Monday, 3 August 2020

BRIG. KAREMIRE SACKED FOR NOT BEING AGGRESSIVE ENOUGH TOWARDS RWANDA


CHANGE OF GUARDS - Museveni has sacked his army Spokesman, Brig. Richard Karemire in the latest reshuffle that saw other senior army officers affected. Karemire has been posted to the East African Community Secretariat in Arusha Tanzania as the Defence Liaison Officer ((DLO). Brig. Karemire who hails from Sheema is a son of a Munyarwanda Tutsi mother and a Munyankole Mwiru father. He joined the NRA immediately after it had captured power in 1986. A graduate of Makerere University, Karemire started his military career with DMI (now renamed CMI) headquarters then housed at Basiima House. He served under the Registry Department with the likes of Rwanda's now Gen. James Kabarebe and Gen. Dan Munyuuza (Rwanda's Inspector General of Police). At the time, the now top Banyarwanda Generals like Paul Kagame, Jack Nziza, Ceaser Kayizari, Patrick Karegeya, Gumisiriza and others occupied key positions under DMI. 

When then Lt. Kabarebe and Pte. Dan Munyuuza left for Rwanda in 1990, the then Sgt. Richard Karemire took charge of the Registry Department. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant around early 1990s under the scheme of automatic commissioning of university graduates. When the RPF took over power in Rwanda, then Lt. Richard Karemire was another of the few people who were rewarded with a salon car. Since Rwanda had not socially stabilised, Kagame's children continued attending school in Uganda and Richard Karemire was in charge of their schooling. 

Following the military clashes between the armies of Uganda and Rwanda in Kisangani, relations affected cohesion within Museveni's army. The reign of Gen. Tumukunde at CMI saw the purge of personnel who were perceived to have links with Rwanda and Richard Karemire fell victim. After a long spell at the army headquarters, he made a come back a decade later and rose to become a Deputy CMI before he was appointed the Army Spokesperson in January 2017. 

To be able to effectively speak for any organisation, one ought to have a full understanding of the same. During his tenure, Brig Karemire invoked his 31 years of experience in the NRA to be able to articulately speak for it. World over, the press is a strategic partner of the intelligence community and he used his vast experience in spy-craft in dealing with it. As a long serving military intelligence officer at a strategic level, he had the advantage of having been able to master the NRA security infrastructure inside out. That is why his tenure has not witnessed contradictions in statements issued by the army leadership. However, he has not been aggressive enough towards Rwanda in the ongoing diplomatic squabbles. A close counter intelligence watch on him must have failed to directly link him with Rwanda thus his soft exit and banishment to Tanzania. 

His replacement, Brig. Flavia Byekwaso having joined the NRA in 2000 is a 'stranger' in the NRA. Unfortunately, she has never had any exposure to the NRA's security and ideological related issues. Worse still, she may not know that there is nothing like the UPDF but the NRA. Out of excitement as the first female Army Spokesperson, she may end up messing up things just within a few days of her tour of duty. The good news is that she will just be a 'loudspeaker' via Bluetooth for someone behind the curtains. Much as the appointment of Brig. Byekwaso is meant to dupe Baganda, the Muhoozi project can't be ruled out. 

Elsewhere, the reshuffle of other officers was generally aimed at not only clearing the way for the Muhoozi Project but mitigation of the ongoing public debate on nepotism in the security infrastructure. In particular, the Baganda officers have featured prominently but in less significant positions. 
1. Maj. Gen. Sam Kiwanuka posted as Chief of Production and Welfare yet the army no longer has farms and other other economic projects. The remaining few are managed under the NEC and Luwero Industries which is headed by the home boys, Gen. James Mugira and Brig. Butuuro. 

2. Maj. Gen. Ddibba Ssentongo who is one of the few remaining Baganda University graduate NRA war veterans and had been deputising Mugira in NEC is now sent to take care of the neglected destitute war causalities at the so-called Rehabilitation Centre in Mubende. By the way, most of those war causalities without limbs and arms at the facility in Mubende are Baganda. 

3. Maj. Gen. Hudson Mukasa has never recovered from what befell him in 1996 when his 7th Battalion then based at Mbuya Barracks was suspected of supporting then Presidential candidate Paul Ssemogerere. Since then, Mukasa has always been dumped abroad as a Military Attache - Burundi, Kenya and now he is back as Chief of Staff of the non-existent Reserve Force. 

4. Brig. Chris Bbossa dispersed to China

5. Brig. Jeff Mukasa who has been appointed Director Counter Terrorism is not a Muganda but a Munyankole from Mbarara. He is like Col. Edith Nakalema who hails from Rutooma in Bwizibeeera. Even so, real Counter terrorism operations have been placed under Brig. C. K. Asiimwe who is the Commander of the National Counter Terrorism Centre. 

