Former Forum for Democratic Change leader Dr Kiiza Besigye is asking Ugandans to question why the now Internal Affairs Minister General Aronda Nyakairima has been appointed. Besigye has blamed parliament for allowing Aronda’s appointment.
He says the former army chief has been appointed minister to oversee the national ID project which according to him is not right.
On Thursday, parliament’s Appointments committee approved former Chief of Defense Forces commander General Aronda Nyakairima’s controversial appointment as Internal Affairs Minister.
In one of the meetings called by President Museveni at State House with the appointments committee, the President explained that Aronda knew about the project of registering Ugandans and ongoing issuance of national identity cards.
The ongoing exercise being carried out by immigration officials was started by the UPDF and the former army commander’s appointment as minister is for him to complete the mission of the military registering Ugandans.
In February this year, it was reported that the Ministry of Defence had taken over the multi-billion shillings national identity card project.
On March 19, 2010, the Government contracted Muhlbauer Technology, a German firm at a cost of 230.9 billion shs to supply technology and other related services for the National Security Information System, which was being handled under the internal affairs ministry.
But by March 2012, the project had stalled due to inadequate funds after releasing only 400 IDs’ for the over 34 million Ugandans.
Dr Besigye says even though he is not opposed to national registration, the law does not give power to the military to register people.
He quotes the Citizens and Immigrations Control Act 2009 which does not mention anywhere that the military shall be involved but a registration board. Dr Besigye questions the legality of the military’s involvement adding that, it is why Aronda has been brought into the picture.
Yesterday Members of Parliament from the opposition walked out of the house protesting Gen. Aronda’s appointment arguing that it is against the constitution.
However the former Forum for Democratic Change Presidents says Parliament should also take the blame.
He argues that Parliament has been completely weakened which was manifested through the two occasions that the appointments committee was summoned to State House in Entebbe.
Dr Besigye says the problem is not President Museveni’s influence but the willful collusion of the political elite.
In 2005, Gen. Salim Saleh the current presidential advisor on defence , then a Lt. Gen. was one of the pioneer classes to graduate from the new Uganda Senior Command and Staff College at Kimaka in Jinja.
Following that course, he was promoted to the rank of General in the UPDF. Prior to the 2006 general elections, Saleh went back to school and obtained an A –level certificate and was later appointed Minister of State for Microfinance.
Besigye reveals that behind the scenes, President Museveni wanted to appoint him as a minister before he completed senior six.
He believes that Parliament could have said no with a firm stand as was the case with the 7th Parliament when it rejected Gen. Salim Saleh as minister before he got an A-level certificate.
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi says there is no problem with Executive influence, but Parliament needs to know that it has the independence to make decisions. However, the President can influence a decision if it’s for the good of the country.