sick http://chopcult.com/wp-content/themes/genesis/lib/include/fckeditor/images/secure.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 115%;”>During a meeting at State House, information pills Entebbe on Saturday, prostate UPDF MP Tumwiine stood his ground, saying Aronda’s approval as Minister for Internal Affairs before his discharge from the army would be “unconstitutional.”
This is the first time Museveni is being challenged by a high ranking army officer, close friend and advisor on pushing on with Aronda’s ministerial appointment before the latter is retired.
The latest development also signals the stiffening of resistance against Aronda’s appointment as the President attempts to arm-twist legislators to have them tow his line.
“Mr President, the Constitution and the UPDF Act are very clear that serving army officers cannot participate in partisan politics. There is no way Gen Aronda can be nonpartisan when serving as a Cabinet Minister,” Tumwiine told off the President.
Sources say legislators, Attorney General Peter Nyombi and a UPDF legal advisor moved restlessly in their chairs as Tumwiine counseled the President.
The mood became tense as Tumwiine, the first NRA combatant to fire a bullet on February 6, 1981 at Kabamba, opposed Museveni’s stance on Aronda.
Museveni was shocked to see even his trusted general among members opposing his stand.
The meeting started at around mid-day, with Nyombi presenting his view to the attentive head of executive and the members of legislature, saying no law requires Aronda’s retirement before assuming his position as minister.
“There is no law that requires an officer appointed by the President to first resign before taking the job and the wrongs made during the approval of Gen Jeje Odongo should not be repeated,” Nyombi advised.
The President, who at the beginning was calm and diplomatic, took to the floor and told the Parliamentary Accounts Committee that he is convinced by Nyombi’s interpretation of the law.
“That’s the truth. Gen Jeje Odongo should not have resigned. It was a mistake which should be corrected. I know why I appointed Aronda a Cabinet Minister. I spend a lot of time thinking,” the President warned.
Museveni further said he did not expect such resistance from the Appointments Committee considering “Aronda’s 30 years of sacrifice for thewell being of Ugandans including MPs.”
Aronda joined the National Resistance Army in 1982 after graduating in 1981 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in political science.
After seizing power in 1986, he attended the Basic Officers Course in 1989 and another in Strategic Studies at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, USA. He also has further military qualifications from the Egyptian Military Academy in Cairo.
From a top intelligence officer and senior military operations commander in the post-1986 wars in Northern and North Eastern Uganda, Aronda rose to Chief of Defence Forces in 2003 – a position he has held till 2013 when he was appointed Internal Affairs Minister.
Parliament says he either retires or forgets about the Ministerial position, a move the President says he will not accept.
It remains unclear why Museveni does not want to retire Aronda who has in the past asked to leave the army.
During the Entebbe meeting, some members agreed with Nyombi’s argument while others especially Betty Amongi (Oyam South MP) boldly told the President that Aronda must first be retired.
Amongi said Article 208 (2) of the Constitution strongly demands that UPDF officers should not be partisan and “an appointment by the NRM chairman means Aronda will be implementing the NRM manifesto.”
Chimpreports also learnt that the invited UPDF legal advisor told the President that Aronda should resign before taking the position.
The officer reportedly said according to UPDF Act any officer who has served for 13 years and above is entitled to retirement and for Aronda’s case there was o hurdle.
He went ahead and advised Museveni that if he still wants Aronda in the armed forces, the Reserved Force Act can still bring him back to active service.
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanya said MPs should not question the appointing authority’s intelligence but look at the caliber of the nominee.
Museveni stuck to his guns, saying he would go by the Attorney General’s earlier presentation and told members to decide.
The committee shall schedule another date to decide on Aronda’s fate.