Friday, 24 January 2020


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CHANGE OF GUARDS - Uganda got its independence on October 9, 1962 from Britain after 68 years of colonial rule. However, around late 1978, Uganda was invaded by the Tanzanian army and a few Ugandan armed exiles. The invasion was in retaliation of Iddi Amin's invasion and annexation of Tanzania's Kagera region. After ejecting the Uganda army from its territory, the Tanzanian army opted to push on for the total overthrow of the Iddi Amin government. As it became more clearer that the Iddi Amin government was to fall, around March 1979 the government of Tanzania convened a conference of Ugandan exiles in its north eastern town of Moshi. The purpose of the said conference was to put in place a government structure that would fill the gap after the fall of the Iddi Amin government. The two day ( March 24 - 26) Moshi Conference came up with the Uganda National Liberation Front (UNLF) as the political wing and its military wing, the UNLA. It also came up with the National Consultative Council (NCC) as the legislative arm of UNLF. When it came to selection of the President, the conference hit a snag. It was not until the government of Tanzania threatened to expel them from its soil that they came up with Prof. Yusuf Lule. It is widely alleged that against Nyerere's preference for Milton Obote, the choice of Prof. Lule was imposed by the British government who had footed much of the financial cost of the war. In 1976, Prof. Lule and Dr. Martin Aliker had founded another anti Iddi Amin group, the Uganda Society (U.S) in London. His group had unsuccessfully requested for arms to fight the Iddi Amin government from the then USA Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger.

In his last broadcast to Ugandans from Soroti, Iddi Amin warned about Uganda being returned to colonialism. On April 11, 1979 the government of Iddi Amin fell to the Tanzanian army and its overall commander, Gen. David Musuguri took over government for two days. On April 13, 1979, Prof. Luke was sworn in as the President of Uganda. He was driven to and from the swearing venue in a limousine that had the British flag, the Union Jack and not the Ugandan flag. The Moshi Conference had provided that government was to be run in accordance with the Moshi Agreement and that the President was to exercise his powers in consultation with the NCC. His executive decisions were to seek approval from the NCC. On his part, Prof. Lule ignored the NCC arguing that its role had ended with the fall of the Iddi Amin regime and that he derived his powers from the 1967 Constitution under which he had taken the Oath of Office. 

Lule also accused the army of being behind the growing insecurity in the country. The bickering came to a climax around June 1979 when Prof. Lule made a cabinet reshuffle without consulting the NCC. The 24 Ministers and their 20 Deputy Ministers who would automatically become members of the NCC would outnumber the 30 member original NCC. The NCC refused to recognise the new cabinet and specifically the appointment of four individuals, Grace Ibingira, Robert Ssebunya, Serumaga and Andrew Kayiira. Behind the scenes, Prof. Lule was also accused of plotting to bring in the British army to replace the Tanzanian army. Amidst the crisis, Nyerere summoned Prof. Lule and all his Ministers to Mwanza, Tanzania. The meeting which President Lule and his delegation had thought would last a few hours and they return home was instead rescheduled without their consent.  They were made to wait for Nyerere till late in the night and only to leave the following day. 

According to Yoga Adhola;
    "At Mwanza, Nyerere categorically told Lule that Tanzania would stick by the resolutions arrived at in Moshi; namely, that supreme power lay with the NCC. Clear as this message was, Lule did not heed nor did he realise that he had been emasculated from Tanzanian support. He still remained intransigent."

Accordingly to Prof. Kanyeihamba who was Prof. Lule's Attorney General;
Lule said; “by the way, we were supposed to be here for only two hours. Now this is the second day and we feel that we must go home to report to our people. Tonight we are going back when we finish this meeting.”

Nyerere and Obote were very annoyed. They said, “you cannot go until we have resolved these matters.” Lule said; “well you can arrest us, but we are going.”
Then Nyerere said; “you go and consult.” He had been addressing him as “President” but when he got annoyed he said; “Lule, go back and consult with your people and I must know by next Saturday what decision you have reached about Obote. Come and report to me this time not at Mwanza but in Dar es Salaam.”

After returning to Kampala, on June 20, 1979, the NCC passed a vote of no confidence in Prof. Yusuf Lule thus ending his 68 days presidency.  Instead it selected Godfrey Binaisa as the new President of Uganda. Violent protests against Prof. Lule's ouster broke out in Kampala but were violently crushed by the then Minister of Defence, Yoweri Museveni. The Tanzanian army flew the deposed Prof. Lule to Dar es Salaam where he was retained at the West Wing of State House. Some quarters claimed that he had been detained and subjected to pressure to sign certain documents supporting the new government led by Binaisa. The government of Tanzania issued a media statement to the effect that Prof. Lule was in Tanzania for consultations as an honoured guest. Some circles have suggested that Nyerere said that until Lule denounced his claim to the presidency, he would not be allowed to leave the Tanzanian State House. He said he had kept Obote for eight years and had gotten into war over it, so it won't be such a problem to keep Lule. So Lule began his detention in the luxury of Tanzania's State House, attended by a chef, a maid and a valet. but despite the material comfort, it was still a detention. A Head of State's 68 days hold on power had unceremoniously ended in incarceration in a foreign country. He was to remain in that state until he left Dar es Salaam State House for exile in London where he died six years later.

On June 23 1979, the newly selected President Binaisa made his first cabinet. At a donors' conference in July 1979, Binaisa was embarrassed when he proved ignorant of when his Minister of Community Development presented a paper that suggested that Uganda's local government was being structured on the communist spying model of Nyumba Kumi (ten houses cells). It was through this Nyumba Kumi that the scarce essential commodities were being distributed yet Binaisa favoured the free market. At the head of the July OAU summit in Liberia, it became clearer that Sudan's Jaffar Nimery intended to raise the issue of Tanzania's invasion, continued occupation and intervention in the internal affairs of Uganda in violation of the OAU Charter. Sudan was at the time overburdened by 100,000 refugees who had fled Uganda following the ouster of Iddi Amin. The puppet government of Binaisa sent emissaries to Mozambique, Zambia, Nigeria, Angola, Algeria, Egypt, Gambia and Lesotho led by Prof. Nabudere to lobby for support. On July 7, the government of Tanzania announced plans of withdrawing its troops from Uganda.

During the 14 - 16 July OAU summit in Monorovia, no seat had been reserved for the Ugandan delegation on grounds that since the Tanzanian army were still in occupation of its territory, it was not an independent state. The summit Chairman, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo insisted of reading Sudan's protest letter that criticised Tanzania for ousting Iddi Amin and the continued occupation of Uganda.  President Binaisa vehemently defended Tanzania and was supported by Senegal, Malawi, Liberia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zambia. The Uganda delegation is said to have walked out in protest. However, on the sidelines of the summit, President Binaisa lobbied for an OAU peace keeping force that would replace the subsequent withdrawal of the Tanzanian army. Unknown to Binaisa, his more powerful Chief of Staff, Gen. Oyite Ojok was in Tanzania to chart a way forward for building a new army for Uganda.

Binaisa tried to assert his authority by reshuffling the members of the more powerful Military Commission - Museveni from Ministry of Defense to Regional Cooperation on November 17th 1979.  Around February 1980, Nyerere sent his then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mkapa with a letter to Binaisa. The letter contained threats of withdrawing his army if Binaisa did not fix the governance crisis in the country. Nyerere was not satisfied by Mkapa's discussion with Binaisa thus he summoned him to Dar es Salaam. Binaisa defied the instructions to come with some top members of NCC.  Nyerere told off Binaisa that he wanted to see political stability in Uganda. To the displeasure of Nyerere, Binaisa left Dar es Salaam via Nairobi to meet President Moi. Before Binaisa was back in Kampala, the Chairman of NCC, Prof. Rugumayo was in Dar es Salaam meeting Nyerere. What followed was growing speculation of an impending overthrow of Binaisa.

