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UGANDA: Why Museveni’s Ministry of Security is a redundant docket

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Why Museveni’s Ministry of Security is a redundant docket

Under Museveni’s military dictatorship you have the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs (MODVA), the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Security and the Intelligence Services (ISO and ESO) as his core security infrastructure.  MODVA has only one department, the Army.   The so-called MOD subsidiary, National Enterprises Corporation (NEC) is just a department of the army and a tool for swindling public funds.  There is nothing like the docket of Veteran Affairs because it was only recently created in order to hoodwink the army veterans who are languishing in untold misery.  It is only meant to keep a close watch on Army Veterans as they grow old and die off one by one.

Moreover, the Minister In-charge of Veteran Affairs Col. Bright Rwamirama was the army’s Chief Controller of Finance (CCF) and chief swindler at the time they were sent into disgrace with 16 pieces of iron sheets in the early 1990s.  MODVA has a civilian cadre Minister and his deputy who is a retired Colonel who commanded the Artillery Regiment during the Congo expedition.  MODVA’s everlasting lion’s share of the national budget is a conduit for swindling public funds by the regime through its so called classified expenditures.

The traditional Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) is comprised of the Police Department, the Prisons Department, and the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration.  It is headed by a Minister and his deputy.  The Police Department is headed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Prisons Department is headed by the Commissioner of Prisons (CP) while Citizenship and Immigration is headed by a Commissioner General (CG).

The statutory intelligence services are the Internal Security Organization (ISO) which is responsible for gathering intelligence within the country and External Security Organization (ESO) which is responsible for gathering intelligence beyond the national frontiers.  Since time immemorial, owing to Museveni’s militaristic approach to public affairs he has always relied on Military Intelligence (CMI) for intelligence gathering both within the country and beyond the frontiers and civilian policing yet it is a unit of the army.  By doing so, he has more often undermined the operational efficiency of the statutory intelligence and security organs including the police.  ESO is traditionally concerned with the monitoring of the “northerners” who fled to the diaspora after Museveni took over power 32 years ago.  That is why its directors have always been “northerners” – Oketcho, Maku Igga, Emmy Alio, and now Ocwet.

The army as the only department of the MODVA is headed by the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) and is stronger than his line Minister and is only answerable to Museveni.  The Police is headed by the IGP who is stronger than his line Minister and is only answerable to Museveni.  The Prison Services boss is stronger than his line Minister and only answerable to Museveni.  By virtue of being the President, Museveni is the Commander In-Chief of the armed forces (army, police, Prisons and other auxiliary forces).

All the heads of the three lead Intelligence agencies (ISO, ESO and CMI) are directly answerable to Museveni.  At one time he created the office of Coordinator of Intelligence Services headed by Gen. Ssejusa and Brig. Sam Waswa.  It was not coordinating any intelligence agencies but instead it is the two Generals who were being monitored by the same agencies.

The Ministry of Security has always been redundantly in existence.  Different people have headed it and some of them without any experience in security matters.  It is only recently when he appointed his former spy chief Gen. Tumukunde that the same ministry looked active.  Actually, it wasn’t the Ministry that was active but Gen. Tumukunde as an individual.  This was so because he had the full blessing and backing of Museveni to carry out his security errands.  Otherwise what is the structure of the Ministry of Security when the two intelligence agencies are strictly answerable to Museveni?  Who is the Permanent Secretary and who are the commissioners and directors under that ministry?

However, given the circumstances under which the newly appointed Minister of Security Gen. Elly Tumwine and more so being a renown sycophant, we are likely to see a dreaded Ministry of Security only comparable to former President Obote’s Chris Rwakasisi.  While Gen. Tumukunde had some sense of judgment, Gen. Tumwine is a disastrous robot.  He will simply be doing Museveni’s political cum security errands of blackmailing, harassing and persecution of political dissenters.

Watch the space.


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