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UGANDA: Understanding the @KagutaMuseveni, @HeBobiWine stand off over army welfare

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CHANGE OF GUARDS –  This week, the patron of the People Power political platform, Hon. Kyagulanhi alias Bobi Wine notified parliament of his intention to table a motion that will address the appallingly welfare and poor working conditions that are pertaining with our men and women in uniform. He said;

“At the right time and with your permission, I intend to move a substantive motion for the improvement of the welfare of our men and women in uniform and I request all of you members to support my motion when I bring it because I believe that in many ways that their living conditions cause some of them to treat us so inhumanely. I believe that if we treat them right, we shall have the moral authority to demand that they treat us humanely.”

Through his army Spokesperson, Museveni was very quick to counter Hon. Bobi Wine’s intended move. He issued a stern warning;
“We don’t want any kind of support from Honorable Kyagulanyi. The officers are fine and are not complaining.”

The UPDF is already adequately represented by 10 MPs and 3 Ministers of Defense and Veterans Affairs, who are putting all the necessary energy for the betterment of soldiers’ welfare.
These are sufficiently representing our interests and there is no gap. Let him represent the people of Kyadondo East who sent him there (Parliament) not the UPDF. We don’t want it.”

By tackling Museveni’s security forces, indeed Hon. Bobi Wine had crossed the redline. Forget about the population and government; Museveni’s 33 years hold on power is owed to his skillful manipulation of the security forces. Their sole mandate is to suppress dissent and ensure that Museveni is declared winner of a sham electoral process every five years. Any other political player in Uganda’s electoral process competes against the security forces as represented by Museveni. Therefore, Museveni can, to some extent, tolerate any other form of political activism but not straying into the arena of his security forces.

During the 2001 election campaigns, Dr. Besigye claimed that he had 90% support of the army. Museveni responded with threats of putting Besigye “six feet deep.”

In 2013, Museveni warned the ruling party’s retreat in Kyankwanzi on Wednesday that if the “confusion” in Parliament persists, the military would not allow it. The warning came a few days after his army chief and Minister of Defence had issued a stern warning of a potential military take over;
“If the military feels the country is in the hands of wrong politicians, some officers might be forced to intervene in the name of refocusing the country’s future,”

In January 2015, while in Kabaale, Museveni publicly declared that he won’t leave power because he had the support of his army. He said; “The Opposition are like wolves lurking around to tear Uganda apart. I will not allow them because I have support of the majority of Ugandans and my army.”

As for the appallingly welfare and abuse of the institution of security forces by a small clique, this website has ran several insights into the matter. Here below, are some few:

May 11, 2018
“If we don’t treat this impunity, one day someone will come and take over parliament and claim that it is his house – claiming that he fought in the bush. So this house directs Hon. Tumwine to pay off the rent but also to vacate because it is a public facility.”
Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga – May 2018.

She was referring to Gen. Tumwine’s grabbing of Nomo Gallery into personal use by defaulting on rent payment in billions yet the government continued remitting hundreds of millions of tax payer’s money annually under the Uganda National Cultural Centre.
He had also just concluded construction of his multibillion countryside village villa in Kiruhura despite his monthly salary in the army being below two million shillings.

The Speaker’s warning came barely a few days after the Museveni party (NRM) Deputy Secretary General, Richard Tadwong gave a similar warning. He told a religious conference thus; “….if we don’t restrain, if we don’t control our greed on how we use these public resources, how we steal with impunity, then Ugandans will push us out of power”.

May 2, 2018
“……….You cannot lecture me on fughting for Uganda. We fought for no pay for many years and when we won we have been working for low pay all this while. These soldiers have been fighting for no pay or low pay. Why do they never go on strike? A doctor who goes on strike is not a Doctor. He is an enemy of our people and we shall treat him as such.”
Museveni – Labour Day speech. May 1, 2018

Since Museveni took power, the country has witnessed some of the biggest financial scandals in the security sector. From flawed procurements, diversion of supplies, outright theft of cash and logistics, and creation of ghost soldiers, senior security officers have been implicated.
On 28th March 2018 this website ran a related article titled; OF OBOTE’S THIEVING UNLA AND MUSEVENI’S PILLAGING NRA.

