Last evening, Parliament adopted a motion seeking to censure Gen. Elly Tumwine the Security Minister over safe houses.
Gen. Tumwine is accused of blocking the work of Parliament during a time when MPs were investigating illegal detention centers in the country but the MPs amended the Human Rights Committee recommendation that had sought to ‘punish’ the minister without providing details.
The Motion was moved by the Butambala County Legislator who also doubles as the Shadow Internal Affairs under Rule 56 of parliamentary rules of procedure, after debate on the torture of Ugandans in safe houses.
Last year the speaker of Parliament instituted an investigation into the alleged torture by Internal Security Organisation (ISO) after Mr. Latif Ssebaggala (DP, Kawempe North), and Kassiano Wadri, (Ind, Arua Municipality), alleged that ISO was running safe houses to torture people in Kalangala District and Kyengera in Wakiso and Gen Tumwine later admitted that government was running safe houses for intelligence purposes but not torturing civilians.
However, Members of Parliament claim that individuals are using security agencies to settle personal differences and torturing people recommending that security agencies should avoid being used by the public to settle a personal vendetta.
The Security minister yesterday said that the media was picking out only negative stories because Some detainees, according to Ms. Janepher Nantume Egunyu, (Buvuma Islands, NRM), were released after Parliament started its investigations.
The committee also recommended that all security agencies be tasked to observe human rights in the course of their work as provided by the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda.
Some legislators said that Gen Tumwine should beeld personally liable for his actions. “We should recommend that the minister of security be censured for contempt of Parliament,” Mr. Gaffa Mbwatekamwa, MP for Kasambya, said.
“As a country, we should not be talking about safe houses. The existence of illegal detention centers is unconstitutional and degrades the quality of leadership in this country.” The Buyaga east MP said
Mr. Barnabas Tinkasimire (NRM, Buyaga West)also remarked that those who have been tortured should be compensated because institutions that are constitutionally mandated to investigate and prosecute crime exist.