By Najibu Mulema
Former UPDF Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), Gen. Katumba Wamala today has been vetted and approved as State Minister for Works by Parliament’s appointments committee.
Gen. Wamala was appointed minister by President Yoweri Museveni after being replaced by Gen. David Muhoozi in a heated army reshuffle.
The former CDF becomes the second serving army officer to be approved as minister in President Museveni’s reign, the first one being the late Gen. Aronda Nyakairima who was minister of Internal Affairs.
Wamala’s approval comes at a moment when undecided case against the late Nyakairima’s ministerial appointment when he is still a serving army officer is still in court.
Article 208(2) of the Constitution says that UPDF shall be non-partisan, national in character, patriotic, professional, disciplined, productive and subordinate to the civilian authority.
The UPDF Act under clause 99 provides that a serving officer or militant who desires to seek political office shall first resign or retire.
According to some observers, General Aronda’s approval set a precedent which eventually has seen members of the army like Gen. Wamala take up political positions without relinquishing their military offices; something they say is taking us back to pre 1995 where the president had the power to appoint army men to cabinet.
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