The administration of Uganda’s parliament has distanced itself from endorsing General Muhoozi Kainerugaba’s involvement in partisan politics, following an event that took place in Bukedea district on Monday.
Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa clarified that Gen. Muhoozi was invited as a guest at Speaker Anita Among’s thanksgiving ceremony, and his presence should not be interpreted as an official endorsement for his political participation.
The controversy arose when Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Operations and head of the MK Movement, addressed a large rally in Teso attended by Speaker of Parliament Anita Among, Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa, and numerous legislators, an event that triggered public uproar and concerns about the involvement of a serving military officer in partisan politics.
Kira Municipality Legislator Ibrahim Semujju Nganda raised his voice in parliament, accusing his superiors of indirectly endorsing Gen. Muhoozi’s participation in politics and highlighted an ongoing court case filed by Male Mabiriizi, challenging Gen. Muhoozi’s political involvement, he expressed concerns that Speaker Among and Deputy Speaker Tayebwa might be summoned to testify in the case.
“There is already a case before court challenging Muhoozi’s participation in partisan politics. It is possible that the two custodians of the House may end up in court as witnesses.” Nganda stated.
Jonathan Odur, the Erute South Legislator, echoed Nganda’s sentiments, emphasizing that the event in Bukedea potentially violated the sanctity of the parliament and the UPDF (Uganda People’s Defence Force) act, which prohibits serving officers from engaging in partisan politics.
“The event at Bukedea impeached the sanctity of the August House and is a violation of the UPDF act that prohibits serving officers from involving in partisan politics.” Stated Odur
Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa defended the situation during parliamentary proceedings, clarifying that Gen. Muhoozi was merely a guest at Speaker Among’s thanksgiving ceremony.
He maintained that Gen. Muhoozi’s attendance was nothing unusual and shouldn’t be interpreted as an endorsement for his political aspirations.
“Gen. Muhoozi was simply a guest at the Speaker’s thanksgiving ceremony in Bukedea, and his attendance had nothing unusual.” Noted Tayebwa.
However, despite the administration’s clarification, the debate within parliament persisted.
Some members who attended the event emphasized that Gen. Muhoozi was treated as any other guest and that there was no irregularity in his presence.
As the parliament resumed sittings after a fortnight break, the controversy surrounding Gen. Muhoozi’s involvement in partisan politics continued to be a subject of discussion among legislators with tension between those who perceive his attendance as a potential breach of military conduct and those who view it as a non-partisan event remaining unresolved.
The situation raises important questions about the role of high-ranking military officials in the political landscape and the boundaries that should be observed to maintain the integrity of both institutions.
The controversy highlights the delicate balance between military service and political participation and underscoring the need for clarity on such matters to ensure the proper functioning of both institutions.