Kampala. Speaker Rebecca Kadaga on Thursday ordered MPs on the Parliament’s Defence and Internal Affairs Committee to probe into the clashes in the Rwenzori sub-region that have left scores dead and others arrested, including Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere.
To expedite investigations into the death of the people during last Sunday’s raid on King Mumbere’s Buhikira palace in Kasese Town and other incidents in the Rwenzori sub-region, Ms Kadaga, with the blessing of Parliament, co-opted five members to boost Ms Judith Nabakooba’s committee and rejected a proposal for a select committee.
In rejecting the proposal for a select committee, which was being pushed by Opposition lawmakers mainly from Kasese District, Ms Kadaga said: “We cannot diminish the work of committees, especially when we are the ones that gave them work. I want you to agree that we add five more members to support the work being done by the Defence [and Internal Affairs] Committee instead of forming another committee.”
Ms Kadaga backed the committee on grounds that the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee chaired by a former police spokesperson [Ms Nabakooba] had already been tasked to investigate the Kasese crisis at the time of the first clashes early this year and that the committee can only be boosted with more members instead of rendering it “irrelevant”.
However, arguing on the fact that the police were involved in the clashes and had lost some of its officers, some legislators raised queries of conflict of interest on the part of the committee chairperson and questioned her loyalty in handling a matter involving her former colleagues in the Force.
However, members were told to accept the fact that all MPs carry some baggage of their former workplaces and should respect the fact that Ms Nabakooba is now an MP, who is answerable to Parliament and not the police anymore.
The Speaker ordered the committee to present their findings before the House breaks for Christmas on December 15.
The MPs, who pressed for a select committee to probe into the Kasese killings reasoned that the task earlier assigned to the Nabakooba committee had already been overtaken by events and wouldn’t add any value to the current debate.