Opinion: Mwiru’s motion to seek an inquiry of the UPDF involvement in civil matters is a righteous one
Hon. Paul Mwiru, the MP whose behind the motion: “MOTION TOR A RESOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT TO INQUIRE INTO THE RECENT REPORTED MISCONDUCT OF THE UGANDA PEOPLE’S DEFENCE FORCES DURING DEPLOYMENT IN CIVIL MATTERS”, which was in the plenary on the 21st November 2019.
This motion is important, also for the matter that its seconded by Christopher Kalemba, Anthony Okello and Noah Wanzala Mutebi. All four of them, these MPs are acting on their right instinct on the matter of the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), the army. The army isn’t supposed to be involved directly in civil manners, but of late and recent years, the UPDF have done more and more state functions. They are entangled in things where the army got nothing with it. That’s why the Motion moved by Hon. Mwiru is the good one.
Not because the motion is perfect. Not because the motion has the answers nor the results we want to hear. No, it is the right one, because the UPDF and the NRM needs to be challenged on this. The President who likes to be the general and warrior. Got to be questioned for the involvement of the UPDF in other things, than defending the border and securing the territory of the Republic.
The piece that is good from the motion is this:
“FURTHER AWARE that in the recent post there hos been increased intervention of UPDF in civil matters notably regulation of the fishing industry and quelling protests by students of Makerere University, NOTING THAT gross violations of human and people rights have reportedly marred the intervention of the UPDF in civil matters, which ordinarily should be a preserve of the Uganda Police Force as commended by Article 212 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda” (Motion, 21.11.2019).
The final important piece of the motion is this:
“AND FURTHER COGNIZANT of the importance of duly holding public officials and institutions to account for their actions and inactions as on integral canon of good governance and a possible deterrent from repetitive transgressions, Now THEREFORE it be resolved by this August House that; Parliament institutes a Select Committee to inquire. Within 45 days of approval of this Motion, into the reported violations of human and people rights by the UPDF with a view of establishing and apportioning culpability” (Motion, 21.11.2019).
This is why this motion is good. Because, it asks the Select Committee to inquire and directly investigate into the matters. This is to reveal and gain documentation on the matters, where the army has been used in civilian matters, which is wrong. Where the army has intervened and used force against civilians. That’s why this sort of motion will show who did what and who has to answer for what they did. Who did the ordering and who actually was behind the mess of misusing the army to settle civilian problems. Instead of going the proper ways or going the whole due process.
The legality of it, the challenge with the law and the constitution is another matter too. Which makes this even a bigger question, as to where it might be fitting to solve the resolving issues after collecting the report from the authorities, the Ministry of Security, the Ministry of Defence and the other ones. Where they do have the documents and the paper-trail to prove the acts, which has been made. The ones whose secret, the ones whose confidential and the ones the army and neither the “high above” wants the Republic to see.
Therefore, this motion is needed. What it grants is important. It will not reveal everything, but if a select committee gets to work, gets into discovery and get to collect data. They might discover something unseen and show us the whole picture. Instead of the little fragments we have today. Peace.