ARONDA SPLITS HOUSE

Opposition MPs led by the leader of the opposition, Nathan Nandala Mafabi walked out of Parliament during Thursday’s plenary session over the approval of Gen. Aronda Nyakairima as minister.

General Aronda Nyakairima, a serving army officer has climactically been cleared for the post of Internal Affairs minister today. The walk-out came after attempts by the opposition to introduce the issue on the floor of the house were resisted by Speaker Kadaga who said the item was not on order paper.

Sources say Aronda’s approval was preceded by a closed-door vote where sixteen members of the parliamentary vetting committee voted “YES”, six went for “NO” while one abstained.

Since he was appointed by the president, those opposed to his approval have called for the respect of Article 208(2) of the 1995 Constitution and the UPDF Act which bar serving army officers from participating in partisan politics. Opposition MPs have termed the approval as “unconstitutional” and are vowing to go to the Constitutional Court to have the decision rescinded. 

A day after Aronda’s clearance, the Uganda Law Society come out saying the prohibitive UPDF Act highly cited by those opposed to his clearance would only apply if the general had actively sought political office. The society says Article 208(2) of the 1995 Constitution and the UPDF Act which bar serving army officers from participating in partisan politics could not be invoked given that Aronda was appointed to the position by the president but not through self engineering. 

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