However, later on when he moved Paul Mwanga from Ministry of Internal Affairs to Ambassador in Geneva and Oyite Ojok from army Chief of Staff to Ambassador in Algeria, the rug was pulled from under Binaisa's feet. Like it had been the case with Prof. Lule, Binaisa too was accused of plotting to bring in foreign troops to replace the Tanzanian army. On May 10, 1980, Binaisa was placed under house arrest at State House in the custody of the Tanzanian army. The Powerful Military Commission led by Paul Muwanga and deputised by Museveni took over government. During his incarceration, Binaisa secretly appealed to USA's Jimmy Carter and UK's Margaret Thatcher to prevail over Nyerere;
             "Please make my brother Nyerere see reason by withdrawing recognition from the rebel government. His attitude is causing all democrats in Uganda and Africa great concern. Usually he heads the list in condemning military coups elsewhere but this time he has for no known reason transferred his affections to a military takeover."

Consequently, Binaisa was moved from State House and kept at the residence of a Tanzanian army officer in Entebbe where he remained till late December 1980 when he was released by the newly elected, President Obote. Once again, another Head of State's eleven months hold on power had ended in a six months arbitrary detention at the residence of a foreign military officer. Most hurting, Binaisa had been a hero of the struggle for independence 18 years earlier.

After ousting the Iddi Amin government, the Tanzanian army had established its base in Entebbe.  Gen. David Musuguri was its military head and Nyerere also appointed his close confidant, a one Hassan Ramadhan Shekilango as his Resident Representative in Uganda - ostensibly to help in the  streamlining of administrative challenges faced by the post Iddi Amin government. Back home he was also a Member of Parliament and Minister of State in the Prime Minister's office in charge  of Administration. He was so powerful that even the President of Uganda had to go through him to reach to Nyerere. On May 11 1980, he flew from Entebbe in a military plane accompanied by the Tanzanian Ambassador to Uganda, a one Kilumanga and four Tanzanian army officers heading for Tanzania. The delegation was going to brief Nyerere on the political and military situation in Uganda but shortly before landing in Arusha where Nyerere was waiting for them, the plane crashed killing them all.

To corroborate the above stated historical facts, here below we bring excerpts of first hand accounts by two of the several key players:

1. Daily Monitor - January 19, 2020
Role of UPC in the Removal of Iddi Amin - by Apollo Milton Obote.
(As written by Felix Ochen).

Around late 1978, Nyerere kept insisting that Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF) invades Kampala in the coming three months.
“I expressed opposition to that idea. I told the president that it would be most damaging to the Tanzanian image in Africa and in the world for Tanzania to expose herself to accusations that they had become a colonial power,” Obote writes.

Nyerere came to his residence that same day.
“The president spoke to me passionately, urging me not to go to the conference without giving a clear reason for this. He told me that there would be no one at the conference who would erase what I had done for Uganda and that Kikosi Maalum was my army whose participation in the war would enable the people of Uganda to give me much praise for their liberation,”

He later learnt that the government of Tanzania had been pressured by the British to ensure that he and his UPC party did not return to power after Amin.  At that point, Obote says, the Tanzanian minister supervising the conference sensed that should there be nominations and votes, Mwanga would win. He was left with no option but to direct the conference to be adjourned and then took Mwanga, Tito Okello and Lule behind the conference hall for a separate meeting.

Shortly after the conference at Moshi, Obote says president Nyerere tasked Lule to name a Cabinet. He says Nyerere had told him that as long as TPDF was still in Uganda, he would not allow the portfolios of Finance, Defence and Internal Affairs in the UNLF government to be filled by someone who was not friendly to Tanzania.
Obote claims Lule submitted the first list of his ministers to Nyerere, but they comprised of some very old people, including those who had served in the colonial government, and even Lule himself did not know whether they were still alive or dead. Obote says Nyerere rejected three ministerial lists

Around June 1979, Nyerere summoned Lule and all his Ministers to Mwanza.  He also invited Obote to attend.  At the meeting, Obote says he witnessed accusations and counter accusations and he would see that the UNLF leaders, for whatever reason they had become a government, had lost Nyerere’s confidence and would not last.
At lunch break, Nyerere took Obote and President Lule to a room and asked Lule whether it was true that he was planning to appoint a bishop as vice president. Lule’s answer was that the matter was still under consideration.
“I advise you to appoint Milton,” Nyerere advised.
Obote says before he could respond, Lule shot up and said although Obote had supporters in Uganda, he also had enemies and he (Lule) could not guarantee his security. He instead offered to appoint Obote ambassador to the UN so that he would go away to New York in USA.  This reaction angered Nyerere who then asked Lule whether he knew who was guaranteeing his security in Uganda, to which Lule said it was TPDF.

2.  Sunday Monitor - May 18, 2014
Interview with Brigadier Burton Richard Lupembe in Dar Es Salaam - by Henry Lubega.

The Baganda blamed Tanzanians for removing Yusuf Lule but we never did it. Msuguri and I witnessed the events leading to Lule’s removal; also present was Tanzanian minister of State in the prime minister’s office Hussein Shekilango. Shekilango told us at our head office in Entebbe that he had come because they had got information in Dar es Salaam that there was a problem in Kampala. While at our offices in Entebbe, Msuguri told us that he had heard that UNLF was going to have a meeting. Msuguri sent me and Shekilango to State House to go and listen in to what was being discussed. It was a heated debate and arguing within the members of the National Consultative Council and Lule.

The argument at State House was that since Lule took over power, he was pro-Baganda. He was once close to the kingship. So he was thinking of a Kabaka type of leadership. When he appointed ministers he started changing his attitude favouring the Baganda. He was asked why he was favouring Baganda and that is why they decided to go for a vote of no confidence. By that time they had arranged for Godfrey Binaisa who was in Nairobi to come and take over. As the meeting progressed in Entebbe, Binaisa flew back to Kampala.  Shekilango and I called Paulo Muwanga aside and asked him what was going on and he said they had finished. “We have voted a vote of no confidence against Lule,” he said. Shekilango asked him what was to come next. Muwanga said: “We have got one guy in Kampala. We will telephone somebody and he will be brought here.” Shekilango told Muwanga: “You are wrong, you are not wrong that you have voted out Lule but you haven’t finished the job. Go back the whole world is listening to you and announce that from now on our leader will be Binaisa.”

From the conversation between Paulo Muwanga and Yoweri Museveni we heard Muwanga asking Museveni: “Is our friend already in Kampala?” and Museveni answered “Yes”. That’s how Binaisa got to Entebbe and he was introduced to the Tanzanian minister Shekilango. Binaisa would be brought to us past midnight and Muwanga introduced him to us.
After Lule, Muwanga took over but from judgment of how events unfolded later, he was there just to keep the chair for Obote.
Binaisa was a very timid person. I don’t think he thought he could rule the country. It was a Tanzanian commander - Imran Kombe - who told him: “Look you are a president now whether you like it or not people must see you, you must face the people.” Kombe arranged for him to have a rally at Kololo where a huge crowd turned up. When we got him back to Entebbe, Binaisa said: “I didn’t know so many people will be there.”

Then there was an American woman called Mrs Wells, she was so close to Binaisa. She relocated from Nairobi when Binaisa took over and she suggested to him that the Lake Victoria Hotel should be renovated for her to stay there, leaving her husband in Nairobi.
With this woman besides Binaisa things started going wrong. All of a sudden many Americans started coming to Uganda, we discovered that some of them were not coming direct from America but from West Africa. We played it low to see what would happen but kept our intelligence alert on what was happening.  It was after the Kololo rally that Binaisa found the courage to tour the rest of the country. I went with him to Gulu, attending all the closed-door meetings he held while there. But whatever was being discussed, Binaisa with all his intelligence, he had to first ask Mrs Wells before he gave his views or reaction.

I started doubting Binaisa’s ability to lead, because whatever Mrs Wells said Binaisa did not object to. From Gulu we went to other places and Binaisa was doing the same thing. The second point of his weakness was when he started ignoring the old Tito Okello who was the commander of UNLA. Tito went to Msuguri and complained, saying the old man who had only come with a briefcase was now ignoring them.  To make matters worse there was an internal memo in the government, saying if the army was commanded by people from the north, then the intelligence should be headed by a Muganda. This annoyed Tito and his friends. We decided that Binaisa goes and talks to his soldiers. He went and talked to them about the press reports. I was sent there by Msuguri to go and follow what was happening and report back to him.
After the address, Binaisa went back to Entebbe, and there was a sequence of events after that document.

