Army imbalances land Kiyonga in trouble Sheila Naturinda Parliament Members of Parliament yesterday chased the defence minister and top army officials out of the House, accusing them of being sectarian. The MPs also threatened to declare defence state minister Gen. Jeje Odongo an impostor, saying his appointment to cabinet was not cleared by Parliament. Minister Crispus Kiyonga, who had led his team comprising Land Forces commander Katumba Wamala and top officials Col. Moses Rwakitarate, Brig. Robert Rusoke and Col. Fred Mwesigye, were given marching orders by MPs who complained that the army top tier was dominated by people from western region. Commander Land Forces Lt. Gen Katumba Wamala (L) with the PS ministry of defence Rose Byengoma and the Minister of Defence Dr. Crispus Kiyonga (L) appearing before the parliamentary committee. Photo by Geoffrey Sseruyange The MPs were bitter that the region, from which President Museveni hails, had taken the proverbial lions share of the armys juicy jobs. Look at all these 15 who have turned up here; 12 of them are from one region- the west -leaving the three shared by other regions. Its not fair and we shall not accept this, said Mr Hussein Kyanjo [Makindye West], who raised the alarm bells. UPDFs Generals are Yoweri Museveni, Salim Saleh, Elly Tumwine, Aronda Nyakairima and David Tinyefuza, who are from the west. Next to them are Lieutenant Generals Katumba Wamala [central], Jeje Odongo [east], Moses Ali [West Nile] and Ivan Koreta [west]. The members of the defence and internal affairs committee said they would not debate the ministrys budget unless they get clarification on the status of promotions, training and recruitment in the armed forces. We have given you up to Thursday [tomorrow] to make us appreciate if there are no imbalances in the way you recruit, train and promote your officers before we look into your ministry budgets, committee chairman Mathias Kasamba [Kakuto, NRM] ruled as he adjourned the meeting. Dr Kiyonga pleaded with the committee to allow his team present the ministerial budget statements and return today [Wednesday] for a closed session in which they would disclose the details pertaining the army promotions. But the MPs refused, forcing the Generals out. The minister promised to disclose details in a closed session tomorrow. Army spokesman Felix Kulayigye, however, yesterday told Daily Monitor: I dont buy into the claims of imbalances during promotions because some people who were in the bush are at the same ranks with the people they captured. The legislators also asked Dr Kiyonga to return with an explanation on the status of his deputy minister, Gen Odongo, who has never appeared before Parliament for vetting. We also dont need to pass a budget to a minister who has not fulfilled all parliamentary considerations, Mr Kasamba said.