6. Brig. Joseph Balikudembe who has been confirmed as Division Commander 3rd Division is not a Muganda but a Munyankole from the same village with the former Chief Justice, Bart Katurebe in Bunyaruguru.

7. Gen. Katumba Wamala deployed to destroy the Baganda dominated public transport sector (taxis and Bodabodas) in the city. 

Away from the Baana Ba Kintu, the gist of the recent reshuffle lies in the following home boys who took up strategic positions:

1. Maj. Gen. Don Nabaasa who took command of the strategic AMISOM. 

2. Brig. Mathew Gureme who took charge of the strategic Recruitment and Training.

3. Brig. William Beinomugisha who took command of the 2nd Division that takes care of the vital Rwanda and Congo borderline. He replaced the disgruntled Brig. Fred Karara who was one of the few remaining NRA Bush war Hima in active command and a veteran military intelligence officer now dumped in Khartoum. 

4. Col. Keith Katungyi who takes command of the strategic Military Police.

INFORMATION IS POWER AND THE PROBLEM OF UGANDA IS MUSEVENISM




Sunday, 2 August 2020

UGANDA: HOW MUSEVENI IS USING JUDICIAL TRIBUNALS AND COMMISSIONS OF INQUIRY TO UNDERMINE THE COURTS OF LAW


By CHANGE OF GUARDS

"Increasing the number of Judges should be in the interest of the people of Uganda, it should not be debatable. It's like debating whether we need doctors in district hospitals. Like how do you manage to create new districts or constituencies with a stroke of a pen and then you say you don't have money to appoint Chief Magistrates in existing magisterial areas."
Deputy Chief Justice, Owiny Dollo during the swearing in of Richard Buteera to the Judicial Service Commission on July 23, 2020. 

Access to justice in Uganda is increasingly getting slimmer on account of, among other factors, inadequacy of staffing. In May 2018, Parliament passed a resolution to increase the number of High Court Judges from 52 to 82 and the number of Chief Magistrates from 44 to 100. During the 21st Annual Judges Conference in January 2019, Museveni out-rightly rejected calls for recruitment of new judicial officers. 
"You are not the only ones understaffed. You cannot convince me to stop working on the roads or electricity to pay salary for more Judges. I cannot stop. That's succidal."
Immediately after, the judiciary threatened to withhold its services in protest and the then Chief Justice, Bart Katurebe said that ".....the recruitment ban will entirely affect the people who are the consumers of justice."
However, Museveni eventually enhanced b salary for Judges and in December 2019, he appointed 3 Justices of the Court of Appeals to/Constitutional Court and 12 High Court Judges. 

The ban for recruitment for the lower Magistrate Courts that handle the biggest case backlog is still on hence the above recent outburst by the Deputy Chief Justice to that effect. True to the assertion by the Deputy Chief Justice, Museveni has now created 46 new constituencies while another 16 are being assessed for consideration. This development now brings the number of M.Ps to 497 - a very heavy burden to the taxpayers. Creation of parallel structures is Museveni's style of managing public affairs. For every government ministry, agency and department, he creates a parallel structure based at State House. In most cases, such parallel structure are more powerful and well facilitated than the mother ministry, agency or department. It is in the same regard that he often uses quasi-judicial bodies like commissions of inquiry and administrative tribunals to undermine the authority of the judiciary. 

A court is any person or institution, often a government institution with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law. They are a central means for dispute resolution. The system of courts that interprets and applies the law is collectively known as the Judiciary. The Magistrates, Judges, Justices and Court Registrars are collectively known as Judicial Officers. On the other hand, the term tribunal is used interchangeably with the word court to refer to any person or institution with authority to judge, adjudicate on, or determine claims or disputes. 

However, in many cases, a tribunal implies a judicial (or quasi-judicial) body with a lesser degree of formality than a court, to which the normal rules of evidence and procedures may not apply and whose presiding officers are neither Judges nor Magistrates. The term tribunal is derived from the word Tribunes who were the Magistrates of the classical Roman Republic and originally referred to the office of the Tribunes. It is part of the administrative system and is established under administrative law. They are applicable where some government departments are given authority to look into disputes independently without interference of courts except where their decisions are challenged in their legality. 

In Uganda, tribunals are created by statutes as specialised courts and they form part of the country's judicial servicea structures. The Uganda Human Rights Commission (URC) has a quasi-judicial tribunal that adjudicates matters of human rights violations. The findings and subsequent orders by these tribunal are never enforced. Consequently, human rights violations in Uganda by Museveni's has become a norm since the perpetrators act with impunity. 

1. The army's UPDF Act creates military tribunals that have assumed the role of courts of judicature to try civilians. Despite numerous court rulings of this illegality, his military tribunals have continued to try civilians. Museveni uses military courts to silence dissent within the military circles and the opposition activism.

