A private citizen has gone to the Constitutional Court, challenging the appointment of Gen Edward Katumba Wamala to a ministerial position.
Former Chief of Defence Forces, Wamala, was in February appointed State Minister for Works but Sentongo Sharif Nambale, in his petition, says appointing a serving military officer to a ministerial position is defiance of the Constitution.
“The act of the President appointing to a ministerial position an active military officer who is barred under section 37 of the UPDF Act from engaging in any civil undertaking or employment that is likely to reflect discredit upon the defence forces is in contravention of Article 2, 208 (2), 210 and the preamble of the constitution,” Sentongo’s petition reads in part.
Sentongo’s petition is also challenging Parliament’s appointment committee for approving Gen Katumba’s appointment and wants court to direct him to vacate the ministerial post within one month from the date of judgment.
“That the precedent of a serving member of the UPDF in cabinet is so dangerous that failure to annul it would open the flood gates of military appointments not only to ministerial positions but also to other sensitive sections of the state such as government owned media and judiciary,” says Sentongo in the affidavit filed through M/s Nalukoola, Kakeeto Advocates and Solicitors.
Gen Katumba is the second high ranking military officer to be appointed to a ministerial post before retiring or resigning from service.
Present Museveni earlier on had appointed the late Gen Aronda Nyakayirima to the post of Internal Affairs minister.
The same appointment was challenged and is still pending before the same court.