The Executive Director of Uganda Media Centre and government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo has called upon speaker of parliament, Rebecca Kadaga to own up the parliament raid rather than start including President Museveni and security agencies.
Opondo made the statements while appearing at NBS TV’s The Frontline show last night.
In the letter dated October 23, to the President, copied to; IGP of Police, Prime Minister, SFC commander, Kadaga would like to know who made the order to deploy plain clothed security personnel at parliament to evict legislators on September 27.
“As you are aware there were some disruptions of parliament proceedings by some rowdy members of parliament on 21st September, 26th and 27th September 2017. I took action to suspend 25 members of parliament from the service of the house for three sittings,” the letter reads in part.
“However, after I had requested the sergeant-At Arms to remove the members from the precincts unknown people entered the chamber and beat up the members, including those not suspended and a fight ensued for over an hour. I have had the opportunity to view camera footages of what transpired and noticed people in black suits and white shirts who are not part of the parliament police or the staff of the Sergeant At Arms beating members,” the letter continues.
Kadaga also claims that the security operatives according to CCTV footage are shown moving in single file from the precincts of the office of the president. She there fore asks the president to help identify the operatives, their motives and mission.
However, Opondo dismissed Kadaga’s letter as “futile reverse psychology.”
“How can Museveni know people who entered parliament on a particular day, he is not the office superintendent of the president’s office to know which security officers assembled and moved in single file. Kadaga is engaged in a futile reverse psychology and it will not work,” Opondo said.
“I think Kadaga is now involved in a reverse psychology for self cleansing. She took the decision her self. I am not sure if she knows how the sergeant at arms office functions when it is challenged (because it can consult parliament police which can also call the main police). She made public statements on record, she was decisive about the method and she concluded and said she wont apologise, we wont give her the opportunity to do this reverse psychology,” he added.
Democratic party president, Norbert Mao also had no kind words for Kadaga, he said the speaker had issued a weak apology and thus her “letter was not an earth shaking thing.”
“The speaker has let this situation creep up in parliament, it is what we call creeping normalcy where the police, security determine who enters parliament and how. The speaker is the boss of parliament but she has failed,” Mao said.
“This is a weak apology, she will be summoned to statehouse and be given a dressing down. If she is calling them strangers, why did she copy them in? I am not convinced with this letter personally. The independence of parliament was lost long ago. Kadaga her self has questions to answer. She was seated happily when NRM MPs dedicated a plenary to praise her. Is it the same brain that originated the letter?” he added.
CEO of The Independent magazine, Andrew Mwenda justified all actions, saying there is no need for answers from anyone since legislators called for their eviction.
“We should start with those that started doing wrong, Opposition MPs refused to use intellect and they deserved it. There was defiance of the authority of the speaker, did they expect the speaker to run out of parliament or them?” he said
“However, I blame the security, of the job they came to do they did it badly,” he added.
Kamuli Municipality MP aspirant, Salaamu Musumba was also unkind to the speaker, calling upon her to apologise publicly.
“It buffles me that speaker abandons her custodianship and runs to another arm of government for answers, she should apologise to this country for causing harm and abdicating duty,” Salaamu said.
Meanwhile Police spokesperson Asan Kasingye and former spy chief David Pulkol justified the speaker’s actions, saying she was only acting like any office would do by consulting other arms on a situation at hand.
The Frontline show happens every Thursday from 10pm to Midnight.