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Thursday, 29 January 2015

MUSEVENI'S AMNESTY Vs ICC INDICTMENT

At the height of the northern Uganda insurgency, in 2000 the Museveni regime initiated an amnesty law that came to be known as the Amnesty Act 2000. It aimed at granting immunity from punishment for all those who were involved in warlike activities against his regime if they abandoned and renounced rebellion. It covered all those who were involved in rebellion from 26th Jan 1986 when the Museveni regime came to
 power. S.3 (I) covers not only those involved in actual combat but also those collaborating with combatants by aiding and abetting. S.3 (II) exonerates all those involved (both combatants and their civilian collaborators) from punishment in form of criminal proceedings. Though it was meant to be a tool for encouraging defections from the LRA, other armed groups like ADF, PRA were later to benefit from the same. The Act is designed in such a way that it expires after every two years subject to renewal.  Prior to this law, some insurgents would either surrender or be captured while civilian collaborators would be arrested by security operatives but their fate would be determined by the goodwill of Museveni who would either pardon or just let them to rot in prolonged detention without trial.

Though the Act does not mention the involvement of security services in the amnesty process, behind the curtains it is the intelligence services that have been determining who benefits from amnesty or not. While defections from the LRA were mainly of lower cadres who had been victims of kidnap and possessed no vital intelligence information, the challenge came about when it came to ADF, PRA and LRA top commanders. The regime has been using the amnesty law to silence any efforts to seek compensation accruing from prolonged detentions without trial. Political detainees are always told to apply for amnesty if they are to regain their freedom hence no suing for damages. Such conditional amnesty is often construed by security services as a way of obtaining confessions yet the Act does not mention that as a requirement. For the innocent potential applicants who intend to use the amnesty only as a way of regaining their freedom find themselves in an awkward position. 

Around 2002 the army forcefully removed treason suspects from Gulu Prison and detained them in a military barracks. In the process, one of the detaienes was shot dead by the army before moving them to different prisons while pressurising them  into applying for amnesty. The army's Division Commander Brig. Otema told some of them point blank thus: "You will stay in jail as long as Museveni is still in power unless you apply for amnesty." entire group had to apply for amnesty in order to regain their freedom. Around the same time the regime ratified the Rome statute and referred five of the top LRA commanders to the ICC and they were indicted by the same court in 2005.  In 2006 as Museveni was disparately looking for a way of victimising his main political rival Dr. Besigye, Police chief Kayihura and then Minister Hope Mwesigye coordinated efforts to have some of the PRA suspects then detained in Makindye Barracks apply for amnesty on condition that they were to implicate Dr. Besigye over treasonous allegations. The applicants tricked them by accepting but when they were granted amnesty and forced to implicate Dr Besigye before the assembled press, they refused and they were detained in a safe house until Parliament had to intervene. Among all the PRA group its only Capt Amon Byarugaba who stood his ground and refused to apply for amnesty thus its now twelve years and he is still detained without trial in Makindye barracks.

The above setback to the regime's designs prompted the regime to move parliament in 2006 to amend the Amnesty Act by introducing a provision that empowered the Minister of Internal Affairs with approval of Parliament to exclude certain individual applicants from benefiting from amnesty. The setback was cemented by the likes of LRA senior commanders like Brig Keneth Banya and Sam Kolo benefiting from amnesty. Museveni's concern was how to deal with these senior LRA officers if they opted to be intergrated into his army because since 1986 top ranks and command positions were a preserve of his home boys courtesy of 'historical reasons'. In the same efforts, in 2008 the regime initiated the creation of the International War Crimes Division of the High Court to try certain individuals whom they intended to exclude from benefiting from amnesty.

 In 2008 another LRA top commander Thomas Kwoyelo was captured and he immediately applied for amnesty under the Amnesty Act. In 2011 he was indicted before the war crimes division of the High Court but he appealed against his trial to the Supreme Court. The Principal State Attorney Patricia Mutesi submitted that the Amnesty Act promotes rebellion and urged the Supreme Court to declare it unconstitutional. However, in 2012 the Supreme Court ruled that Thomas Kwoyelo qualified for and should be granted amnesty and released from prison. The regime defied that order of the highest court in the land and Kwoyelo continues to relinguish in detention without trial. In 2012 as another top LRA commander Achellam was surrendering, the regime moved to amend the Act by striking out Part II that afforded blanket amnesty. It argued that amnesty was to be availed only to lower and middle cadres who denounced rebellion and not top leaders.As earlier mentioned Museveni is worried of these senior LRA commanders joining his personal army.

Owing to pressure from religious, traditional and local leaders from northern Uganda, the blanket amnesty provision was reinstated in 2013 and the entire Act was renewed for another two years ending in May 2015. All this controversy came amidst Museveni's U-turn on the ICC by ridiculing it that is was targeting African leaders; the latest outburst being in December 2014 thus: African states should quit the ICC because it unfairly targets Africans."  In January 2015 another of LRA's top commander Dominic Ongwen surrendered and he hoped to benefit from amnesty under the Amnesty Act. Ongwen's surrender came at a time when Museveni is courting the northern region more especially Acholis to bolster his ruling clique that is threatened by internal cracks. He immediately jumped into the Ongwen surrender by assuring him of a pardon in the hope that he would please the Acholis. Ongwen himself revealed this in Obbo on 9th January 2015 thus: "The President has agreed to forgive me since I surrendered on my own." The revelation generated alot of mixed reaction and the Minister of Defence issued a statement to the effect that government had been considering whether to hand him to the ICC or to bring him home. Eventually Museveni gave in and Ongwen was handed over to the ICC.

In order to hoodwink the Acholis, the Museveni regime has offered to avail and fund a strong defence team for Ongwen during the trial. The Acting Foreign Affairs Minister argued that Ongwen was abducted when he was still a minor, aged 10 against his will. He grew up in the the hands of the rebels with no choice but to go by their instructions. This development is no surprise because even when Minister Mike Mukula was sent to prison over theft of public money, Museveni paid millions for his legal fees. However, the Acholi community who have always advocated for traditional justice methods (Mato Oput) felt let down by Museveni when he handed over Ongwen to the ICC for trial. In return they have threatened to spill the beans by pushing for the indictment of other players like the NRA in war crimes during the northern Uganda conflict. Its this NRA's role in atrocities in the northern Uganda and the Congo that Museveni fears most hence his hatred for the ICC. In all, Dominic Ongwen may get justice from the ICC before Museveni determines Thomas Kwoyelo's fate.

