The Minister of Internal Affairs, Gen Jeje Odongo has refuted the claims made by Amuru county Woman MP, Lucy Akello on Tuesday that soldiers had invaded and camped in the chapels of Parliament. He said that the alleged soldiers were officers of the Parliamentary Police.
Debate by legislators on the contentious Presidential age limit Bill was disrupted on Tuesday after an MP alleged that soldiers had taken over the Catholic chapel in Parliament and refused her access. This prompted the Speaker to adjourn the House to 2pm in order to ascertain the facts.
But when plenary resumed, Minister Odongo submitted to the House that upon receiving the information about the ‘soldiers’, he went down to the chapels and found that the said intruders were in fact Parliamentary policemen.
He said that the Sargent at Arms informed him that keys to the Chapels are kept by the leadership of the said places of worship.
“I went there to find out if there were people other than the authorized policemen. I went with the commandant of Parliament police and we found that they were policemen eating but not in the chapel,” Odongo said.
“Indeed, there were utensils that had been used by the policemen but they were in the corridor but not in the chapel. It is not true that the chapel was used as eating places.”
But some MPs led by Buyaga West MP, Barnabas Tinkasimire contested Odongo’s narrative and laid on table a number of items including plates that they found dumped within the two worship places.
Tinkasimire said that “We went there to find if they were praying, we picked hundreds of plates and cups. We were intercepted but we overpowered the policemen,” he said before presenting the said items on the table.
Speaker Kadaga then ordered the Clerk to present a report on the alleged siege of Parliament Catholic and Anglican Chapels by soldiers.
The clerk was asked to compile a report on the said allegations since she was as well within the chambers and could not establish what exactly was happening in the different worship places.