Gen Muhoozi: Kayihura Invited Army to Restore Integrity of Parliament
Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen David Muhoozi has told the Constitutional Court hearing the age limit petition in the eastern Uganda town of Mbale, his version of the army raid on parliament in September 2017 in the heat of the age limit debate.
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Speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga had ordered 25 MPs opposed to the age limit motion.
Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi had been blocked from presenting the motion that seeks to delete the upper age limit in article 102b of the constitution.
A day before the SFC raid on the house, opposition MPs had sung down Magyezi’s motion.
Kadaga had adjourned the house due to the noise. She would return to suspend the MPs for three consecutive sittings the following day.
But the MPs refused to leave.
Scuffles ensued between MPs on the political divide, before SFC officers swung in action to forcefully eject the MPs.
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Muhoozi spoke before secretary to the treasury Keith Muhakanizi and secretary to cabinet John Mitala.
Muhakanizi was cross examined on issues regarding the Shs 29m money for facilitation to MPs on age limit consultations, and other issues.
Mitala was grilled on issues of the proposed referendum, among others.
Gen Muhoozi told the court the army “were there to restore the integrity of parliament”.
Muhoozi said he was “not aware of any member of Parliament beaten” by the army.
The army chief also told court that then police chief Gen Kale Kayihura had “called me around 1pm that he needed my support”.
“I passed the instruction down the command.”
Asked if he had consulted the security high command before raid on parliament, Muhoozi said: “This was a very urgent matter. It was an emergency.”
On whether he had consulted the speaker or clerk, Muhoozi said: “the Speaker is nowhere in the chain of command.”
“The sergeant at arms was completely out of the question.”
Muhoozi further told court that his officers had not beaten MPs.
“MPs who were ordered to move out of Parliament and refused to move were the ones who assaulted fellow MPs,” said Muhoozi.
“The UPDF officers were instructed to ensure there was law&order inside the chamber,but not to beat MPs.