The Minister Designate for Defence, Hon. Dominic Nitiwul says the CDS has ordered investigations into military’s invasion of Parliament, adding that, the military will punish any officer who goes contrary to the laws and the incident in the chamber won’t be an exception.
At the commencement of the Appointments Committee public hearing, the Minister Designate for Defence, Hon. Dominic Nitiwul, was the first to take the chair.
The issue of the military becoming more interested in providing security for individuals and private mining companies took the centre stage of the vetting of the nominee.
Even though the Minister Designate for Defence admitted that he sometimes gets worried seeing the military rendering such services, he noted that when he took office four years ago, about 22 contracts had already been signed with the military to provide security to some private companies. He assured the House that before his four year mandate ended, he had given a specific instruction that apart from two mining companies, no military personnel should provide security for any mining company.
The military’s invasion of the Chamber on the 7th January 2021 during the election of the Speaker of the 8th Parliament was also the focus of questioning, with emphasis on whether he instructed them to do so. The nominee maintained that the Armed Forces are professional and would not take instructions from civilians. He added that the CDS has ordered investigations into the matter, adding, that the military will punish any officer who goes contrary to the laws and the incident in the chamber won’t be an exception.
When he was quizzed on the assertion that certain people get recruited into the Armed Forces depending on who was in power, the minister designate said there is nothing like protocol list in the military, stressing that recruitment into the military is purely based on qualification involving about six steps which include writing of exams, thus making protocol allocations difficult. The minister designate also told the Committee that there are plans to have military base in all the 16 regions.
On his achievements, the nominee said accommodation had been a major challenge but with the $100m housing project fund that was approved by Parliament for the military, some officers’ lodging conditions have been improved considerably. He also answered questions on using the military to monitor the 2020 elections, the retirement extension and package for the military, using technology to complement the work of the military and galamsey menace.
The Minister Designate for Defence, Hon. Dominic Nitiwul would be holding that position for the second time if approved.