The proceedings of a Disciplinary Committee of parliament again suffered a setback after Gen. Elly Tumwine who was meant to present his defense on allegations of misconduct continued to be defiant leading to another adjournment.
The parliamentary committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline had convened today hoping to get a response from Gen. Tumwine who has been pinned by his fellow legislators on allegations of direct attack, and contempt of parliament.
This week, MPs including Dokolo District Woman MP Hon. Cecilia Ogwal, Hon. Kasibante Moses, and Hon. Katusabe Atikns openly testified before the disciplinary committee how Gen. Tumwine committed the offenses he is accused of.
However, the four star general who is also a UPDF representative in Parliament today held committee members in an unending haggling; tabling outrageous demands.
First, Gen. Tumwine demanded to know the objectives of the committee asking whether it is only interested in truths, and not lies.
Secondly Gen. Tumwine first contested the fact that members kept referring to him as a witness yet he is sure the proceedings of the committee are an extension of an engagement that happened in parliament the day the matter was debated and sent to the committee.
“Chair I like playing things properly. My invitation is clear; invited to a parliamentary committee. I am here as a member of parliament, with all my privileges and a continuation of a participation in parliament last week. i don’t see where the word witness comes from” Said Gen. Tumwine.
This is when members became suspicious and asked him if he was ready to present his defense in regard to allegations leveled against him. This prompted a bitter interjection of lawmakers; Hon. Katuntu, Hon. Sekikuubo, Hon. Waluswaka and otthers until the Chairperson Hon. Clement Ongalo Obote invoked clauses in the law to that effect.
Gen. Tumwine finally made his demands clear; “Chair, on whether i am ready or not, and since you have said the committee is meant to establish the truth, i need to read terms of reference for this committee accompanied with testimonies of my accusers. I need seven 7 days to be ready”
After a tug of war that lasted about three hours without much success, the committee resolved to give Gen. Tumwine up to Tuesday morning 10am to present his defense, or the committee writes a report with or without his defense.
Ugandans must wait until Tuesday to see if the General will defend himself in the disciplinary committee. According to the parliamentary rules, if the General fails to defend himself, or does but he is found guilty, he can be admonished, or suspended from proceedings of the house, or asked to apologize, or exonerated.