Muwanga was staying in Entebbe when Tito came to see us about his complaints. We asked him whether he had reported to Muwanga, the head of the military commission and Museveni his deputy. We told him to go and tell Muwanga and after a few hours the two came back together.  As soon as they came back to our base in the presence of Shekilango, Muwanga said: “From today we are going to strip him of his presidency.” The same evening, Muwanga went to Nile Mansions and Radio Uganda and announced that they had not stripped Binaisa of his presidency but we had trimmed his powers.
On the second or third day, they said Binaisa was no longer our president. Msuguri told me to go to State House and see if Binaisa was comfortable. The only thing Binaisa told me when I found him in the bedroom was: “Are these people going to kill me?” I said no. I assured him that we were going to arrange for his safety and that’s how we ended up taking him out of State House and entrusted his security with one of our officer’s residence in Entebbe.

We had also discovered that Binaisa was so close to the Americans while Lule was close to the British. We could see how the British were treating Lule and how the Americans were treating Binaisa.  With Mrs Wells - a well-known American woman who had been in Ghana when Nkrumah was having problems, and was also in Argentina when Oscar Eduardo Alende was toppled - by his side, we thought that she wasn't a good woman to deal with. When Binaisa was removed from State House Mrs Wells fled back to Nairobi. When Muwanga came in he worked with us very well at the beginning and shortly after, some other Obote supporters and him started planning for the return of Obote. I was in Mbarara when Obote landed in Uganda. I was given instructions to receive him at Mbarara and send him to Bushenyi. The aircraft landed in Mbarara and from there he went to Bushenyi. It was a very strong ground for him. It is why his UPC people organised that he starts his rallies in Bushenyi.

The Moshi Spirit and its political platform crumbled hardly two years after its original term of office.  The militarist Military Commission of Muwanga and Museveni assumed power and continued with their military race. The hardline socialists under the Gang of Four (Rugumayo, Omwony Ojok, Nabudere and Yash Tandon) founded the militant UNLD-AD and established bases in the Rwenzori mountains. Obote returned from exile in Tanzania and was elected President in December 1980. In February 1981, Museveni launched his sectarian Bush War. From captivity in Dar es Salasm, Prof. Lule had fled to exile where he founded a fighting group, the UFF.  Museveni's guerrilla campaign targeted the Tanzanian army forcing it to totally withdraw from Uganda and watched the unfolding events from the comfort of their home waiting for monetary compensation from Uganda for the cost of the war.  Later, Museveni tricked Lule to merge his UFF thus giving rise to the NRA. He went ahead to apply the same trick on the UNLF-AD under the command of Cheffe Ali. In 1985 the UNLA overthrew Obote and five months later Museveni overthrew the military junta. The country has endured 34 years of Museveni's communist military dictatorship.  More than anybody else, Museveni is always grateful for the 'liberation' of Uganda by Tanzania.

From the aforegoing it can be concluded that the events of 1979 -1980 were embarrassing, painful and shameful. They greatly influenced what the country has gone through for the last 38 years now.  As to whether, the country regained its  independence, your guess is as good as mine.


Monday, 20 January 2020


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CHANGE OF GUARDS - During the Ghost Soldiers probe of the early 2000s, it was discovered that the auxiliary forces were the most affected. Commanders in Operational Areas of northern and eastern Uganda would inflate the figures for the auxiliary forces operating under their area of command. That way, they would steal the extra cash and supplies meant for the non existent personnel.  In some cases, they would harass these personnel into desertion but they would not declare so. Thus,  salaries and other entitlements continued to flow into their pockets. However, the probe did not bother to establish what would happen to the other logistics like arms and ammunition meant to be used by these Ghost Soldiers.

The probe identified the culprits but no one was made to account. Instead, all of them were elevated in rank and reassigned. Col. Bright Rwamirama is one such culprit and beneficiary as then Director of Finance but was instead promoted to Colonel and is now a Cabinet Minister.

Around September 2018, it was widely reported that in the Karamoja region, the auxiliary forces personnel were deserting in big numbers due to poor working conditions. The formation of auxiliary forces in that region had started in 2002 during the Disarmament Exercise. By 2013, the seven districts of Karamoja region had a total of 3,500 personnel (seven battalions). They were supposed to be paid 150,000 shillings per month but many went without pay for years. One such victim, Raphael Adiaka, another LDU deserter from Lobulio-Loom told URN that he quit the force in 2016 after serving for five years without pay. Adiaka said that although he obtained bank statements from Stanbic bank, Moroto branch, showing financial transactions on his account, he didn't receive any money. His cries were similar to that of Ben Paul Aleper, another LDU deserter.

Some of these auxiliary forces personnel were charged with being Absent Without Official Leave (AWOL) before the army's 3rd Division Court Martial. The matter was, as usual, swept under the carpet. Instead, the country has recently witnessed a resurgence of bloody cattle rustling in the same region.

Around the same time, late 2018, Museveveni ordered for the recruitment of 24,000 auxiliary forces for the Greater Kampala area. The recruitment, training and deployment has been ongoing and the direct administration and command of the army.  Alongside the ongoing recruitment for mainstream military service, is the mobilisation and recalling of the so-called Reserve Force. In its budgetary presentation before the Parliamentary Budget Committee, the Ministry of Defence is seeking 61.5b salary for new recruits in the army and the Local Defence Unit (LDU) personnel. The minister told MPs that they do not have money for the salaries of the new recruits.

The ministry also needs Shs12b for the reserve force mobilisation and training. This follows a directive by Museveni to redeploy 2,752 soldiers in the reserve forces as revealed by Maj Gen Charles Otema, the Commander of Reserve Forces, at a press conference last week.

Therefore, much as the ongoing massive mobilisation of foot soldiers is for attacking Rwanda and the 2021 election rigging, it is also a cash bonanza for military commanders just as had been the case in the early 2000.  Forget about boosting internal security, for some people. It is time to make money.


Saturday, 18 January 2020


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CHANGE OF GUARDS - Between 1997 and 2003, Museveni sent his army to DRC without the constitutional parliamentary approval. Once in DRC, his army was predominantly engaged in theft, robberies, plunder of natural resources, rape, killings and gross human rights abuses. Under international pressure, it withdrew in 2003. DRC went to the  International Court of Justice (ICJ) which in 2005 ruled that Uganda violated the sovereignty of the DRC and is responsible for human rights abuses committed by army officers and their commanders. The court also found that Ugandan soldiers plundered Congo's natural resources mainly timber and gold and must pay appropriate compensation of U.S $ 10b to the government and people of DRC. Since then, Uganda has been buying time in the hope of benefiting from a change of government in DRC that would waive the compensation. At one time, the ICJ granted Uganda's request to have the matter settled out of court.

DRC is now claiming that the amount due has accumulated to $23 billion. Uganda argues that the amount is too much and the country doesn't have it. According to Uganda's Attorney General,  "Uganda has however offered $150 million but DRC is yet to agree to the amount. Uganda stands a big risk if the matter goes back to court as they could make an extravagant award."

The Attorney General is seeking Shs 24.3 billion from government for the financing of Uganda’s defense at the ICJ. The well connected individual army officers, Museveni's relatives, politicians and businessmen and businesswomen who were engaged in the said vices in DRC are well known and at large enjoying their loot. No single Ugandan has ever been held accountable for the mess that took place in the DRC. Instead, the citizens continue to bear the burden of the so-called defense of the undefendable straight forward case. JUST PAY OR LET DRC TAKE 'YOUR' OIL WELLS TO RECOVER ITS COMPENSATION MONEY. IF YOU ARE INNOCENT, JUST REFUSE TO PAY AND MOBILIZE CITIZENS TO DEFEND YOU AGAINST THE CLAIM.

