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UGANDA: Why Museveni’s ultimatum on insecurity is diversionary

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CHANGE OF GUARDS – There is an irreversible deteriorating security situation in the country and in particular the capital, Kampala that generates 60% of the national revenue.  Museveni has gambled with security through the initiation of different multi billion schemes aimed at improving security. It is amidst that potential crisis that last week Museveni issued a 48 hours ultimatum to his defacto Police Chief, Gen. Muzeeyi Sabiiti to come up with a comprehensive security plan that will address the situation. He sad:

“I have given 2 days to Commander Sabiiti of the Police to come out with a plan to combat these gangs. The IGP is away in Peru for a meeting. I will look at that plan, comment on it and it will, then, be communicated to all of you.”

Indeed, Gen. Muzeeyi has beaten the deadline and come up with an abstract security plan. In August 2016, the then Director General of the statutory Internal Security Organisation (ISO), Brig. Balya issued a 50 page report that gave an accurate presentation of the underlying causes and magnitude of insecurity in the country. Museveni did not like it and shortly after he sacked Brig. Balya. This website gave an analysis of that development in a piece dated Friday, 19 August, 2016 reproduced here below:


“Pervasive graft involving bureaucrats coupled by deteriorating public service delivery are a security threat. Corruption could lead to loss of legitimacy and trust in government because of corruption disenchanted citizens can resort to mass demonstrations, violence, and mob justice in some countries; governments have collapsed because of this. Corruption makes the government in power irrelevant to the general population. Corruption undermines service delivery thus facilitates political and economic sabotage of government programs. Where trust in government institutions is poor, people’s willingness and ability to engage in gainful activity also reduces – a recipe for poor sections of society to sink further into poverty since they are highly dependent on services provided by government. Unchecked corruption can lead to insecurity and uncertainty and undermine democratic and developmental gains of the regime in power. Corruption leads to elite capture (where technocrats and connected individuals turn institutions, opportunities and resources to their private advantage) and on the other hand, patronage and clientalism entails a situation where a small but highly organised group controls power and uses its influence to benefit from public resources at the cost of the would be beneficiaries.”

The above is an extract from a 50 page paper on corruption in Uganda that the Director General of Internal Security Organisation (DG-ISO), Brig. Ronnie Balya presented during a cabinet retreat at the School of Indoctrination, Kyankwanzi.

“When public officers are implicated in corruption they are simply moved to other offices. If we are going to keep the bad apples in public service, how are we going to clean out corruption? We need a strong anti-corruption tone from the top most offices of the land.”

This is an extract from a paper presented by the Inspector General of Government (IGG) during the same retreat.


Reacting to the submissions of the two government agencies, the angry, irritated, embarrassed, and cornered Museveni directed that ISO should spearhead the fight against corruption “….ISO, Permanent Secretaries and other Accounting Officers at district level are the ones who should help us fight corruption because they have a countrywide network.” Obviously the presentation by the two agencies was a joint postmortem report detailing how corruption had killed the Museveni government and that Museveni was responsible for the death. It was because of fear that the tone of the presentations was in the future tense instead of the past tense. The NRM and the state of Uganda died a long time ago and Museveni is just presiding on a failed state that is thriving on the power of the gun to contain the effects of institutionalized corruption. The recent overwhelming vote for the opposition is a clear manifestation of the disenchantment and disillusionment by the population and it is only the barrel of the gun that is containing them from demanding for their victory.

However, by nature Museveni hates being challenged, outsmarted and exposed. During his Bush War came a time when the going got tougher and it was evident that continuing with the war was no longer a viable option. He convened a High Command meeting where the idea of talking to the UPC government for a peaceful surrender was the only item on the agenda. A good number of members of the High Command were in favor of talks with the UPC government while Museveni who was opposed to the idea had behind him the Banyarwanda and Bahima members. Sam Katabarwa who was a Mwiru from Bushenyi was the most vocal in favor of the talks. The cornered Museveni adjourned the meeting only to reconvene it after a few hours. He told members that he had approved the proposal to talk to government and he announced that Sam Katabarwa was the one to proceed to Kampala and initiate talks. Sam Katabarwa had planned to contact the powerful Director of Legal Services, Lt. Namiti Kagata with whom they had been together both at Makerere University and Monduli in Tanzania for the Officer Cadet course. Before he left the bush for Kampala, Museveni advised Namiti that one he would be in Kampala he ought to first Contact Bidandi Sali and Kintu Musoke. Sam Katabarwa complied and reached Kampala and as the saying goes, the rest is history but his dead body was recovered from the NRA territory and buried by the same NRA. Museveni’s opposition to talks took the day and the war continued.


A state intelligence agency like ISO is the custodian of national security. National security can best be described as the capacity to control those domestic and foreign conditions that the public opinion of a given community believes necessary to enjoy its own self determination or autonomy, prosperity and well-being. Therefore, a state intelligence agency like ISO is responsible for collection, analysis, and exploitation of information and intelligence in support of law enforcement, national security, military and foreign policy objectives. Within national security there is a component of Economic Security which entails the ability of a nation state to follow its choice of policies to develop the national economy in the desired manner. Historically, conquest of nations have made conquerors rich through plunder, access to new resources, and enlarged trade through control of the conquered nation’s economy. In the case of Uganda, Museveni feels that he conquered it and he and his cronies have a right to plunder and become rich through access to resources in what Brig. Balya termed as clientalism.