Therefore, Museveni's amnesty was a political tool that initially targeted LRA lower cadre defectors only to be overtaken by events. At its inception, he had not envisieged a situation where other more organised individuals and groups would come up. It has always been managed by Museveni through his intelligence agencies and the Amnesty Commission is just a figurehead that only issues certificates and resettlement packages upon instructions by Museveni.  The recent return of Gen Ssejusa without being arrested for treason and joined to his former Aides who are facing treason charges in which he is the key suspect, is backed by this Museveni amnesty. Museveni is just buying time with Ssejusa as he studies the political temperature before requiring Ssejusa and his Aides to apply for amnesty. Under which law did Museveni assume powers of pardoning suspects???????????

INFORMATION IS POWER.





Monday, 26 January 2015

MOSLEM LEADERS ARE BEHIND NEWS OVER DEFUNCT INTELLIGENCE ORGANS.



Murders of Muslim clerics
Of recent there has been systematic murders of Muslim Clerics in Uganda especially around Kampala and Busoga sub-region. Following the latest murder, the Inspector General of Police Kalekyezi Kayihura pointed an accusing finger at rebel ADF thus: "While we are not ruling out other motives in individual cases, there is strong evidence linking these murders to the Al-Quaeda affiliate, ADF." He further alleged that the murders were in retaliation for some Muslim clerics' refusal to recruit youths into the ADF.

Since then, kidnap of some Muslim clerics has swept the country by unidentified people but only for some of them to resurface in court weeks later on charges of murder while others remain unaccounted for. Most of the victims of these systematic kidnaps are of the Tablique sect. The Islamic faith in Uganda has had persistent wrangling in which the government has always taken sides. Of recent, the Police has openly sided with one faction against another. Following the kidnap/arrest of top clerics, the Muslim seem to realize how Museveni is playing divisive games against them and are now getting reunited. Under the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) who last week issued a statement in which they accused the Police of selective arrests during investigations into murder of high profile clerics. The statement further accused the Police of witchunting the Kamoga led faction (Tablique sect). The statement appealed to Museveni to issue a directive for other intelligence agencies like CMI, ISO and ESO to play a role in investigations instead of leaving the allegedly biased Police to go it alone thus: "We are requesting the President of Uganda His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to issue a directive authorising the involvement of other intelligence agencies to play a role in investigations." During the same time one of the wrangling Muslim factions in Kasese was appealing to the IGP to investigate security threats against its leaders over property wrangles!!!

Defunct CMI, ISO and ESO
 The poor Muslim leaders are not aware that the three intelligence agencies are kind of disbanded owing to the changing political terrain. These organisations were meant to serve the interests of the regime as opposed to the government of Uganda. With growing internal dissent and fall outs within Museveni's ruling clique coupled by the take over of security management by Muhozi's SFG, the traditional intelligence agencies ' cohesion has been adversely affected. Both Amama Mbabazi, Gen. Ssejusa and the retired senior army officers in opposition who are now regarded as ardent opponents of the Museveni life Presidency project were in one way or the other having a link with these agencies. Its for the same reasons that recently one of the ISO Directors Maj. Muramagi was arrested and charged with conspiracy to assassinate top leaders.   Museveni had to devise a new intelligence organisation under Gen Kayihura comprised of trusted regime cadres drawn from the Police, CMI, ISO, ESO. SFG and now the much acclaimed Crime Preventers. This is what Kayihura alluded to last week when he announced that the Police intended to recruit two million Crime Preventers. Of course, these are not to boost the network of informers on crime but are meant to report on political dissent. However, individual operatives in CMI, ISO and to some extent ESO are managed by the new Kayihura and Muhoozi intelligence networks. That is how Museveni recently deployed ESO officers to work on Gen Ssejusa's return from exile without the knowledge and involvement of the Director General of ESO.  Earlier on, the traditional Police Intelligence agency known as the Special Branch was disbanded simply because it did not have Museveni cadres.

ADF not a terrorist organiation - UN
Museveni has always survived on branding his political opponents more especially the armed groups as terrorists. With the LRA now diminishing, it is the ADF that is posing an armed threat to Museveni's hold on power. That is why the Police Chief had to allege that the killing of Muslim clerics was linked to the ADF even before investigations could commence. While it is possible that he had prior intelligence, the big question is why couldnt he utilise that intelligence to avert the persistent murders just in the same way he has always boosted in the past to have averted terror attacks. Last week the UN group of experts released a report in which they had found no credible evidence linking ADF to any international terror group such as Al-quaeda, Boko Haram or Al-Shabab, either through funding or training. On the contrary, ADF's source of funding was found to be from Ugandans either in the diaspora or in Uganda. As usual the Foreign Affairs Spokesman described the report as a misrepresentation. He added that the UN experts were working for certain countries in Europe who dont want war in DRC to end thus: "Some of these agencies make outrageous claims which they dont bring out when we meet them. They have their own Agenda." This UN position is likely to impact negatively on the security of eastern DRC as Museveni will have to infiltrate killing squads into eastern DRC to carry out massacre of civilians in order to tarnish the image of the ADF.

ADF
The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) based in eastern DRC fought serious battles in western Uganda with Museveni's NRA in the late 90s. Museveni had to use their presence in eastern DRC as an excuse for his military expeditions into the Congo. However, the ADF remained intact because once in the Congo, Museveni's army pursued a different agenda - occupation and plunder of natural resources.

Therefore, the cries by Muslim leaders are misdirected because they have the blessing of Museveni since they are coordinated by his most trusted cadre, Gen Kalekyezi Kayihura.

INFORMATION IS POWER.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

HOW MUSEVENI HAS FINALLY TAMED THE 'NORTH'

"You Westerners are giving me headache; am going to employ my Northerners because for them when they don't like you they let you know" - Museveni lamenting to his then chief driver Godfrey Kisembo before his services were terminated; as narrated in an interview with the Daily Monitor, Nov 23rd 2013. 


