Members of the Ugandan Parliament have called for “stronger punitive” action against Uganda’s Ambassador to Burundi following his blistering attack on lawmakers at a press conference on Monday.
Parliament recently passed a motion to recall Gen Kyaligonza, a retired battle-hardened army officer who participated in decisive battles that led to NRA’s rise to power, from his current posting to Burundi.
In response, Kyaligonza on Monday said the MPs’ decision “is such a stupid one. It is even unfair. Imagine they jumped on tables, broke microphones and fought each other, but no one recalled them…They are stupid.”
The comments have since sparked a firestorm in Parliament, with MPs saying Kyaligonza needs to be brought to order.
Deputy Opposition Chief Whip and Rukungiri Municipality legislator Hon. Roland Mugume Kaginda demanded punitive action to be taken against the NRA historical to stop Kyaligonza’s “careless utterances.”
Kaginda said Parliament should not only rescind the retired bush war hero’s appointment to Burundi but also deter him from being appointed to the legislature in future.
“Mr. Speaker and Members of Parliament, this contempt of Parliament is a grave offence of obstructing the legislature in carrying out its function,” said Kaginda.
“The executive should be made to expedite the implementation of the resolution to recall him by halting the consideration of the ministerial statement for Foreign Affairs Ministry 2019 until Gen. Matayo Kyaligonza is out of office,” he added.
Weighing in on the same matter, Erute South MP Jonathan Odur suggested that in order to curb acts of impunity by high ranking army officers, all bush war generals should be rehabilitated.
Odur said this will help them easily transition into civilian life.
“I am concerned because Gen Kyaligonza is one of the Generals that went to the bush and experiences in the bush are very difficult. They can change your orientation… So government could be advised to get a whole set of Generals who went to the bush and take them to a counseling unit so that they begin to leave this bush mentality and become civilians,” he added.
However, Odur’s statement irked a section of other MPs.
Out of order
In a rebuttal, Hon Ruth Nankabirwa, the Kyankwanzi woman representative, asked whether it was in order for Odur to insinuate that bush war Generals are psychologically incapacitated yet President Museveni has worked with them to steer the country to greater heights.
On his part, the 2nd Deputy Premier Hon. Moses Ali, a retired General, blasted the Erute legislator, saying he was not qualified to assess Generals since he is not one.
“Actually, he (Odur) is not a General; so I don’t think he has the ability to assess a General,” Deputy Premier Ali fired back.
Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanya advised members not to whine in light of such comments, saying that Kyaligonza’s remarks are not representative of the legislature.
“Some of these things don’t define who we are. We know what we are, we know what we do and personally if someone called me a fool I would look at them and smile. Because I would know they are the biggest. I wouldn’t take it beyond that,” Oulanyah opined.
Kyaligonza accuses MPs of condemning him without giving him a change to explain the situation that saw his bodyguards being captured on camera roughing up a policewoman in Seeta, Mukono District.
“I was there, I saw what happened. Before they finally said that I be recalled, did they ask me for the truth? They are saying that I be recalled. Are they the ones who put me there? Only one committee approved me and they have for the last many years [established] that I am the viable candidate for this job,” he said.