Saturday, 31 August 2013


In April 1999 the Rwanda backed RCD leader, Prof. Wamba Dia Wamba was replaced by Emille Ilunga. Uganda lured Prof. Wamba to relocate to Kisangani where he defected together with his close body guards that included Bosco Ntaganda. In Kisangani, Uganda helped Prof Wamba to form and head a rival RCD faction that came to be known as RCD Kisangani. The original Rwanda backed RCD headed by Emille Ilunga retained its headquarters in Goma and came to be known as RCD Goma.

Earlier on Kaziini had identified and introduced to Museveni a one Jean Pierre Bemba - a Gbadolite based business tycoon. With Museveni's approval, the NRA took Bemba through a crush paramilitary training programme at the Jinja School of Infantry. Back in the Northern DRC town of Gbadolite, a rebel MLC headed by Bemba was born. The NRA helped with recruitment and training of MLC fighters in both Congo and Uganda.

Museveni dispatched James Wapakhabulo, Kahinda Otafire and Noble Mayombo to help as political backers of RCD Kisangani. Museveni through his 'colonial Governors' that he had sent to the Congo had sanctioned the creation of a new territory of Ituri amidst protests by Congolese. In August 1998 following the signing of the Lusaka ceasefire in July 1999, Zambia's foreign Minister intended to visit Kisangani to among other things to assess Prof. Wamba's popularity. Kaziini provocatively deployed the NRA behind the RPA line of Defence and when the RPA exercised restraint, he ordered an NRA armed convoy led by Gavas Mugyenyi to ride through the RPA defence. His intention was to provoke a situation that would make it impossible for the Zambian Minister to tour the area.

The tension resulted into open military confrontation between RPA and NRA. Kazini had flown in reinforcements from Gbadolite only to land at Bangok airport amidst skirmishes. The RPA under the command of Patrick Nyamvumba had tough commanders like then Major Ruvusha. Nyamvumba had been in NRA when he trained as an officer cadet in Nigeria. Some of the Ugandans that had trained with Nyamvumba in Nigeria had been dismissed from the NRA by Kaziini when he was the C.O Mechanised Regiment. These officers were accused of trying to know the destination of the first ever Tanks that were going to guard State House following the experience of the assassination of Burundi's Ndadaye. At the time of the clashes one of the victims was escorting the Lebanese mineral dealers between Entebbe airport and Kampala as he was working as a security guard with Gen Saleh's private security company. Gen. Kazini had underestimated the capability of the RPA commanders whom Museveni always referred to as 'these boys'. On the other hand, Kazini had his usual rogue commanders like Ikondere, Gavas, Kagumaho, Ssegamwenge and the para military senior officers like Mayombo and Otafiire. The last two together with Prof Wamba narrowly survived death or capture between Hotel Wagenia and Soteski Textile factory with the help of CMI's Sgt Mugume. The descent NRA commanders like Ddiba Sentongo and Makona who had defied orders by Kaziini's ADC, Nuwe Kyepaka were arrested and incarcerated in Makindye for a long time. By the time a full ceasefire took effect, RPA's James Kabarebe had taken over Command and the results were embarrassing to the NRA.

Following the talks between Museveni and Kagame who was the then Rwanda's Vice President and Minister of Defence, a cease fire came into effect. It was also agreed that the two overall Commanders i.e. Kazini and Nyamvumba be withdrawn from Kisangani. Rwanda complied by withdrawing Nyamvumba but Museveni retained Kazini as the overall Commander of OSH. In the Kisangani sector, Museveni deployed Col. Edson Muzoora but very soon Kazini succeeded in having him removed. He was replaced by the rouge Col. Sula Semakula in order to prepare for a revenge on RPA and regain NRA's lost glory. Museveni while justifying Muzoora's removal publicly stated that "Muzoora had become friendly to the Rwandese". With Col. Sula now in charge, another round of fighting was a guarantee. Earlier on a joint probe team had been instituted headed by NRA's Army Commander, JJ Odong and RPA's Chief of Staff, Kayumba Nyamwasa. The final report implicated Kaziini as the source of trouble but Museveni dismissed it and instead NRA's Army Commander, JJ Odong was accused of treachery. The then Ag CMI Noble Mayombo who did not realise that he was in a 'trap' suggested that JJ Odong deserved lynching.

Kaziini continued to head the OSH in Congo. Next was the 2nd and 3rd round of fighting with RPA and the event that followed proved catastrophic for the NRA and Uganda as a country.



As the NRA became deeply engaged in the Congo, the ADF suspended its field combat operations. Instead it focussed on urban terrorism. Several incidents of explosive attacks using Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were witnessed.

Tumukunde who had been the NRA's Chief of Personnel and Administration (CPA) was appointed the new Director of Military Intelligence (DMI). To retain the title of Chief, he renamed the DMI as Chieftancy of Military Intelligence (CMI). Among his immediate tasks was to tackle the explosions in Kampala. This was a matter that would have been handled by ISO and the regular Police because it fell under internal security. Museveni who prefers a militaristic approach to all aspects of public management, fully facilitated CMI to take over as the lead state Intelligence agency. With all the resources at Tumukunde's disposal, he built capacity to break into the network of the ADF urban Hit Squad. Using the vast amount of financil resources, ADF operatives were lured into betraying each other. The consequencies are still felt through the current assasinations of Muslim Clerics. The vast anti-terrorism financial resources also enabled the once poor Tumukunde to elevate himself to the club of financial Gurus in the NRA.

With the bombing of the US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar esSalaam, the Joint Anti-terrorism Task Force (JATT) was established. It became the contact agency in regional anti-terrorism efforts. Under CMI, it drew personnel from the Police, ISO and ESO. Capt Aine led officers from ISO and Womanya led Officers from the Police. Its mandate expanded to operations within and outside the country. Several secret detention and torture facilities (Safe Houses) were established. Its headquarter at Kololo Hill Lane next to the Danish Ambassador's residence became the leading centre of illegal detention and torture. Opportunists, self seakers, rogues and all sorts of criminals were enlisted as JATT operatives. Soon after, its role extended to torture, summary execution, arbitrary arrests and detention without trial, debt collection, settlement of business rivaries, ransom and blackmiling. These attrocities and in particular the infamous Golf Course dead bodies caught the public attention during the reign of Capt Kayanja Muhanga (brother to Andrew Mwenda) as head of JATT. Because the highest authority (Museveni) was supportive, the matter was swept under the carpet by simply replacing Kayanja. He is now a Brigadier and Commandant of the NRA Military Police. Its officers took over management of Immigration especially the entry and exit points. At Entebbe Airport Col John Mugenyi facilitated international drug trafficking rackets. He is now one of the welithiest people in the country. Recently Museveni decorated him as a General though he has no specific assignment in the NRA. Traditional Police intelligence organs like the Special Branch and its Anti-Narcotic Unit under the incorruptible Johnson Ayela were disbanded. Sulaiman Kigundu's business empire of Greenland Bank was collapsed under the guise of fighting terrorism.
It had expanded with branches in Tanzania and Scyelles but it was feared that Kigundu might run for the Presidency.

When Tumukunde was leaving CMI for ISO, the management of the huge Anti-Terrorism funding became a big issue. Tumukunde wanted to carry it with him to ISO so that he continues managing the luxurous Anti-terrorism operation. As usual Museveni prevailled over the controversy and the funds remained at CMI to be managed by the new Chief, Mayombo. Museveni delibarately posted Mayombo to CMI in order to have his growing political popularity destroyed completely. Mayombo had not had any kind of military exposure. He had never attended any military training or served under any intelligence organisation. From the time he joined the NRA in 1985, he had been under the NRA's Political Commissariat department as a Political Commissar charged with political indoctrination in the NRA School of Political Education at Entebbe. He had taken a long break to pursue studies at Makerere and Law Development Centre. Later he represented the NRA in the Constituent Assembly and then became Museveni's body guard - causing public uproar. With no training or exposure in VIP protection, a Masters in Law holder was being turned into a Presidential body guard while a primary school drop out (Kazini) was heading for the highest office of the Army Commander! Therefore, Mayombo presided over a heavier load than his weight could carry and he crashed.

Following the 9/11 bombing of New York, Museveni joined the fight against international terrorism. CMI's JATT became the lead agency of the the global fight. The USA, Britain, Israel and South Africal became partners. At the same time the ADF and LRA were designated as terrorist organisations. The opposition in Uganda was harrassed under the guise of fighting terrorims. Generally CMI and in particular JATT ran amok.


Thursday, 29 August 2013


Deployment of the NRA had not sought parliamentary approval because the NRA is Museveni's private security company. Kazini's brother, Col Jet Mwebaze established an organisation responsible for recruitment which he named Renaisance 2000 whose offices were located on Butikiro Road just below Uphill Hotel in Mengo. NRA veterans who had been demoblised a few years back were moblised and ferried to the Congo. Street children, drug addicts, rogues and vgabonds in the city were moblised and ferried to a makeshift military training ground in Nabingola, Mubende that was under the command of Capt Kashumba. Also recruitment in some other parts of western region did take place for the same purpose. After a short crash programe, the recruits would be ferried into the Congo.