'NORTHERNERS'
In Uganda, the term North or Northern Region is generally used to refer to the northern and north-eastern region more especially if used in a demographic context especially by people from the southern and western regions. More often the people of northern Uganda (Acholi and Langi) and those of north eastern (Iteso, Karamojong and the Luos of Tororo and Busia) are referred to as 'Northerners' because of their Nilotic/Luo ethnic background. Since independence, its these tribes that had dominated the national security services sector. Apart from the Sudanic tribes of West Nile region, the central, eastern and western region is dominated by the Bantus.

FIGHTING IDDI AMIN
In 1971 Iddi Amin overthrew Milton Obote in a military coup. Milton Obote was from the Langi/Nilotic of northern Uganda and Iddi Amin was from the Kakwa/Sudanic of West Nile region. Obote fled to exiled in Tanzania together with some of his UPC party officials and army officers from the Acholi and Langi tribes. In exile they planned an armed comeback in 1972 that was decisively defeated by Iddi Amin prompting a purge of Acholi and Langi tribesmen in the army thus swelling their numbers in exile by defectors. In the meantime, the Uganda army under Iddi Amin came to be dominated by Sudanics and Bantus. Also in exile were a good number of Bantu UPC cadres and among them the militant Yoweri Museveni who after the failed 1972 attack opted to form his own briefcase armed group FRONASA. In 1978 Ugandan exiles backed by Tanzanian troops invaded Uganda in retaliation to Iddi Amin's attack and annexation of the Kagera salient. The Ugandan exiles contingent comprised of predominantly Acholi and Langi was branded Kikosi Malum (Task Force). On entering Uganda territory, Museveni embarked on recruiting from Rwandese refugee camps in order to swell the ranks of his FRONASA.

POST IDDI AMIN ARMY
By the time Iddi Amin was overthrown in April 1979 Museveni as Minister of Defence had raised a formidable force of his personal army FRONASA faction comprised of Bantus within the new Uganda army that had been branded Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA). His sinister actions had sparked off a recruitment race based on ethnic considerations in order for the key players to catch up with the strength of numbers in the new army. Museveni's schemes suffered a setback when his militant Rwandese refugees were by law eliminated from the new national army. Sill wtithin FRONASA there were mischievous boys who ended up serving under the UNLA uninterrupted during his five years guerilla war. That is how the UNLA ended up with all sorts of rogue and vagabonds that were to become a liability later.

BUSH WAR
By the time Museveni opted to fight the UPC government in 1981 he knew he has so much undermined the UNLA's internal cohesion. Initially he took along with him a private army that had been eliminated by law from UNLA and had hoped for mass defection of Bantu soldiers. His war became clearly a Bantu southern army fighting against the northern Luo dominated government and army. In 1985 the Acholi dominated UNLA overthrew the UPC government on grounds that the Langi in the army were leaving the Acholis to do much of the fighting against the Musevenis Bantu army (NRA). The new military government invited all fighting groups to join it prompting the West Nile groups composed mainly of former Iddi Amin soldiers and some Buganda groups to respond but Museveni refused. He accused the military government of working with Iddi Amin Murderers (fighting groups from West Nile) whom he referred to as Anyanyas. Eventually the term Anyanya came to signify the entire populations of northern Uganda and particularly the UNLA. In return, the people from northern Uganda also referred to Museveni's army as Nyanrwandas (Rwandese). Through the manipulation of the Nairobi peace talks, Museveni defeated the military government and took over power.

INSURGENCY AGAINST THE MUSEVENI GOVERNMENT
Museveni's defeat of UNLA was a devastating blow on the people of northern Uganda more especially the Acholi sub-region whose connection with military service had been historically entrenched. A good number of Acholi former soldiers established bases in the Southern Sudan from where they launched come back attacks. The sectarian and retaliatory conduct by Museveni's NRA in northern Uganda fueled the Acholi resistance against the NRA that was being perceived as an army of occupation. However, quite a formidable number of northerners in the NRA at the time (either incorporated former soldiers or newly recruited) though not in top command positions, fought against the insurgents with dedication. The initial rebel group under UPDA struck a deal with government by signing a peace deal at Pecce Stadium. Some top Political and military leaders of the UPDA (Charles Alai and group) joined the Museveni government. Owing to to the continued repression by Museveni's NRA coupled by the desperate desire to regain the lost glory of possessing gun and donning of military fatigue. Consequently, the Holly Spirit Movement (HSM) under Alice Lakwena and later the LRA under Joseph Kony came into place. The government could not contain the carnage of armed bands of Karamajong warriors' raids for pillage into Acholi, Teso and Lango thus depriving these communities of their cattle. Some senior NRA commanders like Gen Matayo Kyaligonza had also helped themselves with huge stocks of cattle from Teso sub-region. More insurgent groups came up as a result of attempting to put in place a kind of self defence. The UPA (Uganda Peoples' Army) in Teso sub-region was one such example. Because of the differences owing to the 1985 coup, the Langis could not joint hands with the Acholis under LRA. However, they bore the brunt of LRA atrocities and attempted to form their own rebel group under the former Chief of Staff Brig Opon Achak before he was mysteriously killed by the NRA. In the meantime, other rebel groups cropped up in the West Nile region.  Of all those groups, its only the Acholi dominated LRA that thrived to-date.

THE SPLA FACTOR
During the cold war era, the USSR backed the rebel SPLA through Ethiopia's Haille Mengistu while the USA backed Khartoum. When the oil giant Chevron discovered oil in Sudan, the USA ignored Sudan's atrocities in its war against the SPLA. Consequently Khartoum pushed the SPLA further south to the border with Uganda and it split into different factions. When the communist leaning Museveni took over power in 1986 he had embarked on supporting the SPLA rebels. The LRA had established bases in Southern Sudan; a territory inhabited by their ethnic cousins. With the end of the cold war, the collapse of the USSR and the Mengistu in Ethiopia but more so Khartoum's Islamic radicalisation coupled by its opposition to the Iraq invasion, the USA withdrew its support to Khartoum. Museveni whose anti-imperialism stance had put off both the Reagan and Bush (Sr) administrations, was now courted by the Clinton administration for the Somali Mission. When he opportunistically embraced IMF/WB SAP, he registered the overwhelming backing of the West. With the backing of USA, he embarked on full military support to the SPLA on grounds that he was containing the spread of Islamic Fundamentalism by Khartoum and helping black Southern Sudanese against the Arab north. In return Khartoum doubled its support for the LRA and some parts of northern and west Nile region of Uganda bore the brunt of constant bombing by Sudan's Antonovs. Even when Khartoum seemed to lessen its support to the LRA, some factions of the SPLA would continue to replenish its stocks.  When South Sudan got its independence, it created a buffer zone between Khartoum and the LRA but Museveni continued to get worried of the ethnic connection between the predominantly Acholi LRA and a stable South Sudan. This partly explains why SPLA's John Garang had to die in a Ugandan helicopter crash and Museveni's recent panicky military intervention in the South Sudan crisis.