2. Though the Police Act of 1994 provides for the establishment of disciplinary courts to handle minor disciplinary issues by its personnel, they have been turned into tribunals that purport to try capital offences with the aim of shielding the accused from the wrath of the law in civil courts. The members of those disciplinary tribunals enjoy the same immunity and privileges as those of Magistrates. 

3. The Tax Appeals Tribunal Act provides for a tribunal that offers preferential treatment to tax disputes. 

4 The Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act provides for a PPDA Appeals Tribunal to handle applications for review of decisions of the PPDA. 

5. The Land Act of 1998 provides for the creation of District, Sub-County and Urban Land Tribunals that apply rules of procedures made by the Chief Justice to adjudicate land disputes. 

6. The Non Performing Assets Recovery Trust (NPART) Act of 1994 that legalised the destruction of the defunct Uganda Commercial Bank (UCB). S.13 provides for a tribunal headed by an equivalent of a Justice of the Court of Appeal and has powers to review it's own judgements and orders. 

7. The most recent tribunal was created by the Leadership Code (Amendment) Act 2017 that is purported to cater for the "enforcement of the code and for other related matters." The members of the tribunal are aoppinted by Museveni. 

A commission of inquiry on the other hand is one of the many bodies available to the government to inquire into various issues. These commissions report findings, give advice and and make recommendations. Though their decisions are not legally binding, they can be highly influential. In Uganda, commissions of inquiry are government by the Commissions of Inquiry Act of 1914 Cap 166. 
Since coming to power, Museveni has been setting up various Commission of Inquiry. 

1.  The the 1986, Justice Oder Commission of Inquiry into violation of Human Rights covering the period from independence to when he took power. After 8 years, the said commission presented its report in 1994 and obviously it was meant to legitimise his government. 

2. In 1990, he set up a commission of inquiry into the killing of two Makerere University students (Patrick Okema and Patrick Onyango) who were part of the students strike protesting the scrapping of stationery and travel allowances. The findings were never made public and three implicated police officers were later exonerated. 

3. In 1991, he set up a commission of inquiry into the abduction of 43 school girls of Sacred Heart Secondary School in Gulu but the findings have never been made public. 

4. In 1999, he set up the Justice Julia Ssebutinde commission of inquiry into the corruption in the police force that simply saw the sacking of the the then Director of CID, Chris Bakiza and two others. It only gave him a leeway for his privatisation of the force and the rot thrives to this day. 

5. In December 2000, he set up the Justice Augustine Kania Commission of Inquiry into the mass murder by religious cult leader, Joseph Kibwetere in Kanungu. The said Inquiry only stopped at its seven members being given appointment letters and did not take off. 

6. In 2001, he set up another commission of inquiry led by Justice Julia Sebutinde into the purchase of four defective military combat helicopters when the government lost USD 12m. The commission's findings and recommendations were simply ignored and the culprits enjoyed their loot.

7. In 2001, he set up the Justice Porter Commission to cover-up the alleged plunder of resources in Congo by his army. The ICJ ruled that Uganda pays DRC reparations to a tune of USD 10 billion.

8. In 2002, he set up another commission of inquiry led by the same Justice Sebutinde into the corruption in the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). Its findings and recommendations were simply ignored and the rot in URA thrives to this day.

9. In 2003, he set up the Commission of Inquiry into the Ghost Soldiers led by Amama Mbabazi. No one was held to account but instead the findings of the commission were only used to purge and and renew the loyalty of the implicated individuals. 

10. In 2005, he set up the Justice Ogola Commission of Inquiry into theft of USD 43m Global Fund on Aids, TB and Malaria. The fund had been suspended in August and when he set up the inquiry in October, it was reinstated in November of the same year. At the end of the day, all the implicated individuals were left on the hook.

11. In April 2008, he set up a commission of inquiry into the fire outbreak at Buddo Junior School that killed 20 students. Its findings have never been made public but, instead, rampant mysterious fire outbreaks have since become the order of the day. 

12. In 2009, he set up the Justice Ezekiel Muhanguzi led Commission of Inquiry into the corruption in the UPE and USE projects where ghost students and teachers were unearthed but no one was held responsible. 

13. In 2010, he set up the Justice Kanyeihamba Commission to inquire into the misappropriation of UGX 95b World Bank funded PAMSU project for UWA. 

14. In 2012, he set up the Prof. Kabwegyere Commission of Inquiry into the unending wrangles within the Muslim community in Uganda. Its findings were never made public but, instead, state inspired wrangles have escalated and Muslims are increasingly being targeted for persecution. 

15. In 2013, he set up the Catherine Bamugemareire Commission to inquire into the alleged incompetence by the Lord Mayor Eriasi Lukwago. The inquiry was just a formality to remove Lukwago from office. That is why unlike other commissions of inquiry that last years, this one finished its work within the mandated time frame of 60 days. 

