Members of Parliament have accused the Ugandan Ambassador to Burundi Maj.Gen.Matayo Kyaligonza of being a disgrace to the army and country at large for assaulting a traffic police officer over the weekend.
Kyaligonza and his two military police guards were seen in a video clip that went viral assaulting Sgt. Esther Namaganda for stopping them from making a U- turn in the middle of the road in Seeta on Sunday.
The two military police officers have since been arrested and detained at Makindye military barracks according to the army spokesperson.
On Wednesday, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Gen, Jeje Odong told parliament that the UPDF general has been summoned to police to help record a statement over the matter.
“No act of indiscipline will be tolerated. This incident is regrettable and we shall investigate it to its conclusion,”Gen.Odong said.
However, the statement by the Internal Affairs Minister didn’t sway MPs who said something needs to be done to discipline the Ugandan Ambassador to Burundi.
“Many vehicles with red number plates don’t follow traffic guidelines. Most army officers too don’t respect road guidelines. How many people have a right of way? Is that the way we are going to behave as liberators,” Mukono South MP Muyanja Ssenyonga said.
The legislators said it was degrading for a senior UPDF officer to assault a police officer who was on duty.
“An Ambassador should be an epitome of courtesy and empathy. Kyaligonza has shown he has not known the values of people he represents. He doesn’t even know the value that Ugandans attach to their army,” said Mitooma Woman MP Jova Kamateeka who also doubles as the Human rights committee chairperson for parliament.
“What he did was inconceivable. He should resign and we should withdraw him from being our Ambassador. He is going to cause a diplomatic row. The right thing for him to do is to resign. He should not be our ambassador any more. He must be held accountable and must compensate the officer he assaulted.”
Bugabula South MP HenryMorris Kibalyasaid it is appalling that the level of indiscipline by senior army officers is going up each day that passes.
He said something needs to be done to Maj.Gen. Kyaligonza so he can act as an example to his fellow senior army officers.
“We have been hailing the army for being disciplined but here is a senior officer misbehaving. The level of indiscipline by army officers has gone up. If a police officer was handled like that, what of a common man,”Kibalya wondered.
Ask for resignation
The MPs said that despite the Ugandan army being hailed for being disciplined, its senior member fell short of the benchmark adding that he should resign with immediate effect.
“Let us force Maj. Gen.Matayo kyaligonza to resign over his behavior. He should also be recalled with immediate effect over what he did,” Butambala County MP, Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi said.
Mbale municipality MP Jack Wamai Wamanga asked President Museveni to crack the whip by not only recalling Kyaligonza but also disciplining him.
“He must be recalled and punished for embarrassing Uganda by attacking a woman and a police officer on duty. The man has no shame and the president should act quickly to save the country’s image,” Wamayi Wamanga said.
The MPs also asked the army leadership to scrap one rank off Maj.Gen.Matayo Kyaligonza over his behavior noting that government should recall him from Burundi and be detained together with his guards at Makindye.
Since the Sunday incident, a number of people including women activists and several members of the public have attacked Kyaligonza over his behavior.