Corruption flourishes where the criminal justice system and government is weak, where decision making is unaccountable and access to decision makers is dependent on restricted social networks, where the pay is low and where managerial controls are weak.


Political corruption is the use of political power by government officials for illegitimate private gains. Within his regime he has created a ruling elite as a cult to be worshiped by a zombified population. This ruling elite that controls all the means of wealth and resources is what has been baptized at the “Tuli Mukintu”. Those close to power create structures for influence peddling as exemplified by the immense powers wielded by museveni’s brother Gen. Saleh, IGP Kalekyezi, some State House workers. Corruption and ostentation on the part of the elite and government officials is the underlying root cause of the appeal of radicalism due to ack of concern for the increasing economic and social insecurity of its citizens.

Manipulating political institutions and subverting rules in order to achieve an outcome which is not for the common good but which serves parochial interests is political corruption. Removal of presidential term limits, unholy creation of administrative entities like districts and statutory authorities, and electoral constituencies are the living examples of such vice. Those who accumulate wealth through corruption are glorified with a lot of endearment and the young are encouraged to emulate them as their role models. The likes of Gen. Saleh, Gen. Kalekyezi, Gen. Muhweezi, Col. Dick Bugingo, Brig. Mugyenyi, Brig. Otema, Col. Juma Seiko and other wealthy security officers are the role models of young army officers not to mention the civilians who act as fronts for some big fish in the system.

Corruption derails the rules and institutions and stops the later from exercising their constitutional mandates. Whoever takes the risk of inquiring or reporting about corruption risks being victimized through loss of job and position, being framed with criminal charges, his business sabotaged, being expelled from the party, deviating his/her constituents and many other punitive measures. Museveni chased the likes of Jotham Tumwesigye, Miria matembe, Augustine Ruzindana, Eriya Kategaya and others from government over their principled stand on corruption not mentioning the army officers like Lt. Shalita, Lt. Denis Bataringaya and others who lost their lives for inquiring into political corruption.

Museveni is on record for claiming that those claiming that his cronies are corrupt are simply bent on weakening the regime and that its him that they fight. He has always gone ahead to recycle them leave alone hiring Lawyers in their defense. That is why by pointing out lack of an anti-corruption tone from the highest office, IGG was appealing to Museveni to come out and support the fight against corruption.


Human rights abuses provide a fertile ground for radicalization and extremism thus can lead to a failed state and in extreme cases provide safe heavens for ‘terrorists’ for purposes of fighting tyranny and corruption. Museveni uses the police as his personal militia that enforces selective arrests and prosecution of the corrupt. The Auditor General makes reports but no action is taken instead as a way of buying time to hoodwink Ugandans and the donor community, he instead constitutes commissions of inquiry whose reports are never made public leave alone taking action yet such reports contain a lot of evidence.

Regulatory agencies like the IGG are incapacitated in terms of performance of their statutory functions while in some instances they are undermined. ‘National security concerns’ become a veil to hide corrupt activities. High secrecy single source government contracts, procurement, disposal of public assets, uncontrollable and overpaid agents (those with connections to State House, local and international lobby group), obscure security and defense budgets, unfair appointments and promotions, and many forms of corruption in secretive sections (security agencies, State House, NRM Secretariat etc) waste tax payer’s money thus putting the lives of public servants, security officers and citizens in general at risk. The cost is paid by everyone because what is wasted on corruption through security/defence, State House, NRM Secretariat etc) could be spent on improving schools, healthcare, or infrastructural development. Corruption destroys trust in security institutions thus risking lives of both security officers and ordinary citizens in the process.


Corruption is a vice that is taken care under the Economic Intelligence docket of the ISO. Since its inception, ISO has had and continues to have a fully fledged Directorate of Economic Affairs. At one point, it was headed by Dr. Rwekikiga but Museveni kicked him out on allegations that he was a Mbabazi loyalist. ISO’s Directorate of Economic Affairs/Intelligence monitors economic performance, vets investors, monitors financial flow and general economic performance, collects information on corruption, monitors performance of government’s service delivery programs, detects money laundering, etc.

Therefore when the DG-ISO prepares a brief to a fully constituted government retreat detailing the evils of corruption, he is an authority on that matter and should be taken seriously. For the last 30 years Museveni has been receiving such reports on corruption from ISO and deliberately refused to act on them because his political survival is dependent on corruption. The DG-ISO’s brief on corruption was a summary of the 30 years reports that the agency has been giving to Museveni. Museveni must have been infuriated by that brief because it is an indictment that exposes Museveni’s culpability by placing him at the scene of crime. There is no doubt, Brig. Balya will pay heavily with time. No wonder, Museveni has been shifting from relying on ISO for intelligence but instead relies on the parallel networks under Gen. Kalekyezi, CMI and State House.


Therefore, the Gen. Muzeeyi security plan will not work because the underlying issue has not been addressed.

Watch the space.


—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: October 20, 2019 at 05:11PM

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