16. In 2016, he set up a commission of inquiry led by Justice George Engwau into the burning of Kasubi Tombs but its findings have never been made public. 

17. In December 2016, he set up the Justice Catherine Bamugemareire Commission of Inquiry into land matters as a way of diverting public attention from the institutionalised land grabbing. 

Like is the case with Tribunals, Museveni uses Commissions of Inquiry to distract public attention from sensitive issues. It is a deliberate ploy to to diffuse public rage on prevailing wrongs by the state. Unlike in matters before courts of law, with Tribunals and Commissions of Inquiry, he is the final arbiter. 

INFORMATION IS POWER AND THE PROBLEM OF UGANDA IS MUSEVENISM



Wednesday, 29 July 2020

ZIMBABWE'S GEN. 'ELWELU' DIES OF CORONA VIRUS (Photos)


By CHANGE OF GUARDS 

Gen. Elwelu is Museveni's Commander of the Land Forces - the fourth highest position in the country's military hierarchy. As the 2nd Division Commander, in November 2016 Elwelu commanded the brutal military assault on the compound of the King of the Rwenzururu Kingdom in Kasese that left hundreds killed in cold blood while many more were maimed and women abused. The assault and massacre was a response to the Kingdom's overwhelming support for the opposition during the February 2016 Gen. Elections. 

 Museveni rewarded Gen. Elwelu with promotion to the rank of Lt. General and elevated Elwelu to the position of Commander of the Land Forces. On account of that incident, the USA blocked Elwelu's attendance of a security conference in Malawi. In May 2017, in an interview with Al-Jazera Television, Museveni retaliated his defense of Gen. Elwelu's actions;
"......that means he was doing his duty.....yes, I am the one who promoted him .........I am telling you that Elwelu did his duty and there is now peace in that area .....it was definitely justified."

Four years down the road, victims are still waiting for justice that will never come as long as Musevenism is still in power. 

In Zimbabwe, the late dictator Robert Mugabe's Gen. Pearance Shiri has died of Corona Virus. He has been the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement since 2017. Immediately after Zimbabwe got its independence in 1980, tension between Mugabe's ZANU and Joshua Nkomo's ZAPU set in motion. The two political organisations had been founded on ethnic and regional grounds. Mugabe's ruling ZANU was dominated by the majority Shona tribe while Nkomo's ZAPU was dominated by the minority Ndebele tribe of the southern Matabeleland. 

In 1983, Mugabe moved against the Ndebele in Matabeleland by deploying his army's 5th Brigade under the command of Gen. Pearance Shiri. The current President, Munangagwa was, at that time, the Minister of State Security and overseer of the notorious Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO). A reign of terror descended on the Ndebele that was characterised by torture, detention without trial and summary executions leaving an estimated 20,000 dead. The reign of terror lasted close to four years ending in 1987 when Mugabe signed a Unity Accord with his political rival, Joshua Nkomo that saw the merger of ZANU and ZAPU to form ZANU-PF. 

The said reign of terror in Matabeleland was dubbed Gukurahandi which is a Shona word to mean "Rain that sweeps away the chaff." The Commander of the infamous 5th Brigade, Gen. Shiri referred to himself as the "Black Jesus In The House of Stone" while others referred to him as the "Black Hitler." 

The said 5th Brigade was by design predominantly Shona and was provided specialised training by North Korea. An amnesty was extended to members of the security forces and a commission of inquiry was put in place but its findings have never been made public. In 1992, Gen. Shiri went on to become the chief of the country's Air Force and actively participated in the Second Congo War. He organised and led the invasion of White owned farms by War Veterans. In 2000, the major beneficiary of his brutality, Robert Mugabe only referred to the Gukurahandi as a "Moment of Madness." 

In 2002, Gen. Shiri was banned by the EU from entry into EU territory and in 2003, President George Bush blocked all of Gen. Shiri's private properties in the USA. In 2008, Shiri was at the forefront of violently reversing the opposition MDC's election victory and the ensuing reign of terror on MDC supporters. However, in December 2008, Shiri survived a road ambush with a bullet in his arm as he travelled from his private farm. 

Shiri died on July 28, 2020 of Corona Virus and that is the nearest that the victims of his Gukurahandi have come to justice. For the victims of Museveni's Gen. Elwelu, you have a long way to go in your search for justice. At best, justice will only come the Zimbabwe's Gen. Shiri way. 

INFORMATION IS POWER AND THE PROBLEM OF UGANDA IS MUSEVENISM

 



Tuesday, 28 July 2020

UGANDA: FDC to soon unveil flag bearer


By CHANGE OF GUARDS

Ugandans will be shocked when the FDC will eventually present its flag bearer.  Tamale Mirundi has opined;

President Museveni’s adviser on media Joseph Tamale Mirundi has revealed that opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) are negotiating with former security Minister Rtd. Lt. Gen Henry Tumukunde to stand as their party presidential candidate in the coming 2021 general elections.