Museveni and his cohorts always want to Ugandans and the world to believe that he built a disciplined and professional army that is different from the last armies. Those who understand the inside of his army strongly argue that his army is worse than all past armies only that its difference lies in the fact that it has not overthrown him. For decades now, citizens, CSO, international human rights organisations have highlighting the brutal excesses of Museveni's army but the regime has always brushed them off. For over two decades the people of Northern and North Eastern Uganda decried the army gross excesses but were brushed off. One can imagine how much compensation would be due for these regions which were plundered and brutalized by Museveni's army for over two decades. What about the people of Kasese who were subdued with daylight massacres in hundreds?

Currently, the entire country is yelling over the army's brutality.

Two years ago this website made a comparison of the credentials of Museveni's army and the past armies.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018 at 15:04

At the commencement of British colonialism in Uganda, the IBEA company enlisted the services of marauding Nubian soldiers who had been abandoned by the imperial Egyptian empire under the Khadeive. They were a ruthless lot who at times would go on rampage looting and pillaging to replenish their supplies. At independence in 1962, Uganda adopted the Uganda Army (UA) which was very professional and disciplined. The UA served under both the Obote I (1962-1971) and the Iddi Amin (1971-1979) regimes. Indiscipline and gross abuse of human rights by security forces during the two regimes was not by regular soldiers but specialized secret service unit - GSU and State Research Bureau respectively.

Upon the overthrow of Iddi Amin in 1979 by Tanzania and Ugandan exiles, the UA was disgracefully disbanded. A new army called the Uganda National Liberation Army (a) from the two factions of Kikosi Maalumq (Northerners) and FRONASA (Museveni) was initiated. Maalum was the main exile armed group that fought alongside the Tanzanian army to oust Iddi Amin. It was comprised of those soldiers who had served under the UA but had deserted and escaped to Tanzania where they joined the liberation efforts. It was commanded by the likes of Oyite Ojok, Tito Okello, Zed Maruru, William Omaria and others.
Museveni's FRONASA had been a kind of briefcase outfit comprised of a few Banyankole and Banyarwanda Tutsi young boys like Rwigyema, Saleh, Koreta, Chef Ali etc. It was not until the war had entered the Uganda territory that Museveni embarked on a recruitment drive mostly from the Rwandese refugee camps and ethnic Hima that FRONASA became visible. It was further boosted by Museveni's taking up of the strategic Ministry of Defence.
A recruitment race ensued pitting Museveni's FRONASA (westerners) and Kikosi Maalum (northerners) allegedly called to Obote.

Consequently, both sides ended up recruiting rogues to bolster the ranks. Around 1979/1980, units of Kikosi Maalum were in charge of the strategic Kampala city when there was a lot of insecurity involving mysterious killings of prominent people in the city. Museveni unsuccessfully pushed for the Kikosi Maalum units to vacate the city. He had intended to carry out a military take over using his FRONASA faction. Having failed, he resorted to his Bush War. He took with him the Banyankole and Banyarwanda officer calibre to the bush. However, the majority of the ordinary FRONASA rogue junior soldiers from western Uganda remained in the UNLA.

As the counter insurgency operations against Museveni's NRA intensified, the UNLA randomly recruited other rogue young boys mainly from the northern and north-eastern regions. These half-baked militias commonly referred to as Not Yet Approved (NYA) were deployed in a hostile environment in the Luwero Triangle. At night rogue UNLA junior soldiers would rob from civilians residing near military camps in Kampala. During day time, the rogue soldiers would grab radios, watches, bicycles and small cash from pedestrian urban dwellers.

At roadblocks junior soldiers would demand for chai (small cash) for buying cigarettes, food and local drinks. In fact, westerners within the UNLA were the most harmful at both the roadblocks and robbery sprees. They would even pull over their caps to cover their faces and change accent to sound Luo in order to disguise their identity. In the Luwero Triangle, both the NRA and UNLA grabbed abandoned chicken, goats and fresh food. While some UNLA's took away doors, windows and iron sheets from abandoned houses, the NRA would grab cooking utensils, clothes, and beddings from the same houses. On several occasions the two protagonists would clash during such raids for replenishment of food supplies. Otherwise, why have we never heard of the UNLA having raided cows of the Balalo who were fully behind the NRA!!!

In Kampala city, the situation was aggravated by the existence of clandestine groups from the NRA more especially the urban hit squad, the Black Bombers. One of the core tasks of these squads was to undermine the relationship of the UNLA and the general public. It was unheard of for the UNLA to ambush and rob cash or goods in transit. It never carried out daylight robbery of banks and shops. It never raided hospitals for drugs. It never planted landmines to blow up public transport and the general population. It never raided and emptied government and private warehouses for produce. We did not hear of creation of ghost soldiers for the benefit of Commanders. Its Paymasters never ran away with soldiers' pay. It was not riddled with expenditure/procurement scandals.

The only recorded incident of people running away with huge public money was when the likes of Frank Guma and Bright Rwamirama ran away with soldiers’ pay and bank money to join the NRA. They were both rewarded with the position of Chief Controller of Finance in succession.
It was unheard of for a UNLA commissioned officer, leave alone a senior officer to be involved in theft or armed robbery. They were not bothered by accumulation of both legal and illegal personal wealth. They lived a simple life in government houses, driving army vehicles with their wives tending to goats and brewing of local gin. Maybe it could have been only about 0.001% of the UNLA officers who owned a viable business or constructed a moderate personal house in in the village or town. Let Gen. Katumba Wamala or Mugyenyi show us the personal houses they built during the five years they served under the UNLA and we compare them with the wealth that was accumulated by Gen. Felix in a short period.

In 1986 the disciplined NRA took over power and the defeated "thieving, rapist, killer" UNLA was disbanded. Most of the former UNLA officers and men were incorporated into the NRA. No former UNLA soldier has ever been formally accused of any of the above atrocities. Not even a member of the Obote II intelligence outfit, NASA that was accused of gross atrocities including murder and kidnap.  During the NRA interim period when western Uganda had been cut off, senior NRA commanders developed serious misunderstandings over sharing of loots. After capturing power, the disharmony arose from acquisition of government houses, vehicles, looted factory and farm machinery, positions and finance. The country witnessed the first incidents of senior officers staging daylight highway and street armed robberies.

Inflated payrolls, procurement, desertions with huge cash meant for soldiers pay, supply of "air”, looting of resources from neighboring countries, robbery from and sometimes killing of local and foreign traders and investors for cash, gold and diamonds, organised poaching and smuggling of multimillion worth of wildlife contraband, facilitation of drug dealers for pay, smuggling, illegal timber logging, violent land and property grabbing, etc. Unfortunately, those who have been involved in such vices are the ones who have made "successful service careers".

Despite military personnel being among the least paid public servants, they are the topmost rich people in the country. Most of the successful business enterprises - estates, shopping malls, posh houses, market complexes, expensive cars, commercial buildings, arable farmlands and stock farms, commercial transport fleets etc are owned by soldiers. The wives of NRA soldiers run supermarkets, own fancy shops in shopping malls, do international trade, are money lenders, some export "slaves" to the Middle East. Let the IGG just carry out a sample probe into Maj. Juma Seiko's source of wealth.

Maybe if former President Obote's UNLA had illegally accumulated wealth by stealing and robbing, it would not have overthrown him. Unlike Museveni's NRA officers, the UNLA had no personal wealth to defend or die for. History will judge as to who was stupid between UNLA and NRA.



Photo may be subject to copyright

Photo may be subject to copyright
CHANGE OF GUARDS - The former Fine Art graduate teacher, joined Museveni's sectarian Bush War at its inception in 1981 after defecting from the UNLA. He took part in the launching of the war during the infamous attack on Kabamba Barracks on February 6, 1981. In the attack, he spoilt the entire plan when out of panic, he shot the Tanzanian soldier who was manning the main gate thus alerting those who were guarding the armory which was the objective of the attack. For obvious reasons, Museveni did not reprimand him.

