Parliament Moves to Censure Security Minister Gen. Elly Tumwine

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Gen. Elly Tumwine appearing before Parliament Committee

The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has cleared the commencement of a process of censuring the security minister General Elly Tumwine over contempt of Parliament and blocking House work.

Gen. Tumwine was cited in blocking the human rights committee members from investigating alleged safe houses using his office.

The matter started following a report of the committee on human rights on alleged torture in ungazetted detention centres in the country.

According to the report read to Parliament by Buvuma District MP, Janepher Nantume Egunyu,  the security minister  Gen. Elly Tumwine was accused of using his office to frustrated the  work of the committee which was cleared by the  Speaker of Parliament .

The committee recommended that Gen. Tumwine should be held accountable for failing the Committee work by denying the committee access to the safe houses as well as blocking its interaction with the Heads of Security Agencies including the head of Internal Security Organisation (ISO), Col. Kaka Bagyenda.

After several Members of Parliament called for the censure of General Tumwine over his misconduct, Butambala county mp Mohammad Muwanga Kivumbi moved a motion to censure the Minister and was seconded by workers MP  Dr.Sam Lyomoki and Kilak South MP Gilbert Oulanya among other Members of Parliament.

Muwanga also moved that all illegal detention centres in Uganda be closed with immediate effect.

“We seek to amend under Rule 60 the recommendations of the committee to add a section which reads that all safe houses and ungazetted detention facilities be closed with immediate effect and amend that a vote of censure against Minister for Security Gen. Elly Tumwine be initiated as provided under Rule 01,” Kivumbi said.

According to Article 118 of the Constitution, Parliament may, by resolution supported by more than half of all members of Parliament, pass a vote of censure against a Minister on the grounds of (a) abuse of office or willful violation of the oath of allegiance or oath of office (b) misconduct or misbehavior; (c) physical or mental incapacity, namely, that he or she is incapable of performing the functions of his or her office by reason of physical or mental incapacity; (d) mismanagement; or (e) incompetence.

The committee report also asked Police Force to adhere to the 48 hour rule that requires suspects to be produced in court after arrest.

It recommended that activities of security agencies should be coordinated and they should respect each other’s roles.

“The Police Force together with the UHRC should investigate all allegations of torture and hold the perpetrators accountable,” the report noted.

The committee observed that the practice of using plain clothed armed men to arrest people without following established procedure creates a gap for bad elements to take advantage and cause mayhem in society.