“I always tell you that people who control Besigye are in government and they are the ones facilitating his political activities. They fear that if they don’t create their own opposition and Museveni loses power, they will lose all the wealth they have illegally accumulated,” Mirundi said.

He rubbished rumours that if Besigye doesn’t stand, FDC is going to front Kira Municipality Member of Parliament Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda or Nathan Nandala Mafabi.

He added that the reason why FDC wants to front Tumukunde is because  he was given a lot of money which he is going to use during the campaigns which other competitors don’t have.

Sunday, 26 July 2020

UGANDA: WHY MUSEVENI WONT MISS THE BURIAL OF FORMER PRESIDENT OF TANZANIA







By CHANGE OF GUARDS

           "While Christians go to Rome, Muslims to Mecca, I come to Tanzania as my pilgrimage. I am happy to be here. I have a lot of historical attachments to this place. It is like a home to me."
   Museveni - July 2019 at Chato in Tanzania.

Tanzania has lost its former Head of State, Benjamin William Mkapa who will be buried on July 29.  Below are the reasons Museveni must not miss attending Mpaka's burial:

1.  During his student days at the University of Dare Es Salaam, Museveni was the Chairman of the Marxist leaning radical militant students group, USARF. At one time, the group had its militant ideas published in the Nationalist newspaper where Benjamin Mkapa was the managing Editor and Nyerere was very angered before the group was banned.

2.  During his nine years of exile in Tanzania, Benjamin Mkapa who was the Press Secretary to President Nyerere, and later Minister of Foreign Affairs, played a key role in propelling Museveni's political ambitions. First in dealing with the efforts of exiled Ugandans to dislodge the Iddi Amin regime. Then again, in the political events in Uganda that followed the immediate overthrow of the Iddi Amin government when the Tanzanian army was in charge of Uganda.

3.  Benjamin Mkapa ascended to the presidency in 1995 and left office in 2005. During his Presidency, Benjamin Mkapa played a key role in the revival of the Museveni's much cherished East African Community (EAC) that had collapsed in 1977. 

4.  During his retirement, Benjamin Mkapa continued to play a leading role in resolving regional political conflicts.  His diplomatic role brought him in regular contact with Museveni.

5.  Museveni's message of condolence conspicuously does not anywhere mention President Magufuli or the government of Tanzanian. 
     "I convey my condolences and those of the people of Uganda to Anne, the children and the people of Tanzania."
Condolence messages from other Heads of State, individuals and organisations have been conveyed to the President, government and the people of Tanzania.

6.  A few days ago President Magufuli declared his country totally free of the Corona Virus.
     "We decided to pray to God to save us from Corona Virus. God has answered our prayers, Tanzania is safe and that is evident by the many airlines that are bringing in tourists. The good thing is that people have started to understand the reality that Tanzania a safe place. Our enemies will speak a lot, but the reality remains that Tanzania is safe and that is why none of us is putting on a mask. Does it mean we are not afraid of dying? No, it's because Corona Virus has been eliminated."
With that assurance, there is no reason why Museveni would hesitate to travel to Tanzania for any other reason and the burial of Mkapa in particular. Moreover, even his propaganda machinery that had initially portrayed Tanzania as the regional epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, has of recent gone silent.

For Museveni who has confessed to having had personal attachment to Mkapa and has repeatedly claimed that he considers Tanzania as his second home, failure to attend in person rises eyebrows. At worst, he can delegate his Vice President, Prime Minister, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Minister of East Africa Community Affairs or the regime's Secretary General. In October 1999, he led a high powered delegation from Uganda to attend the funeral of Nyerere. Otherwise, this is the time for Museveni to demonstrate his genuine love for EAC, Pan-Africanism and trust in fellow Heads of state.

INFORMATION IS POWER AND THE PROBLEM OF UGANDA IS MUSENISM

UGANDA: Of MUSEVENI'S BAN OF HOODED JACKETS AND HIS PROMOTION OF FACE MASKS


CHANGE OF GUARDS - Faced with rising violent crime orchestrated by his security outfits, around mid May 2018, Museveni banned the wearing of hooded jackets by Bodaboda riders. He told mourners during the burial of slain former Arua Member of Parliment, Ibrahim Abiriga that;
    "Going forward, we are going to implement the following measures; motorcycle riders should stop wearing hoods. They also must get new helmet with numbers visible even at night."
The police immediately swung into action to implement the above decree. A month later, while addressing Parliament on the State of Security in the country around late June, he unveiled what he described as a 10 Point Security Master Plan where the banning of wearing of hooded jackets by motorcycle riders was No. 3.  During the same address, he used his military camouflage rain jacket  to demonstrate to Parliamentarians how a hooded criminal can avoid being identified.  This website ran an article that described the move as another security gamble because wearing of hoods is the dress code of his security goons whenever they are on a mission to kidnap citizens.