No single security officer has ever been held accountable or made to refund the loot. Senior security officers have been implicated in outright armed robbery involving billions of cash, aiding of drug trafficking, theft of contraband exhibits worth billions like cocaine and ivory, land grabbing, kidnappings and forced return of refugees to foreign countries for pay, direct smuggling and aiding of smuggling, and many other economic crimes.

For that reason, and therefore, senior security officers have accumulated so much wealth that they are among the topmost wealthy citizens of Uganda. Moreover, it is his Bush War comrades who were among the top beneficiaries of his privatisation of national parastatals scheme. By keeping a blind eye on illegal accumulation of wealth, Museveni has managed to tame his security officers into personal loyalty. Actually, some senior security officers who have refrained from illegal accumulation of wealth have been branded as keeping a clean record for political ambitions.

For the junior security personnel, it is the deployment in peace keeping operations that has helped address their plight. A few of them have been involved in petty theft, robberies, illegal escort of contraband, selling of ammunitions and other logistics, and soliciting for small bribes to make ends meet. The recent record breaking desertion of 3,000 police officers is a living testimony.

Therefore, Museveni is as usual attempting to dupe Ugandans. His senior security officers have stolen so much from Ugandans that they are not building castles and palaces as their countryside homes. Gen. Joram Mugume who is the Chairman of the Military Land Board is suing Nakasero hospital for a three month rent default of 200m per month yet his monthly salary is slightly above one million shillings!!!!!