A number of NRA officers who had all along been on Katebe found an opportunity to resume active service in the Congo. That is how Ikondere resurfaced on the military scene. However, Kaziini had his own preference for a particular calibre of Commanders that he took to Congo. He prefered stooges who would ensure personal loyality to him. Very many benefited in terms of wealth and promotion. LT Dula Mawa of Military Police who had waylaid and robbed trucks on Karuma Pakwach Road ended up in Congo where he earned the rank of Lt. Colnel. He is now the LC 5 Chairman for Kasese District. Lt. Segamwenge who had earlier on robbed Congolese coffee in transit earned a rank of Lt. Colnel. Capt. Byaruhanga who had retired from the NRA after swindling billion of shillings meant for the African National Congress (ANC) training camp in Kaweweta where he had been the Commandant. He was killed in Kisangani during the NRA/RPF clashes in Kisangani. The list is endless. The few other upright officers like Diba Sentongo, Edson Muzoora etc who had strayed into the Congo operation under Kazini's command had to suffer Kaziini's brunt. All the NRA original senior officers had been eliminated from the Congo operation because of Kazini's dislike for that category due to inferiority complex.

At the Army headquarters in Bombo, provision of resources for the Congo operation was accorded top priority but also open to abuse. That is how the likes of Capt Dan Byakutaaga came to take charge of all the finances meant for the Congo operation. During the NRA interim administration in the western region, both Byakutaaga and Kaziini had been junior officers and aides to Saleh. The two were in charge of the security of Museveni's mother in Mbarara and always seen at the back of the old woman's pick up truck. The Chief of Staff, Brig Kazini visibly took over command of the entire NRA. The Army Commander JJ Odong became a mere onlooker. Kaziini's Aide, Lt. Nuwe Kyepaka behaved as the Assistant Chief of Staff. In the army headquarters, a mere sight of Nuwe would send even senior officers panicking. During the Kisangani clashes with RPA, the innapropriate orders from Nuwe to his seniors greatly contributed to the NRA's poor performance.

A rear base was established at the Old Airport in Entebbe manned by John Kasaija. Ukranian Antonov aircrafts were contracted to ferry troops, logistics and business cargo to and from Congo. Leading Lebanese Mineral dealers like Talal and Gasam entered into business paternship with Gen. Saleh and became the major mineral dealers in the Congo. Private individuals with close links to the NRA like Sam Engola won lucrative business concessions in the Congo. During the Kisangani clashes, Engola narowly survived capture by the RPA. Internal Security Organisation (ISO) also jumped into the fray. It ran a commercial air service called Bogoro managed by a one Lt Bintabara. Ben Rwabutara and David Rura while stationed in Goma for liaison purposes made big economic fortunes. Also, ISO's Lt Victor Twebaze of Operation Rabit took charge of gadgets for intercepting enemy radio communication. After the Congo operation, Victor did not return to ISO as Kazini had promoted him to a Battallion Commander. The use of fake US dollars for paying soldier's salaries and as a medium of exchange for commercial transactions benefited a few highly placed individuals.

The NRA occupation spread to much of north eastern, northern and north western Congo border with Congo Brazavile, CAR and Sudan. It covered major commercial centres like Kisangani, Beni, Bunia, Mahagi, Isiro, Buta, Gemena, Bumba, Businga, Gbadolite, Lisala, Basankusu etc. In all these areas, there had been no fighting at all save for a brief clash with the Chadian troops at Gemena. With the major focus on Congo, inside Uganda the LRA had an opportunity to strengthen itself. The NRA never interacted with ADF throughout the Congo operation. Instead, the ADF had intesfied its urban terrorism in Kampala. The NRA in Congo only got three Rwandese Hutu young boys who were detained in Makindye Barracks for many years before handing them over to ICRC in 2005.


Wednesday, 28 August 2013


During the 1996 presidential elections, Uganda's intelligence services were preoccupied with ensuring that President Museveni retains the Presidency. The centre of focus had been on Buganda where it was feared that either Sulaiman Kigundu or Mulwanyamuli Semwogerere could vie for the presidency. Above all, it had been feared that the Itongwa rebellion was a reflection of the Buganda/Tinyefuza alliance. As it turned out, its only DP's Paulo Semogerere who showed up and gave Museveni an easy sail through.

In the meantime an armed group was able to be recruited from Uganda, trained, assembled and invaded from accross the border in Congo. Within hours of overunning the Bwera border post in Kasese, the invaders intended to take control of the Katunguru bridge on the Kazinga Channel. The then NRA Mbarara based 2nd Division Commander Col. Peter Kerim took a personal innitiative to contain an embarrassing situation. Unknown to the NRA, the ADF had set up a wider newwork in the region to cover the districts of Kasese, Fort Portal, Kibaale, Hoima, Bundibugyo, Kamwenge, Ibanda and parts of Bushenyi. Earlier on, another armed group affliated to the Tabliq Islamic sect had been flashed out of Buseruka enclave in Hoima district but no follow up had been made.

Throughout 1997 and 1998, the NRA fought serious battles with the ADF in those areas. Charles Angina was the first Commander to head the counter insurgency operations against ADF. Kazini who was by now the Chief of Staff delibarately undermined Angina's efforts by denying him the necessary resources. For example Angina would use the local civillian population to carry the NRA supplies up the mountainous terrain upon a smaller pay. The ADF who had mastered the terrain gained upperhand and expanded its operations to cover a wider area. With no success in sight for the NRA, the local population had allmost started switching sides in favour of the ADF. Following the Kicwamba massacre allegedly by ADF, the NRA decided to follow up the ADF bases inside Congo. Angina was replaced by Muhesi who led the the first group of NRA into Congo. Shortly after, Kazini took up the assignment as the overall Commander of the NRA operations in Congo.

At the same time he remained the Chief of Staff. The NRA Statute had designated the office of the Chief of Staff as purely for administrative purposes as opposed to field operations. That is how NRA's longest serving Chief of Staff, Brig Sam Nanyumba, given his background had managed to survive by not poking his nose into NRA's field operations or would risk allegations of being subversive. Cheif Ali had replaced Nanyumba after being undermined by Kazini in the 4th Division in Gulu where the later took over as the 4th Division Commander. Cheif Alis's other crime had been to make a public statement that "the war against the LRA can only be won through prayers to God". But Still as Chief of Staff, Cheif Ali was accused of organising arms for subversive activities. Kaziini used Cheif Ali's Aide de Camp (ADC) then Lt Nuwe Kyepaka to substanciate fabrications before Museveni. Museveni had historical doubts with Cheif Ali right from the time he had left FRONASA to join the Gang of Four. Cheif Ali a reknown military genious and political mobiliser had exelled in diffusing the insurgency in the eastern region. He had forged a close working relationship with his long time Division I.O, Charles Angina in both 2nd Div in Fort Portal and 3rd Div in Mbale. Here was the same Charles Angina leading operations in Rwenzori when Cheif Ali was the Chief of Staff. Museveni dropped Cheif Ali and Kaziini took over as the Chief of Staff and because he had Museveni's confidence, the role was expanded to include oveseeing field operations.

In 1996, Rwanda with minimal support from Uganda had invaded Congo, surpressed the Hutu insurgents and overthrown Zaires Mobutu and installed Kabila. In 1998 Kabila had disowned the support from from his backers and told them to leave. Rwanda had reacted by ochestrating a Banyamulenge uprising in the eastern DRC under the umbrella of Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD). The Rwanda backed RCD had taken control of much of eartern DRC including Kisangani. Rwanda moved southwards to concentrate on the Kindu/Mbuji Mai axis leaving the NRA to cover the Kisangani sector. Upon entering Congo the NRA forgot about ADF but moved stright to as far as Kisangani. There was no single encounter with ADF in Congo but instead Kazini's Chief Clerk was taken hostage by ADF when he was on Kazini's private errands. The NRA Congo operation was codenamed Operation Safe Heven (OSH) with Kazini as the oveall Commander. He remained the Chief of staff and with Museveni's blessing, he had all the resources at his disposal. The then Army Commander, JJ Odong was just a figure head at the time. The ADF tactically suspended its field operations, retained its bases in the Congo but became active in urban terrorism.



In early 1990s, an External Security Organisation (ESO) Officer, Hamphrey Babukika murdered Congolese gold dealers who were transiting through Uganda and dumped their bodies in Kibimba Irrigation Scheme. This was after he had robbed them of huge amounts of Gold in their posession. The then ESO Director General, Kahinda Otafiire vehemently defended and protected Humphrey Babukiika. The issue died a natural death.

1994 there was rampant robberies of goods from Congo transiting through Uganda and destined for the Kenyan Port of Mombasa for export. The main target was coffee that was orinating from easter Congo areas of Beni and Butembo and would transit through western Uganda, Kampala and then exit through the eastern border posts of Malaba and Busia on the way to Mombasa in Kenya. An organised racket of armed NRA junior officers and using official Military Police Land Rovers would ambush these trucks while in transit around Nyekongolero in Mbarara and hijack them. The truck drivers would be tied with ropes, blindfolded and driven through Kampala to the bushes in Luwero where they would be tied to trees and left there. The trucks would then be driven to Kampala and the coffee offloaded at a store in the Ruzira suburb. Later, the empty trucks would be driven and around different locations in Kampala more especially around Lugogo Bypass. The Congolese truck drivers would be found and freed by locals in Luwero.

The practice went on undetected for quite sometime. However, the Intelligence Officer of Military Police at Makindye, Lt Denis Bataringaya got some clues and innitiated investigations. At the time, Aronda was the Deputy Director of Military Intelligence (D/DMI). He suppervised the said investigations but unfortunately they revealed that the perpetrators were 'home boys' and that the coffee was ending up in the coffee stores belonging to a top NRA General. The implicated NRA Junior officers were the likes of then Lt Segamwenge (a Hima), Lt Memory Bariyo (a Muhororo) and a few others with a similar profile. Some civillians too were arrested and among them a one Mbakuratiire. The figure head DMI, Fred Tolit was kept unaware of this case but Museveni was fully briefed about the findings.

