Parliament summons Gen. Aronda, Kiyonga over coup talk
Posted Monday, January 28 2013 at 12:03
Parliament has summoned the Chief of Defence Forces General Aronda Nyakairima and Defence Minister, Dr Crispus Kiyonga, to explain their recent comments about a possible military coup.
Simon Mulongo, the vice chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs, said on Sunday that the two officials are wanted to clarify their reasons for suggesting a possible overthrow of the government by the army.
Mr Mulongo, also the Member of Parliament for Bubulo East, says the 20-member committee is concerned about the comments which he says have thrown the country into panic.
At the height of disagreements between Parliament and the Executive after the death of Cerinah Nebanda, the former Butaleja Woman MP, Dr Kiyonga said the army was watching events and there was a possibility that it take over should politicians in Parliament continue “not showing seriousness” to solve the problems facing the country.
Dr Kiyonga said the intervention would be carried out to refocus the country’s future.
Days later, President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power for 27 years, was also quoted making similar remarks to ruling NRM party Members of Parliament at their retreat at Kyankwanzi. Mr Museveni said that the military would not allow the “confusion” in Parliament to continue.
This came in the wake of attempts by some MPs to collect signatures for a petition to recall Parliament from recess to discuss what they termed an attack on the independence of the legislature by the president.
On January 23, while addressing a press conference in Kampala to announce plans for this year’s Army Day, General Aronda Nyakairima, the Chief of Defence Forces, repeated the threats when he said the military would not allow bad politics to take Uganda back into turmoil.
He said the message about a possible coup was well taken for those it was intended, warning them that should they not change course, “other things will be brought into play.”
The comments have drawn hasty condemnation from various government critics who say President Museveni wants to set a ground to carry out a ‘palace coup’ and replace the current relative democratic order with a military government.
Mr Mulongo said the committee – which oversees activities and programmes in the Ministry of Defence, the Internal Affairs ministry – wants the Gen. Aronda and Dr Kiyonga to shed light on their comments.
He said they are waiting for the Clerk to Parliament to schedule a date on which the committee would face the two officials.
Attempts to get a comment from the Clerk to Parliament were futile as repeated calls on the official telephone contact went unanswered.
However, Col. Felix Kulayigye, the army spokesperson said on Monday that the comments about a possible coup in Uganda have been exaggerated by the media.