INSURGENT POPULATIONS FIGHT ARMED INSURGENTS
As the rebellion intensified in the northern and north eastern regions, Museveni realised that his army was viewed by the local population as an army of occupation. He devised a means of encamping the local population into what he termed as IDPs (Internally Displaced People's camps). Thereafter he sought to exploit the economic deprivation of the local population for military service by creating local militias like Amuka, Arrow Boys, Home Guards etc. With quasi military training, army uniform and guns, and some little or no  pay, these militias though initially meant to guard IDPs ended up engaging the LRA in distant field battles thus leaving the camps vulnerable to attacks. The army reabsorbed the former soldiers who had earlier been demobilised during the IMF/WB imposed Reduction In Force (RIF) for the Congo expedition who upon return were deployed to fight against the LRA. After disbanding the militia groups, personnel were incorporated into the army while others went to the Police as SPCs (Special Police Constables). In Teso where the UPA rebellion seemed to have been more politically focused, it ended through a negotiated settlement where the political leadership like Musa Echweru, Max Omeda and a few others landed juicy government jobs while the fighters were incorporated into the army. But even with the LRA, thousands of former fighters who have been reporting/surrendering have been incorporated into the army. This conscription coupled by the low rate of desertion by soldiers from these regions has seen their strength grow higher in the army. That is how the Nilotics have been able to dominate the army in terms of numbers though Museveni has systematically maintained the top command structure for the 'Home Boys'. Unlike their colleagues from other regions, they soldiers from northern Uganda seemed to be contented with military service no matter the appalling terms and conditions.

LRA'S  BRUTAL MILITARY CAMPAIGN
Following the move by government to use the suppressed local population to fight the insurgents, the LRA in turn resorted to murder, looting, and abductions against the local population. At the time, the army did not have the capacity to render full protection to the locals as the LRA had so much capacity that it could in dome instances overran and wipe out entire units of the NRA. A series of negotiations between the government and the LRA did not bear the desired goals because both sides were not committed to peaceful resolution of the rebellion. The 1994 negotiated regrouping and assembling of LRA at Rikwamba could not hold because the LRA  feared being entrapped by the NRA. During the government's Operation Iron Fist inside Sudan, the LRA attacked inside Uganda in retaliation for the government's blatant statement that the LRA had been decimated. The 2006 - 2008 peace talks mediated by SPLA's Riek Marcha that required the LRA to assemble in Garamba - DRC, it could not hold when a combined force of Uganda, DRC and South Sudan launched an aerial assault against the LRA positions. Consequently, this breach of trust prompted the LRA to start brutal attacks and abductions against Congolese civilians while expanding its operation area to CAR and South Sudan. The blotched up Operation Lightening Thunder by the NRA inside CAR only ended up scattering the LRA and its ensuing atrocities against civilians in DRC, CAR and parts of Sudan. In 2012 an Africa Union deployed a 5000 strong force comprised of the NRA among others. In 2011, the USA reinforced the AU with a 100 man special force to train and advice but above all the provision of financial and logistical boost to the international efforts to decimate the LRA.

LRA'S POLITICAL AGENDA
The Northern Uganda insurgency had initially started as an attempt by the defeated former government soldiers (UNLA) to fight back and regain military power that they believed they had treacherously lost through the Nairobi Peace Talks. This was coupled by the gross misconduct by the NRA in the northern region. The first blow to the seemingly unity of purpose came about when the UPDA signed a piece deal with government in 1988 paving way for many former soldiers joining the NRA. The UPDA political leadership in Uganda joined government while its backers in the diaspora continued to render support to the reminants who regrouped under HSM and later LRA. The local population, some church leaders and some foreign governments provided political backing to the LRA. The Acholi as an ethinic group, Acholi elders and local leaders, Catholic church Bishop Odama and Fr. Carlos, governments of Italy (the oil factor) and Sudan (SPLA factor) were all perceived to have been providing political backing to the LRA rebellion. Unfortunately, the LRA military leadership in the field could not tap into this political back up for proper direction but instead they seemed comfortable with marauding the countryside just as armed bandits, to and from Sudan, and committing atrocities. Even when rebel PRA's Opoka made contact with them (LRA) for a possible alliance from which they would benefit from political guidance, he was instead killed straight away. This partly explains why they ended up in distant places like CAR.

Despite the the systematic oppression meted out on the people of northern Uganda by the Museveni government, all those who were either in political or military positions in government were very deligently serving Museveni. That is why there has never been any known defections from NRA to LRA or any acts of treachery by ethnic Acholis in the NRA through covert collaboration with the LRA. Either party seemed to be contented with whichever side of the fence (LRA/NRA) that they fond themselves. The few individuals like Dr. Ochen, Elaborot, Olanya, Otieno, Dan Opito and a few others who were suspected to have been collaborating with the insurgents were cleared of any suspicion with time. The few unlucky Officers like major Kilama and Oliver Odweyo were killed. The LRA lost the thin political semblance years ago and they seemed to merely to enjoy holding the gun, donning colorful military fatigue with pips/insignias of Generals on their shoulders and collars. They also seem contented with carrying out raids against civilian targets for abductions and basic supplies and then against military targets for acquisition of logistics for their survival. Yet during the early days, the UPDA, HSM, and LRA had the capacity to deliver heavy military blows to the NRA and in some instances even shattering entire NRA units.