The case was swept under the carpet and the suspects freed without any sort of criminal proceeding being instituted. The implicated junior officers were redeployed and promoted and are now Senior NRA officers. Segamwenge featured alot in the Kisangani fiasco where he was a Commanding Officer at the rank of a Lt Colnel. Shortly after the officer who had uncovered that high level armed robbery, Lt Bataringaya Denis mysteriously died in an alleged boat accident on Lake Victoria while he was serving under the Anti-smuggling Unit.


Monday, 26 August 2013


Museveni's major power base is the military. He has successfuly personalised the army through his personal control of recruitment, training, deployment, promotion, dismissal and retirement. Forget about the law i.e the NRA Code of Conduct, the NRA Statute, the Armed Forces Act and now the UPDF Act, its just a one man show. Unlike past leaders, this is how he has managed to survive any kind of military take over. The more he succeeds in privatising the army, the more arrogant he becomes. When he attains Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe level of personal loyality, the world will witness his true colours.

During the bush war he personaly regulated recruitment in order to contain the number and influence of certain Ugandan communities. In this regard he had all along opposed the opening up of another front in the Rwenzori. When he returned from a long holiday abroad and found the NRA had enlisted a big number of 'undesired communities' in the west, he was unimpressed. The incharge of training and recruitment, Tadeo Kanyankole had to pay a heavy price. Earlier on he had delibarately excluded certain individuals like Kategaya, Mushega, Otafiire, Kibirango Gyagenda, Abbey Mukwaya, and others from the mainstream military command structures. Upon taking over power, such individuals were posted to civillian institutions. When formal military ranks were introduced, such individuals were awarded ranks just to hoodwink them. Even those who were left in the army but without exposure to military experience and training but simply given ranks of Generals, it was just a way of containing them. Also, a number of young educated Ugandans joined the NRA more especially around 1985/86 but to contain them, Museveni seconded them to ISO and ESO so as to keep them off the mainstream military. During the Kisangani clashes, Otafiire and Mayombo were caught up in a hotel during one serious battle. Talk is that they could not identify the right type of ammunitions for a particular machine gun! They were only rescued by Sgt Mugume of CMI. How and where had Mayombo and Otafiire learnt or been exposed to military exercises but Museveni would deceived them with higher ranks! By delibarately denying them an apportunity of exposure and training to match with the ranks that he awards them, Museveni aims at containing their influence on the military. That is how Rwanda's Gen Kabarebe who was a Private in the NRA was able to give them a challenge in Kisangani. When Ivan Koreta returned from a Peace Keeping Mission in Liberia, he was destined to the highest office but was instead sent to head ESO. When Katumba wamala exelled in West Nile and the DRC, he was instead sent to the Police. The diversion of these two was meant to give room to Kaziini and Aronda to rise and take over as CDF.

When Kyaligonza was a Brigade Commander in the eastern region, his influence was a threat to Museveni. He was recalled and removed from the army. The same applied to Julius Chihandae, Saleh and others. Interestingly such retired senior officers and many other innactive ones (Katebe) continue to be elavated in rank. Kyaligonza had to write a long letter to Museveni lamenting how he could not even afford school fees for his children. Mayombo delivered the letter and Kyaligonza was made Ambassador to Burundi and recently he was promoted to Major General. Chihandae had also earlier on been treated . Kasirye Gwanga returned from retirement and was promoted to Brigadier. It is presumed that all retired soldiers are members of the Reserve Force who can be recalled when the need arises. Can Mushega, Muntu and Besigye be recalled?

The World Bank imposed Reduction in Force (RIF) phase 1 took place around 1993. The second phase was of 1995. These are the ones refered to as Veterans who are languishing and only remembered either during elections or when there is an external operation in Congo. Another group was an internal NRA arrangement around 1997/98 meant to get rid of the physically unfit who were assembled at the Nakasongola Reception Centre (NRC) under Maj Mureeba and was also used for the creation of Ghost soldiers. A six months advance pay was the package. The first formal retirement from the NRA was a pilot programe in 2000. It involved 23 officers and men among them Lt Col Isoke, Capt Mugerwa, Capt Rusoke, Pte Kibuule brother to Abibu Kagimu. Lt Col Isoke is the officer who was an embarassing common figure always loitering in town on foot and at one time he stole tyres from a shop. The process took three years and cost over 300m shillings but Isoke even died before being formally discharged. The army claimed that retiring officers was an expensive venture. Since then only a few individuals would be allowed to leave i.e Muntu, Besigye and a few others. However, given the change of political landscape that ensued, soldiers feared to openly express a desire to retire for fear that they would be branded 'disgruntled' and intent on joining the opposition.

Saturday, 24 August 2013


During the Constituent assembly the NRA was represented by Mugisha Muntu, David Tinyefuza, Aronda, Serwanga Lwanga, Elly Tumwine, and Noble mayombo among others. During the debate on controvercial issues especially Buganda's most cherished Federalism and the Presidential powers, Tinyefuza, Serwanga and Besigye had demonstrated the highest level of independence in their stands. To the NRA leadership which expected its delagates to tow the army line, this was a clear sign of subversiveness by the Gang of Three. Their stand stunned many delagates who did not know the internal contradictions inside Museveni's NRA. Aronda who was also the DMI and Museveni's closest confidant, was silent throughout the open debates on the floor of the House. But he ran a President's office at the adjacent International Conference Centre (ICC) that was manned by Susan Kazoora. It is at this office that Aronda used to conduct behind the scenes canvassing for the President's wishes in the C.A and to allay uncertainities sowed by the Gang of Three. A number of delagates with Aronda's facilitation secretly would meet museveni in this office. Others would simply meet Aronda in this office or in the evening at DMI, Basiima House and would simply get convinced that the message he was conveying was from Museveni. After the CA several of these Aronda recruits like Simon Mulongo, Musa Echeru, Rose Seninde, Chebet Maikuti and others landed into fat jobs.

After the CA it was clear that Buganda had lost on the Federo (Federalism) demand. Tinyefuza who had emerged as a champion of Buganda wishes requested to retire from military service. Museveni turned down his request for fear that Tinyefuza was going to vie for the offince of the President of Uganda. In his wisdom, Museveni reasoned that Tinyefuza could only be managed under military law if he remained in the army. Tinyefuza challenged the decision in the Constitutional Court and won but Museveni rushed to appoint among others Justice Kanyeihamba to the Supreme Court with a sole mission of reversing the Constitutional Court decision. As expected, Tinyefuza lost the bid in the Supreme Court. Tinyefuza kept a low profile by spending much of his time at his country home in Rugusuru, Ntusi in Sembabule district. The NRA Officers who were all along suspected to be simpathetic to him were placed under closer scruitiny. The likes of Muhesi, Ikondere, Kyatuka brothers, Sikaji Tumusiime, Taban Kyabihende, David Kaboyo, Julius Oketa, Fred Tolit and several others fell victim. But above all, Buganda Kingdom that had lost the Federo quest, was courting Tinyefuza. A prominent Lukiko member Mzei Katende would get messages from Katikiro Mulwanyamuli and pass them on to Tinyefuza. The courier a one Salongo Lulika who was a son to Mzei Katende would first deliver the letters to Aronda at the DMI where a copy would be obtained and retained and then the original allowed to be delivered to Tinyefuza. At that time it was feared that Mulwanyamuli intended to contest for the presidency. Aronda deployed a DMI Offices, Lt Banson Mande to keep surveillance on Tinyefuza's activities more especially in Sembabule. Lt Mande was to liase with the I.O of the Masaka based Mechanised Unit, Lt Lule. Much of the information that was gathered was not worthy the term intelligence. It was all speculations and iddle talk that even included utterences by Tinyefuza's father Mzei Bwajojo thus "my son will have to rule Uganda".

Since the failed coup attempt by Buganda politicians and army officers in 1986, senior Baganda army officers had lost the trust of NRA. The likes of Drago Nyanzi, Kigundu, Badru Kiingi, Itongwa, Ronald Kawuma and others had been placed on Katebe. Some had resorted to armed robberies in order to reward themselves for the sacrifice they had made in order to bring Museveni to power. On the other hand, they robbed in order to march the personal wealth of their collegues who had offices to steal from. Above all, they had been robbers before joining the bush and now that they had state protection, they had to resume their old practice. Throughout the history of Uganda, it is in the NRA that a senior officer would carry out robbery. Lt Col. Kawuma was tricked by Otafire when he was the DG-ESO into going to Kenya and announcing formation of a rebel group in order to trap certain targets. Instead Kawuma was detained in Makindye from where he died. It was around the same time that Major Hebert Itongwa declared armed rebellion in Buganda under the NDA. Within security circles, the innitial estimation was that it could be a move bigger than the rogue Itongwa and focused on Mengo/Buganda and Tinyefuza. Suspicion and anger was inflamed by Itonga capturing and killing Karakire the DPC but releasing Dr Makumbi suspecting a hoax. With alot of panic, Aronda the D/DMI took the lead by using all the available finance and Lt Bukenya Gonzaga was shot and captured while Itongwa fled the country, ending the NDA.

Friday, 23 August 2013


Following the Rwandese exodus, DMI was badly hit in terms of efficient manpower. Patrick Karegyeya had stayed behind presiding over counter Intelligence. At one time Charles Tusiime made some comments as to why Karegyeya was not leaving for RPF and he received back 'fire' from the simple but no-nocense Karegyeya. Karegyeya had studied Law at Makerere University, betrayed by a Muganda Senior Prison Officer and arrested as he tried to join the NRA via Nairobi. He was detained in Luzira upto around 1985 when he reunited with NRA and became an ADC to Mugisha Muntu when he was the DMI. At that time going via Nairobi was an easy route to the NRA in Luwero.

