Museveni’s intelligence community and moles in FDC
Intelligence Community is a term used to collectively refer to a federation of different formal anti-Intelligence agencies of a particular sovereign state. In Museveni’s Uganda there has been both formal and informal intelligence outfits. Upon taking power in 1986 he has his three bush war intelligence outfits i.e. Civil Intelligence, Military Intelligence (DMI) and Clandestine. Civil Intelligence came to be known as President’s Office, DMI went to Basiima House and clandestine went ‘underground’.
Around the late 1980s, by statute President’s Office became Internal Security Organisation (ISO) at the same time created the External Security Organisation (ISO). During the late 1990s Henry Tumukunde re-named DMI as CMI. For obvious reasons, unlike ESO which is manned by civilians mainly from Buganda and ‘northern regions’, ISO and DMI have predominantly been manned by soldiers from the western region. During the late 80s and throughout the 90s, Buganda, northern, West Nile, and Eastern regions dominated the number of dissidents in the diaspora hence fell under the ESO docket.
Right from the start, these intelligence agencies had the sole task of ensuring that Museveni and the NRA regime retained power. However, during the first decade (1981 – 1995), to some extent, these intelligence agencies had preserved sanity in the execution of their duties. Their conduct came to be directed by the prevalent political terrain. As Museveni’s intentions to retain power by hook and crook became an open secret, these intelligence agencies were at hand to be used and abused. Rogue officers took up strategic positions in these agencies and with the advent of global terrorism, the stage was set for Ugandans to feel the wrath.
As the military increasingly became visible as Museveni’s power base, CMI became the lead agency. More informal intelligence outfits sprung up and in the absence of effective regulatory mechanism, they went on rampage terrorising, arbitrarily arresting, torturing, extorting, robbing, killing and detaining without trial. The notorious Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force (JATTF) was set up and torture chambers commonly known as Safe Houses were introduced.
Museveni boosted their actions by designating the Military Court Martial as a tool of covering up and evading justice to the civilian victims. Despite widespread public outcry and repeated condemnation by local and international human rights organisations, the regime’s political leadership has been at the forefront of affording them protection.
In the meantime, the West and in particular the USA has treated them as partners in fighting terrorism, played a vital role in providing support in terms of training and logistical support to the intelligence agencies.
After satisfying himself that Ugandan dissidents in the diaspora had lost ground, he turned his back on ESO. ISO has been suffering the same fate owing to the suspicion that former senior regime cadres who fell out with him had infiltrated it. As Museveni embarked on privatising the police, his first casualty was its traditional professional intelligence gathering body, the Special Branch (SB). He disbanded it because it had been started by previous regimes and was
predominantly manned by officers from the northern and north-eastern regions. As the police became more militarised, it has also succeeded in coming up with new intelligence outfits within its rank and file.
It has expanded its presence and influence to the core of the Ugandan society. Using the cover of gathering crime intelligence, its primary duty is to gather political intelligence. The rising and facilitation of millions of Crime Preventers is for the same objective. Museveni has gone ahead to starve ISO in terms of logistical and financial facilitation in favour of Police. This is what prompted the Director General of ISO (DG/ISO), Brig. Ronnie Balya to publicly present a paper that warned that rampant corruption could make the regime to fall. Shortly after he appeared before the parliamentary committee and openly expressed his frustration over poor facilitation of ISO.
Museveni’s powerful police chief, Gen. Kalekyezi has taken the scheme to greater heights by expanding the intelligence network to all government departments and agencies. However, he is using the same privilege to fight internal wars by undermining others through public exposure of their misdeeds. The most recent revelation over a fake multi-billion arms procurement deal allegedly by senior army officers and now the 6bn oil cash bonanza are the few such examples.
Because the FDC has assertively expressed intentions to remove the regime from power using the masses, it is obvious that the regime’s intelligence gives priority to spy on it. Using technical and human sources it gets updates directly from the FDC boardroom; but the FDC has made it clear it has no secret plans!
INFORMATION IS POWER. DEFIANCE IS THE WAY TO GO!