Around 2005 there had been serious calls by Acholis to government for declaring Northern Uganda a disaster zone but was swatted by the declaration by the USA of the LRA as a terrorist group and the  indictment of  five of its top commanders in the same year. The ICC indictment had the positive effect of scaring off the LRA supporters both at home and in the diaspora. That is what Joseph Kony alluded to during the Rikwamba peace mission in 2006 when he told Acholi leaders thus: "You sent me to wage this war but you have left me holding the tigers tail alone" in reference to the ICC indictment. Still the Acholi as a community advocated for reconciliation between government and victims on one hand and the LRA on the other through traditional justice systems like Mato Oputi. With the return of peace in northern Uganda, Acholi overwhelmingly voted for Museveni in the 2011 presidential elections.

MUSEVENI CONSOLIDATES THE GAINS
Billions of donor money though swindled has been poured into the rehabilitation and reconstruction of northern Uganda. The insurgency has seen both Lira and Gulu towns experience rapid growth; courtesy of the huge defence expenditures and diaspora remittances by both communities. Acholi and Langi top the number of Ugandans living in exile mostly in western capitals. Museveni has enjoyed the historical differences between the two communities that arose from the 1985 coup. The same applies to West Nilers owing to the events that followed the ouster of Iddi Amin. Its only his own Gen Ssejusa who recently made an attempt to bring them together under his diaspora based political organisation. No wonder, the alliance could not hold and it crumbled in its infancy. Museveni panicked over that development and had to move very fast to counter it by getting northern Uganda much closer to his regime. In order to discredit Gen Ssejusa, he immediately announced that he would probe into the atrocities that were committed by his army officers in northern Uganda.

 Since then he has secured a Luo body guard; which must be pleasing to some people though the fellow is just a figure head as the actual body guards are the home boys. Actually, Museveni knows that given the current political terrain, that Luo body guard could more trustworthy than the home boys. Its not by accident that youth leader Omodo Omodo is publicly displayed while having a ride in Museveni's car as the later is behind the wheels. In the same regard, Museveni speaheads the reburial of Erinayo Oryem, attends the memorial service of Akello's parents in Lira and is preparing the Archibishop Janan Luwum memorial service. Soon he will arrange the return of the body of Alice Lakwena for a descent burial. The recent uncoordinated statements by government to the effect that it was to avail defence to the ICC indicted Gen Dominic Ongwen during his trial in the Heague is a demonstration of the highest level of hypocrisy.  If West Nile demands, he will give in to repatriating the remains of Iddi Amin; why not!  With Deputy Speaker Jacob Olanya carrying the task of taming DP's Norbert Mao, the likes of Tadwong, Tangi Odoi, Anite, Doris Akol and many others holding top positions in the regime coupled by the dominance of his army by Luos, he is assured that the people of northern Uganda are contented.Bipingamizis (counter revolutionaries) are no longer in northern Uganda but are concentrated in South and Western regions and specifically Kigezi region.

Iddi Amin commanded the invasion of Mutesa's palace forcing him to flee to exile from where he died but it was the same Iddi Amin who arranged the return of his remains and accorded it a state burial! To what extent did he tame the Baganda?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

INFORMATION IS POWER. 



Thursday, 15 January 2015

MUSEVENI'S WOOING OF NORTHERN UGANDA EXTENDS TO THE LATE BISHOP JANAN LUWUM

Of recent Museveni has rolled out a systematic scheme to tame the historical hostility of northern Uganda. A detailed brief is in the pipeline but here below let me chip in with the above subject matter which is part of the wider scheme.

Late Archibishop Janan Luwum died in 1977 while under arrest over treasonous allegations in what the regime described as a motor accident. He was declared a martyr by the global Anglican community and his statue stands at the west door of West Minister Abbey in London. In Uganda the late Janan Luwum has not attracted much attention because of the political climate that came up after the fall of Iddi Amin to-date. It is now 35 years since he died and 29 years since Museveni took over power. Its only this year that the Museveni government is using the Church of Uganda to gain political capital by spearheading the organising of an annual remembrance of the late Archbishop Janan Luwum that is slated for February 2014. Museveni is scheduled to grace the occasion where South African Bishop Tutu, York's Bishop Sentamu and other prominent religious leaders will be among the top dignitaries.

Archbishop Janan Luwum was an Acholi from Kitgum who rose through the ranks to become the head of the Anglican Church in Uganda during the reign of Iddi Amin. At the time Acholi and Langi tribes bore the brunt of Amin's purge owing to the fact that they supported the exiled former President Obote who was leading fighters in Tanzania to oust Iddi Amin. The late  Janan Luwum became a leading critic of the excesses of the Iddi Amin regime. Around 1977 the dissidents smuggled arms into Uganda using the Anglican church that was historically UPC leaning. The movement of the said arms was monitored and were intercepted by the Iddi Amin regime following a leakage that originated from among the dissidents owing to their internal rifts. At the time Museveni had disagreed with the main dissident group led by Milton Obote and was running his own brief case organisation called FRONASA. The other exile groups at the time suspected Museveni to be an Iddi Amin spy.

The late Janan Luwum died alongside other two cabinet Ministers; Erinayo Oryem and Oboth Ofumbi. speaking at the launch of the steering committee for the planed occasion, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda described Late Janan Luwum as a political icon whose matyrdom galvanised efforts to oust the dictatorial regime of Iddi Amin. He added that Luwum's life was not only seen in the religious aspect but also in the social and political aspects whose life was a challenge to both political and religious leaders. Since taking the path of war in the early 80s and consequently capturing power in the mid 80s to-date, Museveni has consistently been trying to underrate the role of other other groups that fought against the Iddi Amin regime. He fronts his group of FRONASA as the sole fighting group that ousted Iddi Amin. He has often described the former President Milton Obote all other of his UPC party members and sympathisers as devils. Late Archbishop Janan Luwum was not a member of FRONASA but Museveni's own Bishop Festo Kivengere was close to Bishop Luwum.Therefore he feared that if he had  had to acknowledge the role of the late Archbishop, he wouldn't have escaped acknowledging the role of the UPC, its leaders, Acholi and Langi army officers and the general population of northern Uganda.

During his five years guerrilla war, Museveni had his own religious icon in the name of Cardinal Nsubuga who highlighted the excesses of the UPC regime while promoting his NRA. Museveni has always argued that religious leaders should not talk about political governance but when it comes to past religious leaders like Cardinal Nsubuga, Bishop Kivengere and now Archbishop Luwum, he treats them as religious icons because they stood up against the excesses of past political leaders.