The Director, Byemaro Mijumbi tried to reorganise the Directorate assisted by his Deputy Fred Tolit and Assistant Directors John Kasaija (Combat), Michael Bossa (Techinical), Charles Tusiime (Criminal Investigations), Robert Zakye (Personnel & Admin). Kasibante (Finance) and Eyotia Eyaa (Prosecutions). Up to this time, DMI has some sanity. There had been some issolated incidents of arrests and harrassment of political elites during the early days of coming to power more especially by the Aronda and Wilson Gumisiriza (RPF) squad at CPS. However, it was not routine as it later came to be under CMI. Mugisha Muntu could not and can not be a party to such violation of human rights. However that is the time when elites from the Northern and North Eastern regions were fleeing into exile and in order to successfuly seek asylum, some exegaration involving Muntu's name and things like snakes being used in torture had to be made. Actually even individuals from the western and central region would leave the country to seek greener pastures but claim to be persecuted because they are from the north and east of Uganda.

There were issolated incidents of arrest, torture and detention and extortion from suspected armed robbers in Kampala. Such unauthorised arrests were mainly carried out by rouge operatives in both DMI and Military Intelligence of Lubiri Barracks under Capt Gayiira. At DMI there was a group led by one Mandevu who was one of the NRAs First 27. He would terrorise the city at Night but when he refused to heed to his superiors advice, he was shot by Military Police behind Ashok building along Jinja Road on Kaziini's (CO MP) orders because of rivary over who controlled the city. In the eastern region military intelligence operatives under Kyaligonza (Brigade Commander) and Vincent Ssesanga (Brigade I.O) became a menace. Long after Muntu hand left DMI, political elites like Nathan Kalema, Paulino Bangirana and Adrian Sibbo were detained at Basiima House on Kagame's orders. As for the military and criminal civillian suspects, DMI's detention facility was at the main Quarter Guard of Lubiri Barracks, the Lower Quarter Guard of Lubiri Barracks facing the Entebbe Road round about at Kibuye and the 1st Bn Barracks at Katabi in Entebbe.

Byemaro Mijumbi fell sick and died shortly after. Museveni took long to appoint a new DMI not even in acting capacity. The most senior and right candidate at the time was John Kasaija who was the Asst. Director of Combat Intelligence in DMI. His fault was that confidential files indicated that he had been a brain behind the UNLA Korea trained Crack Unit at Nakasongola that had given the NRA rough time. Above all, he was seen as being more of a General Saleh confidant right from the time they were together at CCO. Fred Tolit had been a junior officer in the UNLA and was only brought on board by Tinyefuza during the northern region insurgency. His appointment by Museveni as D/DMI had been simply to appease the Acholis and to help further the counter insurgency operations. There had been top secret files in the DMI's office that neither Kasaija nor Tolit were not have to access to because they were not original NRAs. These files had to be moved to the Army Commander's office. To resolve the dillema, Museveni elevated Fred Tolit to the office of DMI but appointed Aronda as the Deputy DMI.

Fred Tolit was a primary school Teacher. During his tenure of office was only concerned with the operations against LRA and the coordination of military aid to the SPLA. He did not have the stamina to liaise with key stake holders in the intelligence community. No doubt, Aronda was the DMI and Tolit was a mere figure head. When it came to electing army representatives to the Constituent Assembly, Aronda was elected but he continued to run DMI. During that time DMI opened a training school in Ssese Islands under Vicent Ssesanga. The oly training in intelligence for DMI operatives had been a short course conducted by Babu Mugira at Lubiri in 1986, a course by Koreans at Kireka and a few who had attended a course in Cuba. After the 1996 general elections and following the ADF attack, Museveni appointed Tumukunde as the DMI. Because Tumukunde wanted to retain the title of Chief instead of Director, he renamed it CMI.


Wednesday, 21 August 2013


After taking over power in Jan 1986, senior NRA members scrambled for appointments to positions of responsibility, posession of goverment property and accumulation of personal wealth. All along the political indoctrination teachings (political education) had emphasised that the desire for accumulating personal wealth amounted to love for soft life which was totally prohibited. That is why Museveni often criticised past leaders for among other practices, buying furniture from Italy. As Kampala fell, some members took up offices in the army headquarters while many of their colleagues went ahead with the military operations in the distant fields. At headquarter level, there was total lack of checks and balance for cash, supplies and logistics. The procurement and distribution of supplies depended on the goodwill of those handling it. There was no mechanism for accountability at all. Privilleged members of NRA kept sacks of cash in their car boots and under their beds. Even some commanders from the field units would come to Kampala, pick sacks of money meant for operations for their units from Republic House, stuck it in the boots of their Santana Land Rovers and then go merry making in the Kampala night clubs until its all exhausted. Afterwards, at times they would stay around waiting for the new release for the next month or two before returning to their duty stations. This scrumble led to the fueling of internal bickering that saw senior officers undermining each other before Museveni. A number of them fell victim with dire consequences and were never to recover.

Several lucky civillian businessmen secured tenders to supply food items and other supplies to the NRA. Much of these tenders were flawed and supplied air. The earliest case involved a Kasese based Scycles national Gaetano as early as early 1986. Some companies belonged to NRA officers, their families and friends. Actually, the beneficiaries were not only senior officers heading those departments but even very junior officers, clerks and civillian employees in the Ministry of Defence. That is how the likes of Guma Gumisiriza, Byaruhanga, Otema, Byakutaaga, Juma Seiko, Saleh Kamba and many other junior officers struck fortunes as early as the late 80s. With time the field based Officers came to realise that their collegues and even juniors who had offices in the army headquarters were living in a different world in terms of personal wealth and privilleges. A rift arose between those with offices and those without. At one time in an Army Council session chaired by Museveni, Reuben Ikondere asked if he cant also be a Director of Finance at the army headquarters. Later on, the same Ikondere threatened to blow up the helcopter that was carrying Amama Mbabazi to his country home that had stopped to refuel at the 2nd Div in Mbarara. For the ordinary soldier, the welfare situation became worse. The field commanders resorted to swindling the money meant for the soldier's salaries and welfare, supplies, creation of ghost soldiers and withholding their pay for an interest populary termed as 'Baroda'. Field commanders in operation areas also resorted to mobile shops for essential comodies sold to soldiers on a credit at double the market price. The same commanders would also exegarate the enemy threat so that they make claims of locally procured food items for their troops.

In late 1980s the NRA introduced the Wealth Declaration system for senior officers. Museveni also filled that Property Declaration Form and indicated his wealth as a piece of land in Nyabushozi, a pick up truck but most interesting among his children he declared that besides Muhozi, he had another son who was a Cpl in the NRA - Guess who! This system did not help anything. Earlier on a Loan Scheme had been introduced and placed under Elly Kayanja but it did not take off as billions of shillings were swindled and it collapsed. In the early 90s Mugisha Muntu commissioned a team headed by Ivan Koreta, Serwanga Lwanga and Fred Bogere to make a physical verification of the NRA strength. Museveni stopped this team half way before it could accomplish its task. More than a decade later the same Museveni commissioned a probe team into the creation of ghost soldiers! The truth of the matter is that Museveni favoured the practice as a way of ensuring loyality, punishing those suspected of not being loyal and wooing fence sitters.
Therefore, 'Katebe' is a term that refers to the practice of the army authorities rendering someome rudundant. The affected officer retains the salary, house, vehicle, fuel, escorts, cash allowances, free medical services but because he would not be having an assigned office to steal from, Katebe became an issue. In one incident during the virgil of one of the Kyatuka brothers, junior army officers openly attacked Mugisha Muntu who was the army commander accusing him of having placed the deceased on Katebe from where he had allegedly died of neglect.


Tuesday, 20 August 2013


In the bush all intelligence gathering and processing was under the Director General of Intelligence and Sucurity. Under it was the DMI. Given the prevailing circumstances then, civil and military intelligence was kind of fused together. There was no formal external intelligence gathering within NRA structures but Amama Mbabazi of the External Wing secretly ran a spy network among his coleagues for Museveni. When the NRA came to power, civil intelligence was separated from military intelligence. The later remained a branch of the army while the former was placed under Presidents office with Jim Muhwezi as its Director General. An External intelligence structure was also created and housed at former Park Hotel with Amama Mbabazi as its Director General. Civil Intelligence maintained officers at all Districts called Civil Intelligence Officers (CIO) and agents in major government bodies and parastatals. During the late 80s, the two organisations became statutory bodies and were rebranded Internal Security Organisation (ISO) and External Security Organisation (ESO) respectively.

Both organisations were supposed to enlist civillian staff members under the Public Service but ISO maintained a military presence. ISO was tactically used by Museveni as a warehouse for those highly educated individuals whom he did not wish to be in the mainstream NRA. Jim Muhwezi who had been the Ag. Director General of Intelligence and Security (DGI&S) in the bush after the Tinyefuza was detained, became the Director General Internal Security (DGISO). He was Deputised by Major Kazora and other Directors heading different departments. These Directors were to delibarately remain junior officers for fear of a possible replacement to Jim Muhwezi. Capt Kwiringira, Capt Kasura, Lt Baguma, Lt Dr. Kagoro, Lt Dr. Rwekikiga, Lt Dr Mukumbi, Lt Roni Balya and others were some of the Directors. They had innitially joined the NRA with the hope of building a military career. All the District Internal Security Officers were Leutenants as if it was a statutory requirement. However, these ISO dirrectors enjoyed higher privilleges. They were all members of the Army Council and enjoyed alot of funding from the state that helped some of them to accumulate alot of personal wealth.