No. 5 on the said 'grand' Security Master Plan was the installation of security surveillance CCTV cameras on town roads and highways. During the same address, he said of the cameras;
   "..........I can tell you the criminals can potentially evade any other form of detection but not the optical: the camera, the eye and the telescope."
Immediately after, a USD 126M project by the Chinese company, Huawei  for the installation of the same was rolled out.  The system that was said to have the capacity to use face recognition was eventually launched in August 2019. Since then, the police has claimed to have used the aid of the installed CCTV cameras to identify and apprehend suspects in two incidents of high profile murders.

Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the same Museveni is back on stage preaching the wearing of face masks. During his May 20 national address, he decreed that all people above the age of six must wear face masks all the time when in public. He demonstrated this while donning his same military camouflage rain jacket. A face mask won together with a helmet is ideal for totally concealing the face of any criminal. Citizens need to be told what happened to the decree banning wearing of hooded jackets.

INFORMATION IS POWER AND THE PROBLEM OF UGANDA IS MUSEVENISM






UGANDA: OF MUSEVENI'S COVID-19 PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVES, HEALTH GUIDELINES AND MILITARY SOPS



CHANGE OF GUARD - When the COVID-19 pandemic came to the world stage, Uganda's Military dictator saw an opportunity to exercise his military dictatorship with impunity.  He then declared an arbitrary lockdown that aimed at dealing a heavy blow to his political opponents and the traditionally politically hostile low income urban dwellers. His political lockdown involved the closure of all educational institutions, the suspension of all public transport, the banning of any form of assembly, closure of places of worship, night curfew, closure of shops and markets and all other forms of small scale urban business enterprises, closure of national borders etc. The formulation of his lockdown was not led by scientific considerations but rather by his security apparatus for the so-called 'national security' interests.

To achieve his goal, his decrees have been applying three weapons - Presidential Directives, Ministry of Health Guidelines and the so-called SOPs. Citizens have been left in confusion about these three management jargons. Four months down the road, the country has reportedly not registered any single COVID-19 death. Instead, his security goons have and continue to kill citizens in the process of 'implementing' the COVID-19 lockdown. It is even not clear as to whether the citizens who have been accused have flouted the Presidential Directives, the Ministry of health Guidelines or the so-called military SOPs. Even the the gradual easing of the lockdown in some sectors has been  subjected to strict observance of these SOPs rather than health guidelines.

The abbreviation SOP simply applies to Standard Operating Procedure also called
Standing Operating Procedure. The "Standing" implies that it is in effect until further notice and that it may later be amended or dissolved.  Its use came to prominence during World War II and since then it has been widely and routinely used by the military. It is a clearly written set of instructions for methods of detailing the procedure for carrying out a routine or recurring task or study. It can also be described as a set of procedures for the performance of a given action or for a reaction to a given event. Today, SOPs exist in context ranging from military operations to business routines and from manufacturing processes to medical activities. In the health context, guidelines as opposed to SOPs are systematically developed statements that assist decisions about appropriate healthcare for specific circumstances.

On the other hand, SOPs are more specific than guidelines and are defined in greater detail. They provide a set of rigid criteria outlining the management steps for a single clinical condition or aspects of an organisation. Therefore, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the SOPs ought to apply to the procedures of identification of the positive cases, the management of isolation centres and the management of extracted samples at the testing laboratories. In the security context, SOPs applies to how his security goons have been conducting the enforcement of the lockdown. Health guidelines apply to regular washing of hands, social distancing in public places, wearing of masks etc. No wonder the military approach has taken centre stage in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic and the general public has been made to adopt a predominantly military terminology, SOPs.

INFORMATION IS POWER AND THE PROBLEM OF UGANDA IS MUSEVENISM



UGANDA: WHY RWOMUSHANA IS SUPPORTING MUSEVENI'S CONTINUED LOCKDOWN

Image may be subject to copyright

Image may be subject to copyright
CHANGE OF GUARDS - The former MUK Guild President, former CA Delegate, former RDC of Pader District, former State House Intelligence Officer, former ISO Spy, former Head of Intelligence in the President's Office and Expert Analyst on Security issues has declared his intentions to contest for the Presidency of Uganda. Shortly before declaring his intention, he had met Gen. Saleh for a private discussion whose details are scanty. He only hinted during one of his TV Talk Shows that "recently Gen. Saleh invited me for a meeting where he asked me what I wanted."

