MPs demand govrnment explanation on coup, budget
Posted Friday, February 8 2013 at 02:00
They also want the government to explain it’s increased attack on the media in the next one week.
Parliament yesterday gave the government one week to explain the utterances attributed to senior officials about coup threats and efforts by President Museveni to “control all pillars of the State”.
Lawmakers also want the government to explain why it would want to usurp Parliament’s oversight mandate in respect to the National Budget and the increase of attacks against the media.
The directive could likely fan the simmering conflict between the Legislature and the Executive as each arm of government seeks to assert its powers.
Efforts by the acting leader of government business in Parliament Aston Kajara not to commit to the issues was resisted. “We will, at an appropriate time, give a full report. We have just received these issues. I pray that we give the government time to prepare appropriate answers, which will allay all the fears of members, especially the allegations that are attributed to President Museveni,” Mr Kajara said.
However, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, said: “The issues raised by the Leader of the Opposition are topical. The country wants answers, very quickly. So we need a time frame.” But Mr Kajara countered: “We appreciate that these issues are very important to the country and we are prepared to issue a full statement on the four issues within one week.”
The concerns followed remarks attributed to President Museveni, his Minister for Defence, Crispus Kiyonga and the Chief of Defence Forces, Aronda Nyakairima, that the armed forces could intervene in the country’s politics.
Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Mr Nandala Mafabi said though President Museveni has since explained himself over the coup, “we [Ugandans] are not convinced”.
Gen. Nyakairima had earlier said he could not elaborate on his utterances.
Mr Mafabi said the statements put Uganda in bad light with friendly and more democratic governments, the East African Community and investors who President Museveni courts. “The Executive does not want this Parliament to do its oversight work and to question the rampant corruption and other forms of abuses by government officials.”
The government has from October 30 not explained itself on other issues that Mr Mafabi had raised. These include the United Nations report that says Uganda supports the M23 rebels now fighting the duly elected Joseph Kabila government in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mr Kajara claimed that the issues could not be raised now and answered there and then.
The government had also been asked to explain the alleged killing of Muslim clerics, the arrest of opposition politicians and their detention in torture cells, the kidnap of Ugandans by security personnel, so-called preventive arrests and corruption.