After Kabamba, Tumwine participated in a few skirmishes with government troops. During the April 4, 1981 attack on UNLA/TPDF detachment at Kakiri, he was not one of the Commanders of the sections in which the NRA had swollen to 53 fighters. The five Section Commanders were Sam Magara, Pecos Kutesa, Jack Muchunguzi, Hannington Mugabi and Fred Rwigyema. Following the mysterious death of NRA's First Army commander, Ahamed Sseguya in July 1981, Sam Magara became the Army Commander. However, owing to his popularity among the fighters, Magara was accused of plotting to dislodge Museveni from the leadership of the NRA. It is alleged that Magara wanted to break the NRA force and lead some fighters to another rebel force based in the Rwenzori Mountain. The Rwenzori group was reportedly linked to the UNLF-AD whose army chief was Cheffe Ali and the political leaders were the Gang of Four; Prof. Edward Rugumayo, Prof. Dan Nabudere, Prof. Yash Tandon and late Omwony Ojwok. It also operated in Museveni's background in the area of Nyabushozi. No wonder, Sam Magara was reported to have been killed on August 2, 1982 in Nakulabye, a Kampala suburb by government forces. The coup allegations and his death almost tore the NRA apart.

For obvious reasons, Museveni was not to appoint another substantive Army Commander until around 1984 when he named Tumwine and Fred Rwigyema as his Deputy. At that time, Tumwine was already staying in Nairobi where he had gone for treatment and was not to return until the NRA captured Power in January 1986. In actual sense, Rwigyema and Saleh who were commanders of the army throughout and Tumwine remained and remains a stranger to most of the fighters. Upon coming into power, Tumwine continued as the Army Commander, a post he held until 1988 when he was sacked due to incapacity. He was replaced by General Salim Saleh.

Courtesy of Museveni's policy of patonage, over the years, Gen. Tumwine served in various positions, including:
Member of Parliament from 1986 to this day.
Minister of State for Defence in 1989.
Director General of the External Security Organization (ESO) from 1994 until 1996.
Presidential Adviser from 1996 until 1998

In September 2005, Tumwine was promoted to the rank of General and named Chairman of the General Court Marshal. This was after he ran a parallel General Court Martial for some few years that was designed to persecute political dissenters notably the highly political Operation Wembley captives and the Dr. Besigye Reform Agenda and its so-called PRA that eventually Tumwine assumed the role. However, between 1988 and 1994, Museveni had abandoned Gen. Tumwine in the cold after the latter had connived with Gen. Ssejusa and coronated the King of Ankole before Museveni annulled it.

In its coverage of Museveni's recent Trek, one of his online regime propaganda mouthpieces, Chimpreports, gave a narrative of Gen. Elly Tumwine's personal experience of the Bush War. Since the said narrative is just a concoction, it is full of inconsistencies:

1.  His description of the late Sseguya as having been "one of the oldest at Monduli (1979 Cadet Officers course) we were worried that he would not manage the hard training. But he managed to endure and excelled."

He is trying to show that Sseguya was a weakling and unfit for the bush war hardships thus attempting to justify his mysterious death shortly after joining the Bush War.

2.  He said he was shot in the eye by a machine gunner.

A machine gun bullet, let alone any other gun bullet into the eye of any human being has to cause substantial damage including death. The amount of damage depends on which direction the bullet has penetrated the eye. If it had been a bullet, the miracle that made Gen. Tumwine to survive would have left very visible scars around the eye. Most likely, his eye was hit by an explosion shrapnel commonly known as fragment.

3.  That immediately after he became unconscious but managed to hear his soldiers discussing the options of whether to finish him off or to risk moving with him.

When you are unconscious you can't hear what is being discussed about you unless you are feigning the blackout.

4.  "Due to excitement, as I was being wheeled through the hospital corridors (Mulago), I loudly said 'we shall fight Obote'.  Gwannie Kategaya had just brought me a mattress. She ran away for her life.

A professional military officer, let alone a guerrilla commander cannot get excited to the extent of putting his life in danger. No wonder, he admits his natural weakness of easily getting excited as earlier exhibited during the first Kabamba Attack when he unreasonably shot the guard. He had learnt nothing and forgotten everything within such a short time.

5.  That for fear that "Obote's intelligence services would pick clues about his presence at Mulago", the Nurse gave him sleeping pills.

In the circumstances, an intelligent and well trained soldier would prefer to stay alert instead of dosing himself off."

6.  That "When I woke up I was called Rwakigundu. I created a story that I was driving a car when robbers shot me.

In guerrilla war clandestine operations, such 'cover stories' and pseudo names is a normal practice.  He didn't create it himself but it was part of the preparations even before bringing him to Mulago hospital.

7.  That he was visited by Benjamin Dampa who gave him a pistol but he rejected it " this might be dangerous. Anything could happen".

Only a coward would reject the pistol in the circumstances. The decision to arm him must have been taken at higher levels of the NRA command hierarchy. The pistol was for either fighting off his potential attackers or committing suicide in case he was cornered. The said Dampa was a top NRA contact based in the city. The pistol couldn't have come from the Bush but was one of those NRA arms that terrorised the city. By the way, unknown to Tumwine, those urban NRA contacts kept a security watch on him while he was in hospital. Museveni claims to have been helped by a pistol that he fired before he escaped from capture in Mbale in the early 1970s.

8.  That "one of the Nurses picked interest in my story and came to see me every day." I befriended the curious Nurse and asked her to give me extra bed sheets" that he made a long rope out of the extra seven bed sheets for use in case he was to escape through the window of the hospital's 6th Floor.

That's a childish and a cheap lie. You don't treat the Nurse's curiosity by making her more curious.  Why not acquire a real rope from those contacts who had earlier brought him a mattress and a pistol!!!  If he would even fear to hide a pistol, how did he hide his 84 feet long bed sheet rope!!!

9.  That "Obote's Intelligence services were tipped off that I was at Mulago. They got information after arresting the Driver who had earlier delivered me to the hospital. They wanted to check every bed at the hospital. So I got suspicious and got a tea kettle for boiling water and kept it near the next bed and I would get a reflection of who came into the room". That they sent an Engineer with whom he had shared a hall of residence at Makerere University and pretended to do some repairs and when he saw him "I used the kettle reflector to monitor his movements and when he came to my room I covered my face. I could see him through my hankie. He didn't see me".

This is another childish lie.  The government gets a tip that a top rebel commander is at Mulago but sends an Engineer who doesn't identity Tumwine simply because he has covered his face and the search ends there!!!!!  Moreover, armed with concrete information after allegedly arresting the driver who had delivered him to Mulago!!!!

10.   That the following day, he was shifted to Rubaga Hospital but while on the way they bumped into a police roadblock where he saw a policeman he had a few months earlier trained at Masindi where "he would come to my house".  I covered my face and Kigongo said he had a patient he was rushing to the hospital."

Since this part of the narrative involves Hajji Kigongo, it could be true but it is not the covering of his face that once again saved him from being identified by another familiar security operative. As was the practice then, some small cash offer must have distracted those who were manning the roadblock.  The narrative of a familiar policeman is just a concoction.

11.  That at Rubaga hospital "there was one Doctor that I knew from our days at Lumumba Hall. I told him my story and after some days, he said 'I know' which worried me. The Doctors from Mulago would come and treat me at Rubaga."

Here again he meets another of his former University Hall mate. How does a different hospital admit a patient who has already been operated by another hospital and the same Doctors continue to come and treat him without raising questions at the new hospital!!!  The Doctors must have exchanged information without Tumwine's knowledge.

12.  That he returned to the Bush before he had recovered and " the daring Doctors followed me to the Bush to remove stitches. On return, they almost fell in an ambush at Matuga after they were told by people that security was looking for their vehicle which visited Matuga. The Doctors used 'Panyas' (small paths) to reach Kampala."

The said Doctors may or may not have visited the Bush. Chances of being blackmailed by the very NRA into getting stuck there to continue treating the sick were high. If true, the government security had no clue because the so-called 'Panya' roads couldn't have let the car through. Even if it did, the search for that car would have continued to Kampala. This part of the narrative is another attempt at lying.

