The chambers of Parliament nearly turned into a boxing ring after Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah and the First Deputy Prime Minister Gen Moses Ali engaged in a nasty war of words, leaving MPs shell-shocked.
Tempers flared after Gen Ali rose and queried why the Budadiri East MP Nandala Mafabi was questioning why the House was doing business without the required quorum yet he had dominated debate, to the annoyance of other MPs who trooped out.
But Gen Ali was cut short by Mr Oulanyah, who ordered that the matter of quorum had been resolved, a ruling the General angrily rejected.
“We are using our own mistakes against us if we are now saying we are very few, it is our own mistake,” Gen Ali warned.
But Oulanyah rudely cut him short, directing that: “No no no, that matter was resolved,” before ordering the General to assume his seat.
Gen Ali was, however, unrelenting. “We have used a lot of time by the some people,” he shot back, referring to Mafabi.
Oulanyah was by now getting fired up.
“Rt Hon, that is not an issue anymore,” Ouklanyah thundered, with a raised grumpy voice.
“It is an issue,”Gen Ali, fuming in annoyance, hit back.
“Resume your seat,”Oulanyah roared.
“I will resume my seat but it is an issue,” Gen Ali fired back as he reluctantly took his seat.
Sensing the fury that was teeming with the General, Oulanyah apologised, but the Deputy Prime Minister diplomatically rejected his apology.
Indeed, the General was still not mellowing up and told Oulanyah that he had to react after the Speaker had shouted at him.
“Being a Speaker, you must be a human being. You have a name to protect and the Deputy Prime Minister also has a name to protect. I believe that if you shout at me, I have no alternative but to react,” Gen Ali said.
Aruu County MP Samuel Odonga Otto would add fire to the flares by rising on a point of order and making some unkind comments about the General’s stature.
“I was at LDC with Gen Ali and I know he has a degree and diploma in law. Given his size alone, is he in order to intimidate the Speaker. He can be scaring to the Speaker. He is a General, he is tall, and he is massive. To start throwing his arms to the Speaker, is it in order,” asked MP Otto.