cecilia Ogwal who stood on the floor of Parliament to remind the house of the 1995 constitution which prohibits the military from serving in the Cabinet.
Ogwal stated that she has been following debate on whether or not the military can serve in the Cabinet arguing that it’s a challenge for them as legislators.
Ogwal expressed shock at news that Parliament had finally agreed that a serving military officer has been appointed to serve in the Cabinet.
The Dokolo woman MP said before they clap, they should concern themselves with the spirit of the 1995 constitution.
Although the speaker Rebecca Kadaga shut down any discussion on the matter because it was not on the order paper, many MPs continued to grumble about it.
Gulu Woman MP Aol Betty Ocan, speaking in the lobby, said that NRM should bear in mind that even if Aronda is an MP, he serves in an army which should be nonpartisan. This requires him to resign or retire because a ministerial appointment is an active partisan position.
Odo Tayebwa, MP Ishaka Bushenyi, angrily said the constitution cannot be abrogated by mere decisions and vowed to challenge the decision of the committee in the courts of law.
Leader of Opposition Nandala Mafabi said they are going to challenge the decision in the constitutional court. He also adds that there are some Parliament rules of procedure on voting that were abused by the committee which must be addressed.
MP John Ken Lukyamuzi, representing Rubaga South, said that General Aronda cannot be Minister because he will have violated the provisions of the constitution notably article 208 (2) of the constitution. He said he believes the decision can be overturned in court.
Woman MP Brenda Nabukenya representing Luweero district, described Aronda’s appointment as unconstitutional.
Nabukenya said that Parliament’s approval of Aronda means that it has gone against the Constitution and that it calls for a court case.
MP Lulume Bayiga said that the General’s approval is a very bad, illegal and unconstitutional.
He added that the blame falls squarely on President Museveni’s shoulders under whose leadership the constitution was made and not amended to the effect of army officers serving in partisan politics.