Therefore, the current move by Museveni to highlight the recognition of the Late Archbishop Janan Luwum is an opportunistic scheme to bring the people of northern Uganda on board in his new-found NRM/Northern Uganda alliance of convenience. The other day he used the reburial of Erinayo Oryem in the same area to woo the population of that region. He intends to use the occasion to draw world attention on how he (Museveni) rescued Uganda from the jaws of past bad leadership hence justification for him to continue ruling.

INFORMATION IS POWER

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

MUSEVENI'S POLICE COMMANDER ATTEMPTED TO MURDER A JOURNALIST



For quite sometime now the brutality of Museveni's Police has grown from bad to worse but the worst is yet to be as we enter a crucial phase of his life presidency scheme.  The brutality has not spared toddlers, women, elderly, children, students, traders, political dissenters, human rights and anti-corruption activists etc.

The driving force behind all this brutality is Museveni’s militarisation and political indoctrination of the police force coupled by infiltration of soldiers into the Police force.  The force has been successfully transformed into the ruling party structures as an enforcement branch for Museveni's life Presidency project.

The nature of recruitment, training, deployment, equipment, command and control etc. all point to a regime's police force bent on protecting Mzei (Museveni)'s hold on power at all costs.  The few known gruesome incidents of brutality committed in public are just a fraction of what goes on in private i.e. during night patrols, in detention at Police stations and safe houses etc.

The regime tells its Police personnel that all dissenters are enemies of Mzei (Museveni’s) who should be treated as terrorist enemies and dealt with, with maximum force.

On 13th January 2015, the IIGP (Inspector General of Police) Kalekyezi Kayihura warned again demonstrations when he told the youth at a convention in Kabale thus: "No one will take power from us”.  Therefore, it is all about doing all it takes to retain power no matter the cost in terms of human blood.  

For any Police Officer to be able to qualify for being deployed in command positions in and around Kampala and other strategic areas, one must be a proven party cadre whose loyalty to Mzei (Museveni) is not in doubt.

On 12th January 2015, the DPC (District Police Commander) of Old Kampala Police Station Joram Mwesigye led his men against the peaceful demonstration by some dozen youths who were matching through the city heading for the police headquarters to hand in their petition.  As the norm, these days, the Police unleashed their usual terror on peaceful demonstrating and unarmed dozen youths. The journalists covered the proceedings with their cameras but the DPC ordered them to stop thus: "I am going to shoot you if you don't stop filming what is going on now".

The said DPC was armed with a pistol and he used an electronic cable to hit the journalists before hitting hard a WBS TV cameraman's head who soon fell unconscious.  The same DPC ordered his men to bundle the injured journalist into his private car and drove him to the police station where he dumped him into a cell.   It was only after the intervention of the Regional Police Commander (RPC) that the injured journalist was rushed to the hospital where he is currently hospitalised.

http://changeofguards.blogspot.ca/2015/01/museveni-police-commander-attempted-to.html

The Police top management has come out to offer public apologies after allegedly suspending and arresting the said officer and promising to investigate the motive of the officer. They disassociated themselves from his actions describing them as 'individual actions'.

INFORMATION IS POWER!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

POLICE TAKES OVER PUBLIC TRANSPORT MANAGEMENT TO COUNTER POLITICAL DEMONSTRATIONS.

Museveni's military government has been gradually militarising management of some public sectors for strategic financial and security considerations. It started with revenue collection in the mid 90s when squads of military personnel were formed into the notorious Special Revenue Protection Services (SRPS) under the command of Kalekyezi Kayihura. Then came the initially 'hostile' Police force whose militarisation process under Gen Kayihura is nearing completion. The militarisation of wildlife law enforcement under Col. Charles Tusiime has already witnessed the scandalous theft of tons of ivory from the government strong rooms. The take over management of Kampala City Council by Museveni using both the Executive Director and the Minister for Kampala Frank Tumwebaze has seen the elected Mayor being denied his position and the brutality of city law enforcement under the command of AIP Kituuma Rusoke son of Museveni's chief ideologist Kajabago Karusoke. These days Minister Tumwebaze has changed the style of walking owing to the Yugoslav made Pistol that is always stuffed by his left hip. The management of some Mosques in Kampala by the Police has helped escalate wrangles that have witnessed the current gruesome murders of Muslim clerics. The recent take over of the agriculture sector by army  officers under the command of Museveni's brother Gen Saleh and the army's manipulation of the Standard Railway Gauge project is another classic example of the militarisation process.

Much as the huge revenues accruing from Kampala City Council are a factor, opposition dominated Kampala city's voting patterns  have been a thorn in Museveni's flesh. All those schemes of  restructuring the city council and denying  the Mayor access to his office are meant to tame the hostile Kampala voters. However, following the 2011 Walk to Work demonstrations in Kampala, Museveni got concerned by the potential for the opposition to easily mobilise an Arab Spring type of mass action. Leave alone the passive Kampala elites, the ordinary low income earners operating in markets, street vendors, bus and lorry drivers, taxi drivers and touts, and the potentially explosive unemployed youths sent shivers down Museveni's spine. The orchestration of current wrangling between the Nabugabo and Kikuubo traders is part of this scheme. He has since then embarked on relocating street vendors, markets and taxi parks from the city center. The unresolved mysterious repeated market fires are all efforts towards this direction. The infiltration of soldiers, intelligence officers, police officers and crime preventers into the Kampala city law enforcement is meant to keep a 24 hours surveillance on any eventuality in the city center. The restricted movement of opposition icon Dr. Besigye and Mayor Lukwago is also a move in this direction. The alleged mismanagement of the city's transport sector is baseless because the wrangles were orchestrated by state functionaries. Previously, the earlier disbanded UTODA Chairman Haji Katongole was a leading Museveni political party mobiliser among the public transport sector players. 

The current calls by the opposition for the masses to reclaim their constitutional right of regime change is not taken lightly by Museveni who intends to rule for life. Therefore the current take over of public transport management by Police is a security measure decision that was taken at higher levels and that is why it was announced by the Minister of Security. Next, they will take over management of mainstream churches since the born again churches have already been used to undermine the former. Then they will take over the institutions of higher learning.

The kicks of a dying horse are the toughest.