13. That upon return to the Bush he was assigned to head Stores and that after sometime, he was taken to Nairobi for specialized treatment.

Obviously, from command position to management of supplies which at the time comprised of stolen cassava, cows, cow hides, chicken, dry beans, maize grain etc, was a demotion. He must have felt tormented by his poor command capabilities, but at the same time looked for a way of escaping the Bush war hardships by feigning health incapacity.

14. That in Nairobi  "I found interesting things with the NRA External Committee. They had problems and could not work together. We visited many of the members after my treatment. I worked with the External Committee to create a network of supporters back home."

It has never been revealed anywhere that Tumwine had been a member of the NRA's External Committee. Unless, Museveni had sent him to spy on the Committee, there is no way the Committee would open up to him over their internal workings. On the contrary, by concocting this narrative, Gen. Tumwine is trying to account for his long absence from the Bush War from around 1982 until Kampala fell in 1986.

Therefore, by laboring to present a concoction of his role in Museveni's, Bush War, Gen. Tumwine is trying to fix himself in the list of top key players. He is haunted by the fact that during the early short period he was in the Bush, he exhibited poor command capabilities. Further, despite his minimal contribution, Museveni has always elevated him to the top - courtesy of his sycophantic loyalty. That is why he deliberately left out the premature shooting of the Tanzanian at Kabamba and his failure to lead troops for the second attack on Kabamba Barracks infamously known as Safari 50. It is more intriguing when such blatant lies and concoctions are peddled by someone who claims to be a Born Again. However, it shows the level of determination by this cabal to use all means to blackmail Ugandans. As was recently well put by the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, on Gen. Tumwine's arrogance and greed;
     "One of these days, someone is going to claim this Parliamentary building as his because he fought in the Bush War."

Otherwise, let him narrate to Ugandans about life in Nairobi where he spent the  greater part of the five years of the Bush War and let the likes of Saleh, Kagame, Kyaligonza, Chihandae, Kigongo, Dr. Besigye, Andrew Lutaaya, Bogere, Muntu, Kashaka, Pecos, Ddiba, and others narrate the Bush War.
It is only his cows deep in Burunga that can believe his childish narrative of his role in the Sectarian Bush War.


Tuesday, 14 January 2020


All Photos in this post might be subject to copyright

Note from Editor - this post might have minor grammatical errors which will be fixed after the Iran stand off ends.  MLN

CHANGE OF GUARDS - Following independence for all the East African countries in the early 1960s, the University of East Africa was born:  Makerere (Medicine and Agriculture), Nairobi (Engineering and Business) and Dar Es Salaam (Law and Education).  Links with the University of London were terminated.  This development helped to bring together different youthful learners from the East African region.

In 1966 the University of Dar Es Salaam was hit by a students strike that that among other issues, was concerned by the widening gap between the haves and have nots' on one hand and the government’s proposal to start National Service, which was mandatory for university students.  They were required to spend about five months in the military camps, and for the next eighteen months after graduation 40 percent of their salaries would be deducted.  It is said that President Nyerere was mainly offended by some of the placards displayed by the demonstrators that read:  BETTER THE COLONIAL ERA.  He closed the university for one year and it is said that he even voluntarily reduced his salary by 20%.

In February 1967 came the Arusha Declaration. The ruling party, the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), issued the Arusha Declaration and a policy of socialism and self-reliance.  The declaration made it essential that its government is chosen and led by the peasants and workers themselves.  The Kiswahili version of socialism was Ujamaa (translated as extended family or familyhood) and it became the official policy.

Apart from building a socialist state, the declaration also intended to pursue a rural based economy that had only been practiced in China, North Korea and Cuba.  A number of private companies in the commanding heights of the national economy were nationalized by the government.  The government started a whole rethinking about the university, and there was a big conference on the  role of the university in the new socialist Tanzania.

The declaration of a socialist state attracted and welcomed frustrated socialists from Europe and America who lacked space in their respective regions to practice their socialist ideals.  It was not only the socialists who were attracted but even those who did not not support the idea of rural based economy.  The university registered a number of foreign socialist leaning Professors:  from Ghana came David Kimble (Political Science) and wife  (Economics); from Denmark came Prof. Knud Svendsen (Economics and Advisor to government on economy),  Prof. Chodak (Sociology), Prof. Osborn (Physics), Prof. Welbourne (Education) and a couple of other European and American frustrated socialists.  There was also those socialists from the Caribbean like
Walter Rodney (History) and Karl (Law).  There were also others from Kenya:  James Kamenju, Clara and Cliffe.

The above major developments came during a period high on revolution. The civil rights movement in the United States, the Vietnam War that mobilized young people all over the world. You had the French student demonstrations. The heightened Cold War between the Eastern and Western  blocks.  The invasion of Egypt's Sinai region by Israel.  The highjacking by Palestinians.

The newly independent African state were suffering from rampant military takeovers and assassinations orchestrated by the western world.  Dar es Salaam was the headquarters of the Liberation Committee of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) whose sole mandate was the liberation of Apartheid South Africa and other African territories that were still under colonial rule more especially in the southern Africa region.

Liberation movements like
ANC (South Africa), FRELIMO (Mozambique),  SWAPO (Namibia), POLISARIO (Western Sahara), PLO (Palestine),  Black Power na Black Panthers, just to mention but a few had bases in Dar es Salaam.  The leaders and representatives of these movements in Tanzania always found the University of Dar Es Salaam a meeting point for debating global events along the Marxism and Leninism ideologies.

Alongside foreign socialist oriented Lecturers and Professors, the University of Dar es Salaam also attracted students from regional countries like Kenya, Zambia,  Sudan, Malawi, Rhodesia, Ethiopia, Uganda and elsewhere in Africa.  From Uganda, a young Yoweri Museveni  joined the University of Dar es Salaam in July 1967 to study Economics and political science.  There were also other Ugandan students like Eriya Kategaya, James Wapakhabulo, Joseph Mulwanyamuli Ssemwogerere, and John Kawanga.
The political environment at the university provided an avenue for the students to read about and bend toward Marxism and Leninism.

Museveni became a Marxist , involving himself in radical pan-African politics.  All over the world, there were vigorous discussions and debates going on. This was the first decade of independence in Africa. The whole meaning of independence for Africans was questioned—is it real independence?—and there was talk about neocolonialism.

The radical militant students from across the region brought with them the energy of their anti-colonial movements—many far more radical than Nyerere’s Tanganyika African National Union (TANU).   They strongly believed that "an armed struggle was the inescapable and logical means of obtaining freedom and that independence which had been  achieved peacefully could not, by definition, be real independence for the masses."

They founded a small discussion group called the Socialist Club in which foreign students were actively involved.  In November 1969, the Socialist Club was transformed into the University Students African Revolutionary Front (USARF).  Museveni not only became the founding Chairman of USARF but was to remain so for the next three years of his studies.  Away from formal classroom lectures, the students had their own ideological classes.

They would meet every Sunday and were assigned readings; some came with readings, made presentations, everyone participated to do what they called “arm ourselves” ideologically.  Some of the texts fondly read were Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth , Nkrumah’s Neo-Colonialism, The Last Stage of Imperialism, and texts by Samir Amin, Paul Baran, and Paul Sweezy. These were the kinds of things read, and also classics of Marxism. So the international context was certainly at a highpoint all over the world.  What they read and discussed was then taken to the classroom. They would not allow lecturers to get away with anything without being challenged.  So debates continued both outside the and inside the classroom.

In 1969, USARF and the TANU Youth League established the organ of the USARF, which was called Cheche.  This maga- zine, edited by three student radicals took its name from the Soviet newspaper Iskra (Spark).  Cheche is a Kiswahili word. Translated it’s “to spark.”

The Spark was Nkrumah’s journal, but Spark was a translation from Iskra, Lenin’s journal.  This gives one a sense of the times, where Marxism was the governing creed of the national liberation movements and of the radical students. It was a Cyclo- styled student journal containing many militant articles and analyses of not only Tanzania but the world situation and the role of young people in the African revolution.