After a decade at the helm of ISO, Jim Muhwezi accumulated too much personal wealth. Among his visible wealth was the hair-rising multbillion mansion populary known as Basilica at his country home in Rukungiri. It is said that the said residential house holds a top position among the best south of the Sahara. It is this accumulation of wealth that made Jim Muhwezi feel insecure and wanted to remain the only bull in the kral. In the process his deputy John Kazoora was convicted for abuse of office involving 10 (ten) million shillings of office funds. Kazoora served the sentence in prison and was never to return to ISO. Museveni did not intervene to save Kazoora because it had been alleged that Kazoora had illegally recruited and trained ISO operatives with the aim of building his own empire within ISO. The said batch of trainees at the ISO Makajjo training school in Sekanyonyi in Mityana were discarded and instead were sent to the army. Driven by envy and a genuine fear that Jim Muhweezi could get compromised, Aronda as usual whispered to Museveni and Jim was relieved of the decade long leadership of ISO. The Sudhir US dollars saga at entebbe Airport, the Murder of Lt Sharita and the plane crash carrying an international money launderer are some of the dark incidents during Muhwezi's tenure. At the time, in Rukungiri it was only Jim Muhweezi who demonstrated power and his entourage would cause inflation whenever he visited his country home. By that time the sons of Rukungiri like Tumukunde and Aronda had not acquired the power and wealth to match Jim Muhweezi. It is said that Museveni was amazed when he viewed Jim's Basilika from the air but was inspired to build a modern home at Rwakitura.

For Museveni, the security threats inside the country at the time required more of a military approach thus military intelligence took upper hand. But had it not been for Museveni's preference for a militaristic approach to national issues, ISO would have become a proffessional national intelligence body. During the first half of the 1990s when Aronda war the D/Director of Military Intelligence, he would incorporate ISO into his military intelligence operation structure. However it was discovered that Jim Muhwezi long stay had left a presence hence an overhaul that displaced many of the long rerving Directors. But still Lt Dr Mukumbi who had been Muhwezi's ADC remained the DG. Instead, the CDF Aronda and State House would by pass Dr. Mukumbi and instead deal with his Junior Roni Balya who had been the Director of IT that was responsible for intercepting enemy communication (code named RABIT). Soon after he was made a Colonel and appointed the DGISO.

Monday, 19 August 2013


Right from the time Museveni came to the political scene till today, sections of Ugandans have claimed that he is of Rwandese origin. The NRA Code of Conduct had made any form of secterian tendencies a grave offence. When he came to power, among the first laws that were decreed by his military goverment into the Penal Code was the Anti-Secterianism law. This law was meant cater for the anticipated anti-Rwandese sentiments.

Rwandese President Habyarimaana had blessed the introduction of formal ranks into the NRA ceremony. Habyarimana had been tricked into pysically decorating Fred Rwigyema with the Major General pips. Two years later its the same Rwigyema who led the attack on Rwanda. Just a day after the attack, Fred Rwigyema was killed. The cause of his death has remained a mystery. The most accepted version is that his death was a result of internal power struggle ochestrated by Dr. Baingana. Gen. Saleh a long time close personal friend to Friend to Rwigyena is said to have proceeded to the frontline and rounded all the key conspirators before sumarily executing them. Had Rwigyema not died during the early days of the invasion, alot of non Rwandese in the NRA would have deserted to the RPA to assist Rwigyema as an individual more than the the Rwandese cause. Even Gen. Saleh lost interest in the entire venture and since then his relationship with the Kigali government remains fragile.

Following the surprise attack on Rwanda and the sudden death of Rwigyema, the Rwanda goverment forces made a successful counter attack against the RPF. The RPF was pushed back across the border into Uganda. Many perished into the Akagera National Park, killed by even bees, drowning as many deserted. It against this background that Paul Kagame who was attending a military course in the USA had to cut short his course and return to Uganda to take over the overall command of RPF. It is at this time that Museveni felt stuck with these Rwandese if they were to be defeated. He knew that there was no more room for them in the NRA. Therefore the only way was to push the RPF further inside into Rwanda. A special arms depot was estblished at former Bihanga Prison for the RPF war efforts. The Mbarara based NRA 2nd Division under Peter Kerim was tasked with aiding the RPF in terms of Combat logistics and personnel. An RPF military radio communication Unit personnel was attached to the NRA Div Commander. The Kabale based NRA brigade under Anthony Kyakabale had been tasked to make occassional incursion into Rwanda to aid the RPF. Actually, at times Kyakabale would sturbonly refuse to come to the RPF's rescue until when he would be offered a looted car by the RPF.
In Kampala private mobilisation for the RPF cause intensfied. The likes of Majambere and Kananura committed alot of personal resources to the RPF cause. Prominent Rwandese in the diaspora commited personal resources though established channels based in Uganda. James Kabarebe and others who had been attending an Officer Cadet course in Jinja at the time of the invasion also joined the RPA. Patrick Karegyeya was moved from DMI to the Anti-Smuggling Unit. He had to play a crucial role in liaising external connections and diplomatic work.
Within the NRA several Rwandese did not go to RPF but chose to stay and they continue to serve to this day. It was not only criminal to pin point someone as being Rwandese but it was not easy to accurately identify one. Many did not hide their Rwandese identity but there a more evasive group that opted to claim Hima ethinicity. At DMI there had been two Rwandese Hutus namely Kagaba and Gatare who were both university graduates. While all the Rwandes Tutsis in DMI were predominantly under Counter Intelligence department, the two Hutus were segregated and issolated under Combat Intelligence department. At the time of the RPF invasion, Kagaba who was thought to have been working for the Habyarimana goverment in Rwanda, fled to Zambia. Anthony Gatare remained stuck in NRA and has always been in and out of jails for allegedly spying for Rwanda.

After the exodus of RPF, there were gaps left in the fields that they had been dominating. Those in the NRA who all along been suffocated by the Rwandese's tough stand on corruption, embezzelement, and general accumulation of illegal wealth. The impunity in the vice (money rush) in the NRA can be traced to this period. Good enough, at the time save for the inrurgency in northern and eastern Uganda, Museveni's personal security detail had not become an issue. At the time, the NRA junior level had very few Himas with some level of education to fill the gaps left by the departing Rwandese. Later, intervention plans were innitiated among them, the First Son Muhozi's LDU project. The RPF took four years to take over power culminating into the 1994 Genocide.
Later, Jack Nziiza was declared Persona Non Grata in Kenya following the assasination of a Rwandese dissident Seith Sendashonga in Nairobi.

Sunday, 18 August 2013


Museveni is not being sincere when he repeatedly claims that he did not know if some of the boys he was recruiting into FRONASA, UNLA and later NRA were Rwandese. When Rwandese from his FRONASA faction of the UNLA were eliminated from the new army, he had retained then as his private army and were to form the core of his guerilla army. Both in the bush and in goverment, Museveni enjoyed 100% loyality from Rwandese fighters. A provision in the NRA Code of Coduct barring any form of sectarian tendencies was aimed at protecting the Rwande fighters. It was highly dangerous to even mention the word Rwanda. Ofcourse, the Rwandese Tutsis like any other right thinking people in exile, were looking for an opportunity of going back to their home country. The UPC goverment rightly knew that Rwandese Tutsi refugees from both the settlement camps and outside the camps were escaping to join the NRA guerillas. In 1982 a motion was tabled in parliament seeking to repatriate these refugees back to Rwanda. The motion was rejected on grounds of respect for international law. However, the Minister of Security Chris Rwakasisi mobilised local UPC leaders and Youth Wingers in Mbarara to brutally chase the Rwandese back to Rwanda. It was not a government policy and that is why the Rwandese who were settled in other areas outside Mbarara were not harassed. A number of Rwandese were staunch members of the UPC party and government. Nathan Kalema who was the District Commissioner of Luwero during the bush war is a Rwandese and was a staunch UPC member and a Senior Officer in NASA. However, the incident was an advantage to Museveni as several of the victims ran to the bush to boost his guerilla ranks. In return, Museveni has rewarded Rwakasisi with a presidential pardon and a fat government job while Hajji Sebirumbi was hanged. Next time Museveni will appoint him Uganda's Ambassador to Rwanda.

When the NRA took over power, the Rwandese dominated key departments of the army like Intelligence, Finance, Supplies etc. This is mainly because of among other reasons, their sound academic background. To some senior Ugandan NRAs, the war was over and it was time to steal and accumulate wealth. To the Rwandese NRAs, they had completed only phase one of the struggle and the second phase was to involve invading Rwanda and returning home. Because they had a stake in the NRA's stability, they had zero tolerrancence for corruption, embezzelement and crime in general. This earned Paul Kagame the nickname 'Pilato'. However, Fred Rwigyema's amazing popularity among all sections of the NRA and Ugandans matched that of Saleh and it helped alot to neutralise the growing animosity towards Rwandese in the NRA. Rwigyema had been the Deputy Army Commander and later Minister of state for Defence. Among the NRA senior officers there was dissent against Museveni's overreliance on Rwandese and Rwigyema in particular. It had become common for Rwigyema to pitch camp in State House whenever Museveni would be away.