INFORMATION IS POWER.


Saturday, 10 January 2015

IS MUSEVENI BECOMING TOLERANT OR IS JUST SETTING HIS TRAPS?

The state of Uganda that got its independence 52 years ago  has never had a democratic change of government. In all changes of governments, the military has in one way or the other had a hand. In 1966 the first President of the country was attacked by the army on the orders of the then Prime Minister Dr. Apollo Milton Obote leading to his overthrow and exile. In 1971 President Militon Obote was overthrown by the military that brought the nine years of military government under General Iddi Amin. In 1979 the Iddi Amin led military government was overthrown following an invasion by neighbouring Tanzania. Six months later President Yusuf Lule was overthrown by the 'men in uniform' (the Military Commission where Museveni was the Deputy Chairman). One year later President Godfrey Binaisa was also overthrown by the same 'men in uniform' simply because he questioned their 'recruitment race' (FRONASA Vs UNLA) between Museveni and the 'Os' to swell their numbers. The Military Commission took over government till December 1980 when general elections brought in Dr. Milton Obote as President. In 1985 the army led by the Army Commander Gen Tito Okello overthrew Obote. Six months later in Jan 1986, Museven led his NRA to overthrow the Gen Tito Okello government.

Since taking over power 29 years ago, Museveni has been preoccupied with averting a recurrence of a military coup simply because having been a key player in most of the military takeovers in Uganda, he has mastered the art of containing the political lust of his military lieutenants. This is what he averted to when he stated that: "This is not a mere change of guards but a fundamental change" during his swearing in speech on 26th January 1986. To achieve this he has deliberately refused to professionalise the army so that no formal military structures are put in place. Instead he has personalized the security forces as a private security enterprise where he is the Alpha and Omega in its management. He can hire and fire at will, he can deploy, appoint, disappoint, promote, demote, dismiss, and render redundant (Katebe) any individual army officer no matter the rank. He can create and abolish any structure of the security forces at his convenience. He has severely destroyed the careers and future of army officers whom he has suspected of harboring divergent political views. He has selectively allowed army officers to accumulate unimaginable wealth through diversion of military resources so that unlike the past armies, top officers have an economic stake in the system.

Above all he has severely warned politicians both in his party and opposition against straying into 'his army' thus:  "I will send Besigye six feet deep if he dares stray into the arena of my army." He warned his former Vice President Bukenya against alleged night meetings with 'his' army officers. Indeed Museveni to some extent can tolerate political dissent as longer as it does not have any links to the security services. However recent events seem to suggest either a change of heart or his usual tactic of encircling his political opponents before striking them. In the mid 90s Gen Ssejusa attempted to leave the army after showing signs of allying with the opposition politicians but Museveni worked around the clock to block his retirement. changeofguards.blogspot.ca Since then the Gen. was rendered redundant and treated with suspicion until in mid 2013 when he fled to London. His aides were arrested and charged with treason whereby the Gen is the prime suspect. While in exile, the Gen got involved in actions aimed at challenging Museveni's presidency through unconstitutional means (military option). Museveni panicked and resorted to donning military uniform and carrying an AK 47 assault rifle most of the time before stating thus: "he knows my address; ........we have been waiting for him."  Indeed, in December 2014 Gen Ssejusa returned to Uganda following a deal that was approved by Museveni. Since his return the Gen has defiantly continued to drum for regime change. Some opposition leaders like Norbert Mao have even publicly appealed to the Gen to use his influence in the army to tap into the soldiers' support for regime change. Criminal as such a call (incitement of members of the army) is, Museveni has neither protested nor issued stern warning. Amidst all this seemingly change of heart, Museveni is just grappling with another battle to neutralise his former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi for suspected desire to eye the presidency. Surprisingly, Museveni seems to be either tolerating Gen Ssejusa for some sinister motives or he is laying the trap. For the first time in the history of Uganda and against the law, a serving army officer has overtly formed a political organisation. On the contrary, are we about to see Museveni giving more concessions just to hoodwink the world as he pushes ahead with his life presidency project or it is just because he is over confident that he has so much personalised the army that no one can use it to overthrow him???? We are yet to see if the alleged PRA rebel suspect Captain Amon Byarugaba in detention without trial since 2003 will also be set free!

INFORMATION IS POWER

Thursday, 8 January 2015

UGANDA POLICE WARMING UP FOR 2015/16 PEOPLE POWER

The army has in the past been openly involved in Museveni's rigging of elections in Uganda. For decades, Museveni was not trusting the Police force since it had been dominated by personnel from regions that he considered hostile to his regime. Over the years since his most trusted party cadre from the army Gen Kale Kayihura took over command of the Police force, he has brought on board youthful party cadres who have taken over command of strategic areas of the force. Because of lack of trust in that past police, he would dress soldiers in Police uniform at Makindye barracks before dispatching them for party errands. At one time he publicly told the old 'UPC Police' that unless they learn to vote wisely, their welfare will never improve. It was an open secret that at any polling station within the vicinity of a Police barracks, the opposition votes would defeat Museveni. changeofguards.blogspot.ca In order to tame the Police, he has been seconding army officers to the command of the Police. He has since been restructuring the Police force and its training and logistical requirements to give it a disguised military status. One of the demands advanced by the opposition in their current electoral reforms proposals has been the removal of the army in the electoral process. The opposition seem not to be aware that Museveni is moving ahead of their plans. Now that Museveni has successfully completed the militarisation and personalisation of the Police force, the army will not feature prominently in the 2016 elections. Imagine the former O.C (Officer Commanding) of Nansana Police Station AIP Mohammed Kirumira is currently undergoing a military course at the army's NCO (non commissioned officer)'s academy at Gadafi Barracks in Jinja!!!

Some of the units of the army's SFG under the command of his son have been fused with the Police force thus giving the scheme to intimidate, harass and suppress the opposition the necessary smoke screen. Currently the Police force strength stands at about 40,000 and its management aims at boosting it to 65,000 by the 2016 elections. Already about 4000 constable recruits are nearing completion of their basic training while the exercise of recruiting another 3000 constables and 500 cadets is underway. The auxiliary forces in form of youth party cadres dubbed as Crime Preventers are already on the ground in their tens of thousands.    