When Museveni declared that the forthcoming general elections were to be conducted by scientific means, Rwomushana was very delighted. He welcomed the idea saying that it suited his campaign strategy. He publicly argued that with campaign rallies banned and that all campaigns would be conducted on radios and Television, those who had been fond of 'ferrying 'mobs' would suffer a heavy blow. He knew that the scientific campaign mode would save him from having to meet the cost of campaigning throughout the country and the associated embarrassment of his failure to pull crowds of followers. He has been publicly urging the Museveni regime to apply an iron-hand in the enforcement of the lockdown. 

His declaration of intention to contest came with his intensified sustained attack on the FDC and in particular the person of Dr. Besigye. Now that Dr. Besigye is rumoured not to make a come back in the presidential race, Rwomushana's attack has shifted to Bobi Wine's People Power platform that he describes as a fang of "Opium Smokers". However, Museveni's most recent ease of the lockdown for the Bodaboda sector has not gone well with Rwomushana.  He is now accusing Museveni of abandoning public health and security concerns for the pursuit of economic and political interests. 

INFORMATION IS POWER AND THE PROBLEM OF UGANDA IS MUSEVENISM

Thursday, 23 July 2020

AFRICA: MUSEVENI SHOULD SHOW UGANDANS THE COVID-19 SITUATION IN TANZANIA, DRC

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Image may be subject to copyright

Image may be subject to copyright
CHANGE OF GUARDS - During his nap address on COVID-19 last evening, Museveni started by showing stitched news clips of the situation in Brazil, South Africa, USA and Germany. His plan was to deliver a psychological blow to his audience ahead of his usual deceptive assertions and blatant lies. Throughout his address, he made no mention of the situation in the neighbouring countries.  Moreover, he has always been asserting that the infections have been spreading into Uganda from these neighbouring countries. Tanzania, in particular, was a target of his propaganda machinery that initially portrayed Tanzania as the regional epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic. His chief propagandist, Andrew Mwenda, took the lead in the wide circulation of video footage purported to show mass burials of  COVID-19 victims in Tanzania. Regions along Uganda's border stretch with Tanzania were blacklisted. The scapegoating was just because Tanzania has refused to implement a total lockdown with its President, Dr. John Pombe Magufuli, describing a lockdown as "copy and paste" from the West.

At the outbreak of the pandemic, Tanzania put in place reasonable measures like closure of schools, social distancing and regular washing of hands, wearing of face masks and sanitising. Tanzania did not close places of worship, pubic transport, business premises etc. Tanzania has since opened schools eased up most of the minor restrictions. Just two days ago, its President publicly declared a Covid-19 free Tanzania.  He said;

    "We decided to pray to God to save us from Corona Virus. God has answered our prayers.  Tanzania is safe and that is evident by the many airlines that are bringing in tourists. The good thing is that people have started to understand the reality that Tanzania is a safe place. Our enemies will speak a lot, but the reality remains that Tanzania is safe and that is why none of us here is putting on a mask. Does it mean we are not afraid of dying. No, it's because Corona Virus has been eliminated."

In DRC, the country's President has announced the lifting of the four months State of Emergency.  The lifting saw the end of the ban on public transport, social gatherings and social gatherings.  Schools and universities are to reopen on August 3 while places of worship, airports, International borders and stadiums will reopen on August 15. Museveni has been opening the borders and luring the so-called refugees from the DRC to enter Uganda.
 
With globalisation, Ugandans are following what is happening in Tanzania and DRC with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. Coupled by the initial sustained propaganda campaign against Tanzania, Ugandans are wondering as to whether its Corona Virus is different from that of its neighbors. Ugandans also need answers as to whether Museveni's so-called successful fight against the virus can be sustained without its neighbors reciprocating. It would therefore be prudent that before jumping to Brazil, South Africa and the USA, Museveni should brief Ugandans about the situation at a regional level.

INFORMATION IS POWER AND THE PROBLEM OF UGANDA IS NUSEVENISM

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

UGANDA: FOCUS ON MUSEVENI'S POLICE 'COURTS'





CHANGE OF GUARDS: The Museveni Police has this week, once again, duped Ugandans by offering protection to its own through a sham trial.  Two officers from Masaka Police Station were reportedly dismissed from service by a police court that found them guilty of 'corrupt tendencies and scandalous conduct' arising from the incident where a Bodaboda rider burnt himself to death inside the said Police Station. The said youthful victim of suicide by immolation had failed to pay a bribe to recover his impounded motorcycle from the hands of the police.  The Police Professional Standards Unit (PSU) has in the same regard summoned four other police commanders in that region to appear and further explain the same incident.

The Police Act of 1994 Cap 303 created a Disciplinary Code of Conduct as a basis for disciplinary control. It has three categories of courts to deal with disciplinary offences. They are Subordinate Police Courts, Regional Pooice Courts and the Police Council Appeal Court. It makes it clear that "nothing in the Act shall effect the jurisdiction of any ordinary civil court to try a person from an offence triable by a Police Disciplinary Court".  Under S.58, it is stipulated that such criminal proceedings by the civil courts shall take precedence over disciplinary proceedings by the police courts.

