The parliamentary committee on defense and Internal Affairs on Thursday kicked out senior police officers led by Okoth Ochola, the Deputy Inspector General of Police and James Baba, the Junior Internal Affairs minister.
The officers include Grace Akullo, the Director Criminal Investigations Directorate, Grace Turyagumanawe, the Director Operations, Andrew Felix Kaweesi, Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander and Interpol Boss Asan Kasingye.
The police team showed up before the committee on Thursday to defend the Internal Affairs Ministry Policy Statement that was recently laid on the floor of Parliament and now being handled by the committee.
However, the committee sought an explanation from the team why Kale Kayihura, the Inspector General of Police and General Aronda Nyakairima, the newly appointed Internal Affairs Minister had not showed up.
Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the Kyandondo East MP said he was uncomfortable to interface with police officials without the IGP saying that he is the best person to defend the policy statement of Police and also account for monies used in the previous Financial Year.
In his response James Baba said Kayihura has not showed up because he was not feeling well adding that General Aronda was unable to appear because he is still familiarizing with his new work place and studying the policy statement that was made in his absence.
Baba enraged the MPs when he said that he had come to appear for only one and half hours because he had other pressing matters to attend to.
Benny Namugwanya, the committee chairperson, informed members that she had been notified of the ill health of Kayihura and asked Baba to give more time to the presentation of the policy statement since there was a lot needed from him as a person who drafted it.
This did not go down well with the majority of the committee members who insisted on the presence of both generals Aronda and Kayihura before the committee can receive the policy statement.
Namugwanya sent out the police bosses and the ministers adjourned the committee for 30 minutes to allow members to harmonize their position on the absence of the two officials. He called back the police bosses and asked them to return on August 1 with General Aronda Nyakairima and Kayihura to defend their policy statement.
Baba agreed with the decision but said he couldn’t tell whether Kayihura will be well enough to appear before the committee. He also wondered whether Aronda will be ready to defend the policy statement. This angered MPs on the committee especially Ssemujju and Theodore Sekikubo, the Lwemiyaga MP, who called the Minister to order saying the chair had already ruled and insisted that the two appear.
According to Sekikubo, General Aronda must appear because he is the substantive Internal Affairs minister having been duly approved by the appointments committee. He explained that this is the only time, when the MPs interface directly with the Executive.
On IGP Kayihura, Sekikubo said police is almost semi autonomous adding that, there are various activities going in the force, which are of interest to Ugandans.