August 23, 2018

Ugandans and the international community are stunned by the level of brutality that has been publicly exhibited by Museveni’s security agents against innocent citizens. There is nothing new; it’s the same brutality that Museveni has unleashed on Ugandans right from the time of his wars to gain the presidency and throughout the time he has been in power. The only difference is that while in the past the regime would be able to suppress such information, it’s not easy now owing to social media. This explains why camera wielding journalists have specifically been targeted. While such gruesome images and first hand accounts of atrocities would be suppressed by news editors, it’s not the case now because journalists and individuals can share the same on social media and other online platforms without waiting for the approval of compromised news editors.
The military has always been there except that it would hide behind the police, directly provide backup for the police, dress in police uniform, use police vehicles, establish command posts at police installations, etc. Otherwise, it’s the military and the intelligence services that have always been the architects and lead agencies in such brutal operations against dissenting citizens. The only difference now is that following the sacking and detention of the former police chief, Gen. Kalekyezi, the regime is treating the police with suspicion thus why police is kept in the background.
Before undertaking such operations, the intelligence services generate information which in most cases is inaccurate, exaggerated and malicious. In most cases individual intelligence agencies compete in packaging their reports to attract the attention of Museveni. In some rare cases it’s the ‘trusted’ Minister of Security who lobbies for the approval of such reports. It’s Museveni who gives the final say on the course of action thus ‘actionable intelligence’. His son who is the Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Operations has a big input in the scrutiny and actioning of such reports. Such reports carry with them recommendations for the course of action. Once Museveni approves, an inter-agency meeting is convened to draw the plan of action. The plan identifies the mission, objective, personnel, logistical and financial cost. It also establishes a central command centre with a clearly set out command and control structure.
Every army unit has a Political Commissar whose main job is to coordinate political indoctrination of soldiers. The so-called political education in the security forces is nothing but a communist orientation aimed at aligning the thinking of the soldiers to the regime’s ideology through brainwashing. In most cases they are told lies like the ‘capitalists’ (the west) is using the opposition politicians and civil society to destablize the country. That if the government is overthrown or Museveni lost power the soldiers would be killed, imprisoned and dismissed from service etc. That opposition politicians are responsible for stifling the budget that would be used to improve their welfare. That the opposition has hired mercenaries with intentions of causing anarchy.
In most cases it’s personnel from the the Military Police, SFC and CMI’s special squads who are deployed in such operations. Military Police is re-known even within the army for its ruthlessness and brutality. Depending on the character of its Commander, it is dissented by the rest of the regular soldiers. When Gen. Kaziini was its Commanding Officer, it almost came into a bloody confrontation with the then Lubiri based unit of regular soldiers under Chris Kazoora. In selecting its personnel to go for such operations, the ruthless are most preferred.
In the process of clobbering protesters, they steal their mobile phones, wallets and other personal belongings. The bloodier the chaos, the more gainful it becomes in terms of personal economic gains because abandoned motorcycles and other portable items are lifted from shops. We have seen witnesses footage of security personnel enjoying food abandoned by frightened food vendors. At the end of such operations, soldiers share stories and make comparisons of what booty they will have managed to get for their personal use. In fact in some instances of the so called looting by hooligans is nothing other than by agents of these soldiers who share the loot later. Consequently, it’s very common for soldiers to bribe their superiors so as to be included in such operations.
The SFC on the other hand need no motivation other than their dominant ethnic composition. Their mission right from home is to keep Museveni in power or at best to be succeeded by his son, Gen. Muhoozi who is SFC’s founding commander.
The fat men in civilian clothes are the intelligence personnel who are attached to such operations. These are the ones who have always been involved in framing, arresting, kidnapping, detaining, torturing, extorting citizens. They are the economic beneficiaries of the regime excesses. They are the authors of false and exaggerated intelligence reports to generate inflated financial costs. They derive their anger from the fear that if the Museveni regime is dislodged they would be made to account for their past. It’s this group and the SFC that are the most dangerous category of soldiers.
During briefing, these soldiers are fed on exaggerated threats that they are supposed to confront. They are told that some of them may even be killed. They are told to use maximum force and assured of legal protection from any form of criminal proceedings. However they are sternly warned to as much as possible not to openly demonstrate their actions or at best to conceal their facial identities short of which they would be surrendered for criminal proceedings. They are supposed to be given financial allowance, dry ration in form of biscuits, tinned food and water but instead their superiors end up swindling them and leaving the angry soldiers to fend for themselves from the victims.
While squads are dispatched to the field, a reserve force is always left on standby at the command centre which is usually in Makindye Barracks ready to reinforce. The command centre is manned by the senior leaders of different agencies. It maintains constant communication with the soldiers in the field while at the same time updating the top security chiefs who in turn keep Museveni informed of all developments. In the latest incident, ‘the command centre that was using internet generated data to locate the GPS positions of postings by social media activists and then passing it on to the field before the foot soldiers zeroed on such activists. On the ground these soldiers are expected to demonstrate unlimited ruthlessness. One’s conduct determines his prospects of future participation in similar operations in. It can even earn one a promotion or a better assignment. Owing to the fact that during action, they are closely watched by their immediate superiors, these soldiers try their best to prove their worth. Should any such soldier be seen to exercise reluctance, leniency or sympathy towards the victims, he risks severe reprimand and at worst being branded subversive which is treasonable.
After every operation, the participants are debriefed – a review of the operation focusing on success, failures, shortfalls, and weaknesses. The debriefing helps to shape the conduct of future similar operations. Commendations, praises, reprimands and even rewards are issued out during debriefing. Where, the army finds itself in a fix from pressure as a result of excessive force, it even detains a few soldiers but with an assurance that they would be set free. And once the dust settles down, they are set free and business continues.
Therefore, the source and level of anger by different players is determined by the different motives. SFC and Intelligence operatives are consciously defending the regime to maintain the status quo. The ordinary Military Police soldier is driven by the superior order and the urge to prove his loyalty.

The ordinary security personnel are serving under a hostage like situation and that’s why Museveni hates anyone who attempts to stray into their plight.


—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: May 25, 2019 at 03:24PM

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