By the begining of 1990, rumours were high that the Rwandese in NRA were planning to invade Rwanda. The Rwanda goverment through their embasy in Kampala intensified intelligence gathering. Most of the agents it sent were Rwandese Tutsis residing in Rwanda. Museveni rendered Fred Rwigyema redundant. Fred used the cover of sending his escort Unit under Capt Kayitare to Kabamba Training School for a refresher training. While there Capt Kayitare liaised with Capt Musitwa who was based at Bihanga training school to coordinate the training of Rwandese recruits to be used in the attack on Rwanda. The recruits used to come from as far as Tanzania. Then Sgt Moses Rwakitarate of DMI spearheaded the investigations (behind Kagane's back) into this illegal recruitment and training of Rwandese. Consequently, in a major shake up of DMI, Andrew Lutaaya was moved to the Anti-Smuggling unit, Byemaro Mijumbi became the new DMI with Fred Tolit as his Deputy. Paulo Kagame was rendered innactive and demoted to Asst. Director Techinical unit in DMI where he was assisted by Eng. Michael Bossa. He was unimpressed and reluctant to take up the new assignment. From the powerful, busy and posh office on the top floor of Basiima House to the innactive ground floor office partitioned by plywood, it was indeed humiliating for the powerful Major Paul Kagame. Soon after he left for a military course in the USA. However, the equally powerful Asst. Director of the strategic Counter Intelligence Lt. Patrick Karegyeya retained his position and assistf by Sgt Jack Nziiza, their network was not inturrupted.

On the 1st October 1990, a big number of Rwandese in the NRA led by Fred Rwigyema escaped and went to attack Rwanda. Three days later DMI deployed Sgt Jack Nziza (believing him to be a Mufumbira from Kisoro) to gather intelligence on the activities of the deserters but he never came back to this day.

NEXT: Dont miss the impact of the desertion and how RPA progressed.

Saturday, 17 August 2013


The Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) was a department of the NRA responsible for intelligence gathering and processing related to the military. It hs what evolved to become the present CMI. Its structures included a Director and his assistants at the head office and then field Intelligence Officers spread out at different levels of the general army structure. In the bush it was a unit under the Director General of Intelligence and Security (DGIS). After Kaka Bagenda's tenure, Mugisha Muntu became the DMI. When the NRA came to power, the DMI like all other departments of the Army, was housed at Republic House (Bulange) army headquarters. However, to afford ample privacy the DMI occupied a smaller structure behind the main building. Soon after, it was relocated to Basiima House along the Kabaka Anjagala Road. Among the senior officers at DMI were Paul Kagame, Aronda and Byemaro.

When the NRA took power, DMI became a semi independent body that would directly report to the President though would liase with other army establishments. On top of getting funding from the military mainstream budget, DMI would get extra funding from State House. Its personnel were attached to different parastatals and all border posts. Throughout the country where the NRA was in control, its Military Intelligence operatives who had taken over civil policing. In Kampala, Aronda took over the strategic Central Police Station (CPS). He was assisted by Rwija, Muruli, Rwigamba (RPF), Mutabazi (RPF), Mbugane (RPF), Murenzi (RPF) etc. Aronda had even taken residence opposite CPS on Buganda road the current head office of UHRC. In an interview Museveni defended the military policing thus "....the soldiers feel that the Police is are not serious with criminal elements and they are corrupt. The army had to come in and insist that the criminals must be punished. It happens in all countries, there is a time when the army assumes the duty of internal security." (Daily Nation Jan 26 1997).

Later on Muntu was replaced by Andrew Lutaaya as the DMI. Lutaaya had been the civillian who had driven the the lorry that took the NRA to attack Kabamba barracks in 1986. During the bush war, Lutaaya was a member of the clandestine team and was mainly charged with ferrying fighters accross lake Victoria to Kenya. In one incident after a stormy encounter on Lake Victoria, the freezing Museveni was saved by taking a bottle of beer that Lutaya offered him as first aid. After the fall of Kampala, Lutaaya was placed under the President's Office for Museveni's special assignments. By 1988, DMI was stuctured as follows:-
a) DMI - Andrew Lutaay.
b) Asst. Director, Personnel Administration and Finance - Paul Kagame.
c) Asst. Director Counter Intelligence - Patrick Karegyeya.
d) Asst. Director Combat Intelligence - John Kasaija.
e) Asst. Director Techinical Intelligence - Byemaro Mijumbi.
f) then there was a team of Lawyers headed by Eyotia Eyaa and comprising of Luke Otagwa, Richard Zziwa and James Mugira who formed the prosecution Unit.
g) later on a criminal investigations unit was formed and headed by Charles Tusiime (the mechanic who forgot a spare tyre during the first Kabamba attack).
Beyond the head office, in the field there were the Division, Brigade and Battallion intelligence officers. Notable among the Division Intelligence Officers were Milton and Later Vincent Ssesanga in 3rd Div. Mbale, Gayiira in 1st Div. Lubiri, Charles Angina in 2nd Div. Fort Portal, Iraguha in 4th Div. Gulu, Fred Tolit in 5th Div. Lira, Geofrey Twesigye in 6th Div. Moroto.

At the head office Paul Kagame's strategic position allowed him to control the entire intelligence cycle. He managed recruitment, deployment, transfer dismissal of personel and operational finances. Under him was the Registry that was manned by among others Pte Kabarebe, Pte Dan Munyuza and Pte Ceaser Kayizari (all are now Generals in RPF). This registry was responsible for receiving and managing all the intelligence from the field.

Counter Intelligence under Lt Patric Karegyeya (RPF) was another powerfull entity within DMI. Under him was among others, Sgt Jack Nziiza (RPF). It was concerned with intelligence of a political nature. All the operatives manning different parastatals and border posts fell under counter intellgence unit. The unit gad the highest number of Rwandese operatives. Around this time Aronda's role was not cleas in DMI as he was more concerned with the Presidential Protection Unit. He remained a senior menber of the military intelligence community.

Because Andrew Lutaaya seemed too busy with other assignments by the President, he did not assert himself at DMI. Kagame cotinued to fill that gap. But still he would not afford to break into the Paul Kagame personality cult that was deeply rooted into DMI. This is what gave rise to the highly held belief that Kagame was a head of Uganda's intelligence services.

NEXT: Dont miss the exodus of Rwandese from NRA.

Friday, 16 August 2013


When he took over power, Museveni fooled Ugandans that he was setting up an interim government that would last 4 years. His actual intention was to use that period to strengthen his power base - the military that has kept him in power to this day.

Right from 1986, massive countrywide recruitment drives were carried out. The response from the northern and eastern regions was overwhelming. Security services had been their traditional field of service, many were escaping the brunt of NRA's harassment, many were looking for economic survival as families had lost jobs and wealth, some former UNLAs disguised as civillians also joined as fresh recruits etc. However, the rate of desertion by recruits and freshly passed out soldiers hailing from Busoga and Bugisu sub region was high. Buganda generally shunned fresh entry into the NRA but instead were deserting. At the sametime the rate of desertion for those soldiers hailing from the western region was high. The Bamba and Konjo ethinic groups topped the list. This high level desertion was due very harsh conditions that were characterised by an 'Animal Farm' kind of situation. However, massive recruitment and training continued. The main training school at Kabamba continued to play a major role. Other Training wings were established in Ngoma, Singo, Mbarara, Serere, Bugema, Rubona, and former Bihanga Prison. The different NRA units were also allowed to recruit and train from their different locations. This unaccounted for desertion and uncordinated recruitment and training gave rise to discrepacies in the NRA strength thus origin of 'ghost soldiers'. Nonetheless NRA strength and command structure rose to Brigades and Divisions. It is this NRA strength that gave Museveni the courage to extend the interim period for another five years.

Another armed rebel group had emerged in Teso Sub Region. This was the UPA under former UPC Minister of State for Defence. It caused alot of hardtime for the NRA. The most memorable battle was the overunning of Soroti Air Field. The group had serious Field Commanders like Jesus Ojirot, Hitler Eregu, Sunlight Okiror and others. Museveni's current Minister Musa Ecweru was also in the rank and file of UPA. It is this group that held hostage goverment Ministers like Okurut, Ekem and another. The NRA Brigade in Kumi under Major Bunyenyezi was responsible for the suffocating to death of civilian suspects in a train wagon at Mukura. The Brigade I.O Capt Oduch was used as a scape goat.
Years later, the group lay down arms through the able and wise command skills of Cheif Ali and Charles Angina who were the Division Commander and Division I.O respectively.

Around the sametime Moses Ali was arrested and incacerated in the underground cells inside Lubiri barracks for years over treasonous allegations. He had run an armed group fighting the Obote II government. With Libya's mediation he had signed a MOU with Museveni.

In the western region, armed rebels of NALU under Amon Bazira had estalished bases in the Rwenzori mountain. It compraised of mainly former Rwenzururu fighters. Baziira who was based in Nairobi was shot dead by ESO agents. The group entered into negotiations with the NRA and a faction led by Major Kapucu and Major Muhindo surrendered. Kapucu died shortly after while Muhindo deserted to join PRA. NALU still exists with bases in Congo.

Much earlier on a group named Force Obote Back Again (FOBA) established operational bases around Tororo and Busia. It was allged that this group was founded by Agrey Awori then exiled in Kenya. It mainly targeted assasinations of local NRM grassroot leaders. It simply faded out.

NRA's Lt Col Ahmad Kashillingi who had fled to the Congo organised armed rebels against Uganda. He offered his skills to the Rwanda goverment that was now battling an invasion from Uganda. His input was felt by the invading RPA at battle front. Later he led a successful attack on the NRA in Kilembe and over overunning it he withdrew to Congo. He was tied with ropes by Congolese soldiers and handed over to the NRA in Kasese. The deal was coordinated by the then NRA Brigade Commander and his Brigade I.O, Lt Col Anthonly Kyakabale and Lt Mughongo respectively. Kashilingi was incacerated in Luzira Prison but after some years was released and is a Presidential Advisor to Museveni. Kyakabale is in exile in Sweden!

In the West Nile region the WNBF armed group under former Uganda Army officer Juma Oris emerged. It had bases in the Congo and Sudan. It made several incursions inif Uganda and persisted throughout the 90s. It was through the innitiative of Katumba Wamala that the group laid down arms in the late 90s.