The students at the university had very close connections with the liberation movements.  All the important leaders of the liberation movements came to the university, gave lectures, participated in debates, from Eduardo Mondlane to Gora Ibrahim of the Pan-African Congress and many others. The “Front” (USARF) never missed an opportunity. Whatever events took place in Africa, there would be a statement by the “Front” analyzing and taking a position on it.

The USARF positions were taken very seriously by the liberation movements. There would not be a single night without some public lecture taking place at the campus.  USARF led a students delegation for a short visit to the FRELIMO liberated territory in Portuguese Mozambique.  This is what has erroneously been believed that Museveni underwent guerrilla training in Mozambique.

The December 1969 a seminar of East and Central Africa youth was organized under the youth league of TANU at Nkrumah Hall, University of Dar es Salaam.  Members of USARF delivered papers full of militaristic ideas.  One such very militant paper was about the African revolution and castigated the first independent African regimes describing them as petit bourgeois regimes that had hijacked the revolution before calling it the “briefcase revolution."

The paper further argued that the leaders had gone to Lancaster House in London, had been compromised, and came back with independence and that this was not real independence.  This paper was published in the TANU owned newspaper called The Nationalist. President Nyerere took very strong objection to it. The next day the same newspaper carried an editorial called, “Revolutionary Hot Air,” suggesting that the militant students were unrealistic hotheads who misjudged the moment. In very strong terms, it attacked USARF for preaching violence to young people.

It basically said that while, of course, Tanzania was trying to build a socialist society, its socialist society would be built on its own concrete conditions.  It strongly condemned the preaching of violence and violent overthrow of brotherly African governments.  When the members of USARF read the editorial they rightly suspected  that it had been written by President Nyerere himself.  One of the student leaders burnt all the articles that they had lined up for the next issue.

Consequently, the journal was banned and USARF deregistered by the government. The reasons given were simply that Tanzania needed no foreign ideology.  That it had its  own ideology: Ujamaa.  What the students did immediately after that was change the name to MajiMaji; in reference to the first revolt, 1905, of the people in Tanganyika and the coast against German imperialism. The journal continued for some time after that and continued to publish militant articles.

However, there was a time when there was a bit of a split. This internal division was partly a reaction to the split in international socialism, between China and the Soviet Union. The Dar es Salaam campus followed very closely that debate of the Communist Party of China and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union: the rising socialist imperialism.

Though USARF was banned, many of the Tanzanian leaders of USARF took over the TANU Youth League - the youth arm of the ruling party, and they continued their militant activities.  The foreign student Members of USARF completed their studies in 1970 and left Tanzania.

Yoweri Museveni wrote a university thesis on the applicability of Frantz Fanon's ideas on revolutionary violence to post-colonial Africa.
Frantz Fanon, was a Martinique-born, French-trained psychiatrist who described the psyche of oppression and the coming revolution in his books.  Back in Uganda, Museveni joined the intelligence services under the Obote I government.  John Garang joined the Sudan Army and rose to become a Colonel before he defected to lead the SPLA rebellion in the southern Sudan.  A year later, in 1971, Museveni fled the Iddi Amin takeover and returned to Dar Es Salaam.

Once back in Dar es Salaam, this time in exile, Museveni enjoyed an advantage over his fellow Ugandan exiles.  He linked up with his former colleagues in USARF and TANU Youth League who had taken up top key positions in both government and the party.  It did not take long before he split from the main group of Ugandan exiles led by deposed President Milton Obote to form his own briefcase organisation, FRONASA.  He used the same influence to secure training facilities for 28 of his FRONASA militants alongside the FRELIMO fighters in Southern Tanzania.

Museveni, who had been a militant and a Fanonist during his student days, applied the militant approach in opposing the Iddi Amin government.  His militant attitude accounts for the chaos that engulfed the post Iddi Amin government.  The Military Commission, with Muwanga as chairman and Yoweri Museveni as his deputy, held the powers of the president of Uganda between 22 May and 15 December 1980.

His sectarian Bush War (1981 - 85) was a consequence of his radical militant approach to management of public affairs.  This is not to mention his chaotic 34 years hold on power that is now openly turning into a fully fledged military dictatorship.

It would be grave dishonesty to  trace the origin of Museveni's Militarism without affording a special focus on the role of Walter Anthony Rodney. Born 1942 in British Guyana, Rodney attended the University College of the West Indies (UCWI) in Jamaica, graduating in 1963 with a first-class degree in History.  At the age of 24, he earned a PhD in African History in 1966 at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London.  He had visited Cuba as a student, the year after the Cuban Revolution of 1959.

He taught history at the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) in 1966 to 1967  where he actively participated in the November 1967 founding of USARF by the radical students led by Museveni.  In the first issue of USARF's journal, Cheche, he wrote an essay entitled “African Labour Under Capitalism and Imperialism". In another essay, "Marxism in Africa,” Rodney considered how Marxism had to be creatively applied by the major revolutions of the twentieth century.  Marxism, for Rodney, was a “revolutionary ideology” that required close attention to the facts on the ground in order to search for the revolutionary energy that made itself manifest in various ways.

In 1967 he left Dar es Salaam and went to Jamaica where he lectured at the UCWI.  However, owing to his militant radicalism, in October 1968 the government of Jamaica declared him persona non grata and was subsequently dismissed by the University.  His deportation caused protests by students and the poor of West Kingston which escalated into a riot, known as the Rodney Riots , resulting in six deaths and causing millions of dollars in damages. This October 1969 riots triggered an increase in political awareness across the Caribbean. That’s where he wrote his very famous pamphlet:  Groundings with My Brothers.

In 1969, he returned to the University of Dar es Salaam as a Professor of History.  In December 1969, he spoke at the East and Central African Youth forum at the University of Dar es Salaam where he presented a paper entitled
“The Ideology of the African Revolution.”  He lit into the limitations of national liberation, pointing out that the African workers were not central to the project, which led these new states to compromise their integrity by making alliances with imperialism.

That is the time he also wrote his famous book; How Europe Underdeveloped Africa.  In 1974 Rodney returned to Guyana where he was due to take up a position as a professor at the University of Guyana but the Guyanese government prevented his appointment. Increasingly active in politics, he founded the Working People's Alliance (WPA),  a party that provided the most effective and credible opposition to the PNC government.

In 1979 he was arrested and charged with arson after two government offices were burned.
Amidst intense political activism in the country, in early 1980 he travelled to Zimbabwe to attend the inauguration of independence.  Upon return to Guyana, in June 1980 he was killed at the age of 38 by a car bomb in his car.

His brother, Donald Rodney, who was injured in the explosion, said that a sergeant in the Guyana Defence Force had given Walter the bomb that killed him. After the killing the said Sergeant fled to French Guiana , where he died in 2002.  In early 2015, a Commission of Inquiry was held during which a new witness, Holland Gregory Yearwood, came forward claiming to be a long-standing friend of Rodney and a former member of the WPA.

Yearwood testified that Rodney presented detonators to him weeks prior to the explosion asking for assistance in assembling a bomb. From the above narrative, it is likely that Rodney, like all other radical revolutionaries had opted to use  arms in pursuance of his political ambitions.

South Sudan's John Garang who had been one of the radical militant members of USARF at University of Dar Es Salaam died in action after waging decades of a bloody civil war in Sudan.  Uganda's Museveni still persists with militarism.


Sunday, 12 January 2020


Photo may be subject to copyright
Photo may be subject to copyright
Photo may be subject to copyright

Photo may be subject to copyright
CHANGE OF GUARDS - Just like in all communist military dictatorships, Uganda's military dictator has always pursued a policy of militarism.  Militarizing of every aspect of the state is the norm.  Where building of the economy fails, building of the army succeeds.  Where service delivery fails, the resources to sustain the military are in plenty.  The capacity building of the military is not for defending the territorial integrity of the country but for suppressing internal political dissent and facilitating military aggression of neighboring states.  With a strong military, the communist military dictatorship focuses on destabilizing neighboring states and installation of client regimes.