The Police Disciplinary Code of Conduct that was borrowed from the NRA's Bush War era Code of Conduct stipulates disciplinary offences as drunkardness, scandalous conduct, corrupt practice, disobedience of lawful orders, malingering, absent without official leave (AWOL), neglect of duty, cowardice, uncleanliness etc. Under S. 28, the penalties for disciplinary offences are stipulated as dismissal and discharge from service, demotion, withholding of salary, imprisonment in Police custody, confinement to residence and barracks, severe reprimand, communal labor, fines, recovery of cost etc.

In July 2017, the police put in place the Professional Standard Unit (PSU) to "handle complaints against its personnel from the general public."  Located in Kampala, it took over the role that was previously handled by its Human Rights and Complaints Desk.   Though initially mandated to investigate and send files of complaints to its Directorate of Human Rights and Legal Services, Police Standby Court and DPD, it eventually assumed judiciary powers by trying capital offences like murder, attempted murder, torture and corruption.  Like is the case with the police disciplinary courts and in Military Courts, they do this by turning around what would amount to criminal offence into disciplinary offence thus criminal charges are turned into disciplinary charges respectively. A clear act of corruption or torture and attempted murder is presented as scandalous conduct or simple assault at best so that its personnel can easily get off the hook.

On the contrary, if the police criminal offenders were to be tried by the ordinary civil courts, most of the criminal charges against them would be guided by the Anti-Corruption Act of 2009, the Prevention & Prohibition of Torture Act of 2012 and the Uganda Human Rights (Amendment) Act of 2019.  The Anti-Corruption Act penalizes a public official involved in corruption to imprisonment not exceeding seven years on top of forfeiture to the state. It stipulates that corruption related charges shall only be preferred with consent of the DPP or the IGG.  Jurisdiction to try corruption related cases and rstricter to only the High Court, the Chief Magistrate and Magistrate Grade One courts.  The Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court was established with original jurisdiction to try all corruption related cases. It is headed by a Judge and assisted by two Chief Magistrates and four Grade One Magistrates.

The Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act imposes a 15 years imprisonment for those convicted of corruption.  It stipulates that torture charges must be consented to by the DPP and that jurisdiction to try such cases lies with the Chief Magistrate's Court. You will note that the Police Act of 1994 does not define torture or provide a penalty but only stipulates that a complaint over torture could be made to a Magistrate who in turn has to order for an investigation. The Anti-Terorism Act of 2012 penalizes torture with five years imprisonment - nine years less than the 15 years imposed by the Anti-Torture Act. The discrepancy is meant to protect security officers who torture terrorism suspects.

Two court cases generated rulings to the effect that police officers and other state agents implicated in violation of human rights of suspects will be liable as individuals and not as an institution. In a 2010 unanimous ruling by a panel of five Justices led by Augustine Nsimiye;

    ".......the time has come for legal practioners to consider in cases of this nature adding as parties the perpetrators and their supervisors of challenged actions in their personal capacity so that they can face civil consequences for their wilful disregard of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people of this country." 

The ruling came as a big relief to the Museveni regime that had always argued that acts of human rights abuses were not institutionalized but attributed to individual errant officers. It gave assurance to officers of maximum protection against such civil consequences for their acts of torture during the course of official business. One such guarantee of protection is the Police Court that turns around torture into simple assault.

Amidst the excitement of that relief, in March 2019 the Museveni regime enacted the Uganda Human Rights (Amendment) Act of 2019.  S. 10 of the Act stipulates personal liability for infringement of rights and freedoms by public officers.  S. 2 (1) empowers court to order for compensation or any form of restitution to the victim and the implicated officer is required to pay a portion or restitution order so ordered as shall be determined by court.  Consequently, on July 3 the chief of police sent a circular to all the police stations alerting personnel about the new law that placed personal liability on individuals officers for which they were to incur the cost of compensation in the event of an award of court.

Therefore, from the aforegoing, it can be authoritatively concluded that Museveni's police courts are meant for only entertaining disciplinary related issues and not criminal acts like corruption, torture and violation of human rights in general. The puported trial by way of reduced charges is a deliberate act by the regime of rendering protection to its agents and a miscarriage of justice. It is a way of rendering protection to its personnel from facing criminal charges before the ordinary civil courts for appropriate justice to victims. It has worked for the army and now it is working for the police.

The state does not pay victims the compensation ordered by court. Equally, the individual police personnel not only lack the capacity to pay but such an order is unenforceable.  Otherwise, despite the cosmetic regulations, the police corruption and gross abuse of human rights has and will continue un abetted.

INFORMATION IS POWER AND THE PROBLEM OF UGANDA IS MUSEVENISM