Armed opposition to NRA is as old as the Museveni goverment. Unlike the past regimes, Museveni used numbers to neutralise them hense the huge defence budget. But at the same time under Museveni, maintaining an ordinary soldier has been the cheepest undertaking!



Thursday, 15 August 2013


As the NRA struggled to assert itself as the legitimate government of Uganda, some 'negative forces' were determined to militarily dislodge it. Museveni became the President, Chairman of NRM/NRC, Chairman of the NRA High Command, Chairman of the Military Council and Minister of Defence. Dr. Ronal Bata became the Minister of State for Defence. He took residence at State House Entebbe and was guarded by a small force under Akanga Byaruhanga assisted by Aronda. Elly Tumwine was the Army Commander and Fred Rwigyema became the Deputy Army Commander with offices at the then Army Headquarters at Republic House. Saleh became the Chief of Combat Operations (CCO) and took office at the former Buganda Kingdom Treasurer's office that is now housing the Joint Clinic Research Centre. To many, the war had ended but Saleh and Rwigyema remained committed to their historical field operations by physically identifying with the troops and engaging in combat in northern Uganda. Kategaya took up the role of National political Commissar assisted by Jacob Asiimwe as the Administrative Secretary of the NRM Secretariate. All Special District Administrators fell under Kategayas docket. Jim Muhwezi took up the role of Civil Intelligence and was housed at the President's Office at the Parliamentary building. Amama Mbabazi took up the External Security docket and was housed at former Park Hotel.

All looked well and under control but the trouble was not only to come from Acholiland. In 1986, a group of leading Baganda politicians led by Andrew Kayiira planned a coup against the NRA. They intended to use Baganda NRA army officers more especially those who had been in the UFM. Unknown to the plotters, some of the NRA officers like Drago Nyanzi and Kasirye Gwanga that they had entrusted with the plot had been reporting to and updating the NRA top brass. The plotters were rounded up from Coline Hotel Mukono, charged with treason and remanded to Luzira Prison. What followed was a systematic purge of former UFM and FEDEMO officers and the general suspicion of Baganda officers within NRA. A number of them fled into exile where they continue to live todate. The suspects were acquitted of treason charges but shortly after the UFM leader Andrew Kayiira was shot dead in Kampala. The fact is that Kayiira and his UFM/FEDEMU was a challenge to the NRA right from the bush days. Had he not died, he posed a threat to Museveni's NRA south of the Karuma and Buganda in particular. His death helped the smooth intergration of his remaining former fighters into the NRA and neutralising DP's influence while rallying the Baganda behind NRM.

Later on a group of NRA Officers led by Capt Mugaarra from the Bombo based Artillery Regiment planned a coup. It was foiled and the plotters were rounded up and detained without trial in the remote Karamoja region.

After signing the peace accord with UPDA at Pece Stadium, those fighters who did not join the NRA were reorganised under the Holly Spirit Movement (HSM) of Alice Lakwena. The group though using primitive fighting methods inflicted a heavy blow to the NRA. In that way it managed to move from Acholiland, sweeping through the eastern region and was only defeated close to Jinja - east of Kampala. With Museveni's propaganda machine then, HSM was potrayed as a rouge group of armed bands possessed by evil spirit. 20 years have gone by, yet Ugandans are now yearning for a Lakwena like messiah to get rid of Museveni and his NRA. It is this HSM that turned into Joseph Kony's LRA.

Around 1989, dissatisfaction among senior NRA officers was becoming evident. A group of sidelined officers approached Saleh (then Army Commander) with appeals for him to prevail on Museveni to restore normality. Midway his tour of NRA units, Saleh was dismissed and with immediate effect retired from the NRA. Saleh had hardly held that position for a year. Museveni downplayed the dismissal by declaring that he had dropped Saleh because of his drunkardness. It was feared that upon completion of the tour, Saleh was to take over government. While still recovering from the Saleh saga, the Army and Ministry of Defence headquarters at Republic House was mysteriously burnt down. The then Director of Records, Ahmed Kashilingi fled arrest into exile in Congo. Col. Julius Chihandae the the Chief of Training and Recruitment (CTR) was placed under arrest and then dismissed from the NRA. A number of arrests of other officers like Matovu who had been the Chief of Personnel and adminirtration, Capt Ali Chama, Capt Abiriga, Lt Nalumoso and others followed thereafter. Later on, Lt Colnel Oliver Odweyo who had been the Commanding officer of the Military Police was arrerted over treasonous allegations and died in detention. He had already infiltrated the army radio communication network and broken into the classfied communication codes.
All the above happened before the expiry of Museveni's 4 years interim period -1986 - 1990.


The Ministry of Defence in Uganda owns only two houses in Kampala city outside the barracks. There are:
1. A dilapidated flat on Balintuma Road opposite Bulange. This house belonged to the former Mayor Walusimbi Mpanga. When the UFM rebels attacked Lubiri barracks in the early 1980s, the army ordered civillians to vacate all the premises near the defence installations. Because most of the adjacent buildings belonged to Departed Asians Custodian Board, it was easy for soldiers to occupy them. Under presure from Paulo Muwanga, Walusimbi Mpanga was compelled to sell the said property to the Ministry of Defence. When the NRA took over power, the building was used as a training facility for clerical courses. Since then, it has been housing army personnel.

2. The second house is a storyed one in Makindye, Kizungu zone near the State Lodge and just above the Magistrates court and the Ssebagabo Sub County headquarters. For decades now, it has been a residence of Kasirye Gwanga. It is not clear as to how the Ministry of Defence came to take ownership of the same but there is no doubt it owns the house. The said house is adjacent to another storyed house belonging to Brig. Muhozi Keinerugaba - the first son. The Muhoozi house is used as a safe house by CMI. At one time it was used as a sanctuary for Rwandese renegade Major Alphonse Fuluma when he was a state guest. Actually the two houses are so close that the two occupants can exchange verbal discussions from their respective bedroom windows. An arrow shot from Kasirye's bed room window can effectively hit its target inside the bed room of that safe house.

In the army there a Directorate of Barracks and Stores. It is charged with among other payment of rent, renovation, procurement and allocation of furniture and house hold items, clearing of water and electricity bills of all buildings housing military personnel both within the barracks and outside. At the begining of the period of 'NRA money rush', this directorate was one of the top most avenues for quick money making. Malpractices ranged from conniving with landlords to inflate property rates rented for officers, inflating water, telephone and electricity bills, kikbacks on shoddy renovation work etc. Worst of all, conniving with officials in Custodian Board and fake climants to return properties left behind by Indians. In Kampala such houses were found on Ismail Road in Mbuya, Rashid Khamis Road in Old Kampala, Namirembe Road, Bakuli, Hoima Road. The other properties were located in other urban centres throughout the country. The harrassment involved cutting off all amenities to such properties before using the military police to throw out soldiers families. In some cases, you would find the head of family is serving in very distant operational areas while his family is staying in Kampala.

This is the Directorate that Kasirye headed for a number of years. He was assisted by others like the nortorious Lt. Kapalaga Lubega and Capt Mukuye. It is most likely that Kasirye Gwanga came to know that the house belongs to the Ministry of Defence though without documentation and to turn it into his own he started paying rent to the Buganda Land Board. Because of the need to secure the adjacent first son's safe house, the Kasirye House and all other adjacent houses must become part of the same building complex. Kasirye Gwanga will be bought another multi billion house only if Museveni still needs him. Therefore, both Kasirye Gwanga and the climants are thieves fighting over the deceased's (Uganda) property.


Wednesday, 14 August 2013


A number of defeated UNLAs and civilians from Northern Uganda had fled to Sudan. This included even the ousted President Gen. Tito Okello and his top army officers like Bazilio Okello and others. Through diplomatic channels, the planes that had taken them were released back by the government of Sudan to the NRA government. When the NRA reached Northern Uganda it had a pre- concieved perception that the region was hostile. The UNLA felt betrayed by Museveni through the Nairobi peace talks and Museveni felt guility conscious. After taking over power, he often used to prise Julius Oketta for his heroic performance at Katonga bridge but he failed to utilise him to win the confidence of the others. Therefore, no doubt there existed a wave of suspicion between the two parties. The Special District Administrator (SDA) was Kayumba Nyamwasa (later became Rwanda's Chief of Staff). The NRA carried out arrests, detention and looting and destruction of personal property. Museveni issued an altmatum for all the former soldiers to surrender. Those who surrendered were held in detention before being ferried away to Kiburara Prison in Kamwenge, the western region and held in appalling conditions presumably to undergo political indoctrination. Later the concentration camp was shifted to Nabisojjo in Luwero district. Some died of disease due to poor living conditions while others managed to escape back to their homes. A strong blocking force was stationed at Nkonge Railway Station to check on the escapees. The former UNLAs and the civilians who had fled to Sudan reorganised under UPDM/A and they attaked the NRA's 28th Bn at Bibia that was under the command of Jet Mwebaze. Though the invasion was repulsed, it opened the way for further incursion before the insurgents established themselves inside the country giving rise to the two decades insurgency.

This attack and the incursions that ensued further soured the already fragile relationship. Attrocities by the NRA agaist the general population became the order of the day. When put to task, the NRA goverment simply put the blame on the former FEDEMO soldiers whom it had reorganised under 35th Bn. Consequently, 35th Bn was relocated from the northern region to Mubende but the situation continued to deteriorate. In March 1986 Museveni told a BBC Panorama program "what is the Geneva Convention on war! I have never read it". The UPDA under the command of able commanders of the former UNLA like Eric Odwar, Kilama and others fought serious battles against the NRA. In a memorable battle at Coner Kilak, the NRA was overwhelmed and the field commander Fred Rwigyema narrowly survived death. That particular battle was allmost about to change the course of events.