All this marathon recruitment is part of the wider scheme to strengthen the Police force as an enforcement organ of Museveni's ruling party's political manouvres targeting the 2016 elections. Above all, Museveni is more bothered by the opposition's push for electoral reforms than the 2016 elections itself. He anticipates the masses to resort to mass action as a counter measure against a repeat of his his usual rigging.

INFORMATION IS POWER

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

SSEBAGALA ABANDONS MUSEVENI TO JOIN SSEJUSA

A Senior Presidential Adviser on 'drama', Nasser Ntege Ssebagala has resigned and regretted for having served Museveni. In 2001 during the presidential elections, Ssebagala who was a strong opposition supporter threatened to mobilise city youths then popularly known as Abaseya into a Youth Brigade to storm State House in Nakasero and evict Museveni if the elections were rigged.

Museveni rigged the elections but also took Ssebagala's threats very seriously. It is Gen Tinyefuza aka Ssejusa who was tasked to secretly work out a peace deal with Ssebagala. Gen Tinyefuza went to Ssebagala's home in Bugolobi where a deal was hammered to drop the idea of mobilising the youths. Ssebagala dropped the idea at the last minute and the youths were left in the cold the same way Gen Ssejusa has recently left the diaspora community in the cold.

Soon after Ssebagala joined the main stream ruling party and Museveni elevated him to a ministerial position that could not pass the parliamentary approval before he settled down as a the Presidential Adviser. Therefore, there is no doubt his current resignation is the first step into joining Gen Ssejusa's camp as a mobiliser. For further reading visit: changeofguards.blogspot.ca/how tinyefuza saved museveni from ssebagala's youth brigade. We had earlier on highlighted on the Tinyefuza/Ssebagala relationship.

INFORMATION IS POWER

Sunday, 4 January 2015

ARMY NAADS - IS RUGUNDA A LIAR OR IS JUST BEHIND NEWS!!!!

When Museveni decided to disband the National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS) and instead opted to deploy army officers into the agriculture sector under the banner of Operation Wealth Creation, many Ugandans did not know the idea behind. First it was a counter insurgency measure to contain the growing number of army officers who had been rendered redundant following their displacement by the new Gen Muhoozi (his son) officer corps but at the same time Museveni feared to retire them for fear that they would boost the opposition in case of an armed option. Secondly, it was meant to test the waters for a wider scheme of deploying soldiers as party cadres to several other civil sectors. 

On December 31st 2014 during the memorial service for the parents of CIID boss Grace Akullo in Lango, Museveni directed the army officers overseeing the Operation Wealth Creation in Lango to serve his NRM members first as M (leaders) should be the first beneficiaries so that they become an example to others in chasing poverty."  The area district Chairman is from the opposition FDC party. Museveni has always fooled Ugandans that the army is non partician yet it is a security branch of his NRM party. Now the army officers under this project will have to use the NRM party members register in order to identify its party members. Alternatively, they will have to rely on party cadres like RDCs and Internal Security officers to identify and isolate non party members.

While Museveni was making this bold statement in Lango, his Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda was in Kabale on the same date meeting leaders and urging them to desist from politicising the operation wealth creation. He cautioned leader against stifling the operation with politics and religious segregation thus: " Operation Wealth Creation is not a government program but people's program which directly benefits everyone in society."

Ndugu Rugunda needs to adjust to the 'Mafia' way of managing public affairs.

INFORMATION IS POWER.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

SINGH KATONGOLE - FROM CMI CONTRACTOR TO PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR

Parminder Singh Mwaraha Katongole the Ugandan of Indian origin is a top cadre of Museveni's ruling oligarchy. He got close to Museveni through the contract to repair Museveni's dreaded secret service (CMI)'s vehicles during the Mayombo reign. Singh was also one of the few businessmen who would extend soft cash loans to CMI for its operations on interest; the others being some Kikuubo businessmen.

Around 2006 Singh was involved in a land row with the family of late Lt. Col. Drago Nyanzi. He is reported to have befriended Col Drago who was his  neighbour and the later allowed him to use part of his land for purposes of a garage. Following Col.Drago's death, Singh is reported to have fraudulently gained ownership of the said property.  Having become the Deputy National Treasurer of Museveni's ruling party he managed to win the case through influence peddling and bribery. At the time he boosted that he is only answerable to Museveni. He is the chief mobiliser for NRM's financial contributions from the economically powerful Indian community in Uganda.

In 2011 he contested for and lost the Rubaga North parliamentary seat amidst intimidation against his opponent by security operatives. changeofguards.blogspot.ca. He petitioned the Magistrate's Court for a recount. At the same time the High Court issued an interim order for stay of the recount. The Chief Magistrate Philip Odoki ignored the High Court order and ordered the Returning Officer to carry out a recount in which Singh was declared the winner. The recounting exercise took place amidst intimidation and bribery lasting the whole day and night till 3.00 a.m the following day whereby Singh had been providing all the drinks, food and lighting facilitation. The Electoral Commission was at hand to gazette Singh as the MP elect a few hours immediately after the recounting and the declaration of the new winner.The law mandated the Chief Magistrate to carry out the recount but he instead he had erroneously  delegated that responsibility to the Returning Officer.  It took the High Court another five months before handing down victory to the rightful winner and Singh ceased to be the M.P.

In early Dec 2014 while Museveni was meeting the Indian community in Uganda, Singh in his capacity as the chief mobilizer of the Indian Community in Uganda requested Museveni to consider constitutional recognition of Indian community in Uganda as a tribe. In response, Museveni stated thus " Those who have lived for long surely qualify to be Ugandans. ........even the African tribes which are here they all came from somewhere because some are from west Africa (Bantus) and some from the horn of Africa (Tutsis)..........."  No wonder immediately after the last Christmas Museveni went on a tour of Ethiopia and proposed a railway link with Ethiopia.

During the recent Mbabazi conference, Singh was dropped from the position of party Deputy Treasurer and Museveni appointed him Uganda's Ambassador to India. Singh pleaded with Museveni to be left in Kampala so that he could effectively take care of his vast business empire. Museveni accepted and instead appointed him to the newly created position of Senior Presidential Adviser on India Affairs.

No wonder its only in Uganda under Museveni where he has powers to create a non-existing position for any of his cronies. 

INFORMATION IS POWER