To achieve that, the communist military dictatorship makes sure that military service is not only the major source of government employment but the economic wellbeing of the members of the military is far above the majority impoverished ordinary population.  In some instances, members of the military are systematically left to indulge in illegal activities in order to generate private wealth in return for loyalty to the status quo.  To achieve this, the communist military dictatorship deliberately adopts economic measures that ensure general underdevelopment.

That way, the impoverished and unemployed youth find it a noble privilege to enlist in military service of any sort - mainstream military service, auxiliary forces, police, prison services, National Service and even private security services.  Compulsory National Service and other paramilitary sessions (Mchakamchaka) act as incubators by way of communist ideological indoctrination for potential militarisation.

Since ascending to power 34 years ago, Museveni has pursued a militarisation agenda which is systematically taking shape.  The military has taken over Forestry, Mining, Tourism, Fisheries, Judiciary (court martial), immigration and citizenship, Works, anti-corruption, management of the police, regulation of multi partisan politics, electoral process, foreign policy etc.  The scheme was accelerated by the Arab Spring where the youth played a central role in the uprisings that saw governments fall.  He responded by initiating a number of interventions that were simoly meant to hoodwink the youth.
Since 2011/12, three venture capital funds—the Youth Venture Capital Fund in 2011/12, Graduate Venture Fund, and the Youth Livelihood Programme —have been introduced to target youth who wish to venture into business.

However, evaluation studies have repeatedly noted that these venture capital funds are based in urban settings, have stringent criteria attached to them (e.g., a requirement of collateral), are less likely to be accessed by rural youth in agriculture, and are not very likely to solve the unemployment problem.  Just because they were designed to hoodwink the unemployed urban youth into not indulging in an Arab Spring like uprising, they have miserably failed to make any economic impact.

Earlier in the late 1990s the government introduced the Youth Entrepreneurial Scheme (YES). The YES program was designed as a loan scheme for youth who wished to venture into business. The scheme did not perform as anticipated because it was largely perceived as a political tool. While it was meant to be a loan, it ended up being a handout with very low (if any) recoveries made.

Military service in whatever form is proving to be the topmost avenue of accessing not only viable employment but sharing on the national cake.  The situation is catalyzed by the 13 years of military service under the UN and AU in foreign lands where the terms of service are far far better.  The potential to plunder for personal enrichment provides motivation.

This unfortunate phenomenon accounts for the current bizarre situation where tens of thousands of youths turn up seeking to be recruited whenever an opportunity for a few thousand slots arises.
According to Museveni, this is very healthy.

During the recent pass out of LDUs at Kaweweta on 22nd December, Museveni was very upbeat with the academic qualifications of the graduates (69 University graduates, 340 diploma holders and over 600 S.6 certificate holders) saying he was happy with the enthusiasm exhibited by Ugandans by joining LDUs to help in the fight against criminality in large numbers adding that Uganda has a large quality human resource due to good education system.
"The group's level of education is good for the start.  Of course we still have the problem of manpower and the potential to take on more as we recruit. When you want 6,000, about 100,000 will turn up. We cannot take on the big number. But this is a good beginning. I have been briefed by the commanders that we have more than 1,000 who have Advanced Level certificates and diplomas. So this is a good force. I thank the UPDF for a good infrastructure of training. We are doing all these in order to immunise ourselves against any insecurity."

During the most recent army recruitment exercise of 4,000 personnel for the whole country, the turn up was not only embarrassing but worrying.  At Mityana Gombolola grounds, over 600 candidates from the districts of Mityana, Mubende and Kassanda showed up but only 78 was required.  A 27-year-old youth identified as Gerald Mulahi collapsed and died instantly after a 5 kilometer run.  The deceases had been recommended by the L.C II chairperson in Kalami, Kassanda District though his national identity card showed he was from Kasese District.

At Maluku play ground in Mbale Municipality for the six districts of Sironko, Mbale, Bulambuli, Manafwa, Namisindwa and Bududa,
a 24-year-old Aliyi Wakooli, a resident of Wagagi cell, Nkoma Ward in Northern Division, Mbale Municipality collapsed and died during the 5km road run.

In Kapchorwa,  out of the  slots for three districts that make Sipi region, 1,250 people reported for the recruitment exercise, yet only 145 were needed.  In the same area, 40 Kenyans are reported to have disguised themselves as Ugandans so as to get recruited.  The local army Spokesman, Maj Turyamumanya said;

     "And we also got a challenge whereby, the local authorities - some of them are not actually adequately supporting the exercise to the extent that they recommend non-citizens into the exercise. Some of them from Kenya were actually recommended by LCs and GISOs and we only identified them here when we were tipped off by some concerned Ugandans…About 40 of them were eliminated on that fact that they were non-Ugandans."

If the intelligence services (GISO) can also conspire to have non citizens join the national army, then there is a big problem.

In Kapchorwa, a one Sam Chemutai, one of the youths who had turned up for recruitment said that the interest in joining the army is a result of increasing unemployment in the region. He said many youths have attained education and obtained academic documents but have nothing to do that is why they have opted to join the forces.
"People are lacking jobs and when they have this opportunity to join the army they come in very high numbers as you can…It is now the only job and when we see the army we think that our people will survive from there," said Chemutai.

On the contrary, a vibrant economy would be counter productive to the militarisation scheme.  Such target youth bracket would be engaged in gainful employment thus not craving to join military service.  Those who would join, would do so out of patriotism and not out of economic frustration and desperation.  The consequence of the latter scenario is what the country is reeling from - rogue soldiers and security goons whose core mandate is to maintain the status quo.

It is only the economically desperate and frustrated that easily accept to be 'used and abused'


Wednesday, 8 January 2020


CHANGE OF GUARDA - Uganda's military dictator is currently on a 195 km trek in the former Luwero Triangle that is expected to last 7 days.  The trek is aimed at reviving the spirit and vigour of his sectarian Bush War of the early 1980s.  During the same trek, Museveni uses some selected Bush War participants to give narratives of certain incidents.  We have seen the likes of Brig. Chihandae and Diba Sentongo give some accounts. 
However, we haven't seen the accounts of the likes of Gen. Katumba Wamala and Col. Shaban Bantariza who have been very vocal in threatening Ugandans with going back to the Bush.  A few days back Museveni's chief propagandist, Col. Shaban Bantariza attempted to blackmail Ugandans who are struggling to regain their freedom and county.
         "I pity people who think NRM government will hand over power, we would rather go back to the bush to sort these people. I have my three guns on standby in my car, let Bobi Wine and his group continue with their kasukali (sugar), for us we don’t use kasukali, we use fire and indeed we shall use fire to put off that kasukali to maintain peace.  It is no more than a warning and caution against those that would be willing to take us back to mayhem, which we must do all we can...Unfortunately, deterrence of war, often requires, among other preparations, preparedness for war. Part of Strategic Defence."
Days later, the Museveni's sycophant, Gen. Katumba Wamala issued another blackmail.
       "Those red berets you see; you can only watch them on TV.  This is not Sudan or Libya.  Uganda is a different country.  We who brought the current peace you have, you can not think we are going to sit back and watch you start playing around with it."
Within Museveni's NRA circles, those who joined after the war like Katumba Wamala and Shaban Bantariza are referred to as the Twaliires (those who arrive after food has already been prepared).  Unfortunately, out of excitement and hypocrisy, they pretend to be more at the forefront of defending the military regime than the founders.  During the Museveni's sectarian Bush War, Gen. Katumba Wamala was a Lieutenant in the UNLA who always hanged around Nakivubo Stadium for local football marches.  When the NRA took over, he was taken captive and later assigned as an aide to the then Chief of Staff, Brig. Sam Nanyumba.  On his part, Col. Shaban Bantariza was busy pursuing his academic journey and fond of hiking on government military trucks to Kampala. 
Otherwise, I challenge the two army officers to join the trek and show Ugandans which part of the Bush War they were that they now threaten to return to.  It to such Twaliires that Gen. Tumwine recently sent a clear message.
      "Don’t abuse our forces. Have you heard? Don’t abuse our forces............We have worked so hard to protect the image of our forces."