A city lawyer has dragged Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), Commander of Land Forces, Lt.Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba to Court for political involvement, whilst still serving in the army.
Muhoozi is the son of Uganda’s long-serving President, Yoweri Museveni.
Gawaya Tegulle, an advocate of Courts of Judicature is suing Muhoozi together with Attorney General, Kiryowa Kiwanuka and the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), General Wilson Mbadi in a petition filed in the Constitutional Court on May 6 2022.
Gawaya contends that Muhoozi’s Twitter activity and nationwide birthday celebrations dubbed ‘MK@48′ are tainted with political ambitions which is inconsistent with and a contravention of Article 208 (2) of the constitution which provides that “the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces shall be non-partisan, national in character, patriotic, professional, disciplined, productive and subordinate to the civilian authority as established under this constitution and also in violation of Articles 2,3,209 and 210”.
“The activities of MK@48 and the Twitter handle of the 1st Respondent are political in nature aimed at taking over power as successor to his father using methods and means not consistent with the Grundnorm,” Gawaya alleges.
He said the inaction or loud silence is equivalent to the approval or sanction by the UPDF establishment of the activities of the 1st Respondent who is both a serving officer and son of the CiC.
He said previous political overtones serving army officers like Gen David Tinyefuza (now Sejusa) and Maj Gen Henry Tumukunde have been met with “quick, malevolent crackdowns by the UPDF which included suspensions and court proceedings in the name of disciplinary sanction, a manifestation of discriminatory approach in application and enforcement of the law”.
“The totality of the 1st Respondent’s acts amount to the 1st respondent as a serving officer of the UPDF being: partisan, unprofessional, indisciplined, not of good character.”
According to Gawaya, UPDF and other security operatives were deployed to provide security and keep law and order on Muhoozi’ birthday which was an expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund to benefit celebrations that were private and not a service to the government.
He says the withdrawal of funds to pay the security operatives deployed to provide security and guard services on the birthday was not authorised by law.
“The actions, conduct and character of the 1 st Respondent set a bad example to the nation in general and do jeopardize the rule of law, respect of the constitution and the breeding of good, disciplined, law-abiding citizens … ” Gawaya further alleged.
“That it is in great public interest that the 1 st respondent’s actions, character and conduct be declared illegal and unconstitutional in order to redeem the sanctity of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and to also restore harmony and public confidence in the Uganda Peoples defence forces (UPDF) which is supposed to be a national army.”