It has emerged that Members of Parliament (MPs) especially from the ruling NRM party asked President Yoweri Museveni to provide them with armed security.
This was revealed by the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga on July 12, 2018 after Thomas Tayebwa, the Ruhinda North County MP (NRM) said he has never asked for security.
“I have never asked for such security, but I saw in my name, a pick up is going to be acquired with sharp shooters, I don’t know to shoot who. The clarification I need is; are they buying for each and every MP? We know we have our colleagues who might need security, it is up to me to determine whether I need extra security or not and I appreciate the President for being concerned,” Tayebwa said.
He added: “In case we have MPs who need extra security and sharp shooters, those MPs they should register themselves with the Clerk to Parliament you get their list, before the procurement of cars is done, you submit it to the Ministry of Finance and they get it for only those cars and sharp shooters for MPs.”
In response speaker Kadaga said: “On the 27th June, upon your (MPs) request, we had a meeting with the President and you are the ones that raised those issues (of being protected). It was an all [NRM] party caucus. I will arrange a meeting with the Commission because all we did yesterday was to give you the letter. I will study the letter and get back to you.”
It should be noted that President Museveni has directed the Finance Ministry to immediately buy escort vehicles for all the 456 MPs while the army will provide them with “sharp shooters” to protect them from what he called “terrorists.”
He ordered Finance minister Matia Kasaija to immediately set aside money to acquire a fleet of escort vehicles for MPs which will be boosted by marksmen from the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).
“MPs have been singled out for intimidation and possibly attack. I have decided to protect MPs as we wait for the putting in place of these security measures. MPs already have some police guards. Those will stay with them. I will, however, add two elements; the sharp-shooters of the army and follow-pickups that will be used by these against small arms bullets,” Museveni said in the letter dated June20, 2018 to Kasaija.
“I therefore direct you to immediately acquire a fleet of new 4-wheel drive pick-ups with open carriage beds. Provide additional money for these vehicles quickly. The army will use them to guard the MPs and when the new systems are put in place, these vehicles will be given to army officers as part of the UPDF fleet,” he added.
Museveni said the UPDF sharp-shooters will get personal body armour and helmets that are bullet proof.
He concluded telling Kasaija: “Act fast. I thank you and I expect speed.”
His letter was copied to the Vice President, Edward Ssekandi, the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen David Muhoozi, the Minister of Defence, Adolf Mwesige, and Keith Muhakanizi, the Secretary to the Treasury.