By the early 2007, it was clear that the general population in Acholi subregion had rejected the NRA goverment and were determined to defend their lives and property hence a mass uprising. The NRA moved to arrest, torture, detain, burn food granaries and hoading people into concentration camps code named IDPs. Reacting to allegations of torture, Museveni told the international media "I dont know about torture. I have educated myself on many things but on torture I have not known the boundary between what is torture and what isnt torture. I know the NRA tie these people when they catch them. They tie their hands backward. Am now being told this is torture. It is the traditional method." (Daily Nation - Jan 26 1987). By 'traditional' Museveni meant that the practice of tying people Kandoya/Three Piece was a traditional NRA practice that had originated from the bush days in Luwero. The UPDA was neutralised by the the Killing of its top commanders and the signing of a peace accord with the NRA at Pece stadium by a faction led by Angello Okello. The resistance thrived into the Holly Spirit Movement under Alice Lakwena. The population had been driven into such desparacy that even the elites like Prof. Isaac Newton Ojok were among the Lakwena followers. Later the resistance culminated into the Joseph Kony's LRA.

The IDPs were not fit for human habitation. Thousands of people died from preventable diseases. The camps experienced malnutrition, forced disappearances, rape, rampant fire breakups, lack of formal education, breakdown of the moral fibre and all other associated evils. However, the IDP camps made it easy for the insurgents to mobilise for human resource, logistics and intelligence. When it came to privatisation of parastatals and retrenchment of civil servants, it was those parartatals that were dominated by people fron the north and the north eastern regions that were the first to go. Coupled by the undettered raids by Karamojong warriors, the population was left in an awkward economic situation. An independent journalist then, Teddy Seezi Cheye of the Uganda Confidential described the situation thus "The President was practicing scorched earth policy as far as northern Uganda is concerned."


The Okellos had handed over power to Museveni by succumbing to his treachery. Tito Okello gave in to presure from Museveni to elinate Paulo Mwanga and Wilson Toko from the goverment team during the Nairobi peace talks. Accepting to go for peace talks with Museveni itself was sucidal. Above all, the Okello coup against the UPC goverment 6 months earlier had helped to strengthen Museveni's NRA. Had it not been for the Okello coup, the NRA and Museveni in particular would not have managed to dislodge the UPC government. In appreciation of Tito Okello's noble contribution, he was allowed to return from exile and die in Uganda. His son is a permanent Minister in the Museveni government. The UNLA officers had simply retreated from Kampala. The city's huge swamps and rised grounds (hills) provide a natural defence and if well utilised, its not an easy job for an invader to overran it. Unlike NRA, the UNLA Officers had not accumulated ill gotten wealth worthy defending. They drove goverment vehicles, their wifes owned no companies that supplied 'air' to goverment departments and owned no shopping complexes in the city. They owned no personal mansions but stayed in goverment houses where their wifes rared goats and chicken. Under the current Museveni government such a situation would lead to a Mogadishu kind of scenario with each General controlling a sector of the city and a faction of the army.
Upon the fall of Kampala, Senior NRA Officers rushed to grab vehicles and posh houses in the prestigious Kololo and Nakasero residential areas.

Just hours after being sworn in as President, Museveni flew to DRC to meet Congo's Mobutu, Rwanda's Habyarimana and Kenya's Moi. The idea behind was that after acquiring the Presidency, his concern was how to retain it. He knew and he still knows that his downfall would come from beyond Uganda's borders. Therefore destabilisation, overthrow and instalation of client regimes in the region has been and remains his top priority.

He appointed a cabinet that included many DPs and other prominent personalities. However, his main focus was on the Military. Since the bush days there are some individuals he had delibarately kept out of the main stream military. At this juncture, an opportunity had presented itself to dispose then off. Eriya Kategaya, Kahinda, Otafiire, Amanya Mushega, Dr. Ronald Bata, Dr. Kiiza Besigye were appointed to cabinet positions. Because the NRA had no faith in the northern dominated Police, it took charge of law enforcement by taking over major police stations. That is how Aronda came to take charge of Central Police Station in Kampala. NRA Civil Intelligence Officers (CIO) and Special District Administrators (SDA) took charge of districts.

The NRA proceeded to the eastern and northern regions without any form of resistance. The main mission was to identify and neutralise the Vipingamizis (counter revolutionaries). In the Northern region and Acholiland in particular, most of the defeated UNLAs had fled to the Sudan and the others were hidden by the local population. The NRA was perceived as a Nyarwanda (Rwandese) occupational force. Because of the indoctrination, the NRA also perceived them as either Vipingamizi or Anyanyas who had caused alot of suffering to the people of the south.
The NRA had almost vacated the western region save for the small detachements and the 21st Bn under Benon Tumukunde that was based at Kabukero. The main training wing that was at Bihanga Prison was moved to Kabamba training school in Mubende. The army political school also relocated from Kasese to Entebbe while Kakoza Mutale's old version of Kyankwanzi relocated from Fort Portal to a forest in Wakiso district. Many goverment officials who wanted to retain their jobs and all others who wished to get closer to NRM rushed to attend the Cadre Courses. The likes of David Pulkol, Fagil Mande and many others got closer to NRM in that way. It also became a recruitment ground for the President's office (the old version of ISO). The so called Cadres (graduates from the these political schools) were seconded to different ministries and parastatals. Notably National Housing, Railways, Radio Uganda, Custodian Board, Posts and Telecommunications etc where these Cadres were agents of harrassment and victimisation of those percieved enemies of the revolution. Its around this time that many elites from the eastern and northern regions fled the country and others opted to support the insurgency that ensued.

With many recruits passing out, the NRA expanded its structures. The army headquarters was at Republic House (Bulange). Three Brigades were formed i.e 163rd Brigade under Tinyefuza based in Lubiri, Kampala, 157th Brigade under Kyaligonza based in Mbale and 167th Brigade unfr Pecos Kutesa based in Lira.

NEXT: Dont miss the origin of the northern insurgency and the UFM coup attempt.


Tuesday, 13 August 2013


The UNLA's 12th Bn under the command of Julius Oketa had the required expertise and military hardware engage the UNLA in a conventional warfare at Katonga. After dislodging the government forces, the NRA headed for the final journey to Kampala. At Nabingo the NRA drew a final plan for entering Kampala city. Around this time, Tinyefuza had completed serving his 18 months detention sentence and had been assigned the Kyenjojo, Hoima, Masindi sector. Under him were troops composed of mainly freshly passed out recruits formed into 19th Bn and comanded by Peter Kerim. Apart from skirmishes around Buloba, Busega swamp and round about, and Golf course, there was no serious battle for the taking of Kampala. After being dislodged from Katonga, the UNLA had lost command and control. The city had been manned by different armed groups each with its own command structure. As Museveni was playing the delaying tactic with the Nairobi peace talks, cracks within these groups were widening. After loosing the strategic Katonga Bridge, a blame game had ensued. The likes of Mark Kodil, Hussein Adaa and other senior officers currently in the NRA were until Kampala fell members of UFM/FEDEMO. Even Kasirye Gwanga may have joined the NRA around this time or shortly before. By the time the NRA reached the city centre, UFM/FEDEMO who all along had been in bed with UNLA had already taken over Radio Uganda. Around the sametime the FEDEMO leader George Nkwanga was killed. Museveni who had now stationed his command post at Republic House (Bulange), as usual tried to steal a last hour show by moving into Lubiri barracks and trying to command a mop up operation but was restrained by his security detail.

The NRA could not declare a take over on 25th Jan 1986 because of the looming trouble from the direction of Entebbe. A strong force of UNLA from Entebbe had shattered Kashilingi's 15th Bn and was heading for Kampala. It had to take Mande's 5th Bn to cross from Masaka road to around Kawuku to reinforce Kashiling. Also, some troops from 3rd Bn were despatched to reinforce the Entebbe road trouble. This did not help because the UNLA with its heavy artillery was determined to open its way instead of being chocked inside Entebce peninsula. The UNLA progresively advanced to as far as areas of Zana and Najanankumbi. For the first time, the original NRAs had come into close range and face to face with a full scenery of military hardware especially heavy artillery in UNLA's possession. It took the innitiative of Saleh to negotiate with the UNLAs like Obonyo who had a bullet proof Benz and they agreed to cease fire at past midnight. NRA suffered heavy losses that included Commander Rwabwisho.

On 26 Jan 1986, the NRA publicly declared that had taken Kampala. The UNLA that was being battled by Tinyefuza in Bunyoro region, lost the fighting spirit after serious battles at Biiso, Buhimba and Kinyaara. The UNLAs of Eastern, Northern and West Nile regions fled through Kampala through the east. Those who could not make it in time were either lynched by civilians or shot at close range. These defeated Ugandans were being refered to as Anyanyas and shortly after the victorius NRAs too were to be branded Nyarwandas. As usual, Kampalans jubilated the same way they had jubilated 6 months earlier for the Lutwa victory and give him a Kiganda name of Lutwama.

Because the NRM Chairman Prof. Lule had died, a few months back, Museveni convened a High Command/NRC meeting in Lubiri where he was endorsed as the Chairman of NRM and future President of Uganda. On the same day he was sworn in as President for an interim period of four years. He assured Ugandans that his was "not a mere change of guards but a fundamental change". He also pointed out that "the problem with African leaders is to overstay in power." Indeed for the last 27 years, Ugandans have experienced the only fundamental change of not witnessing a coup. He is now one of the three longest serving African leaders.
Unknown to most and not all Ugandans then was that the country was now entering a Military rule that is now taken the form of a Military dictatorship. Those who knew right from the start i.e LRA's Joseph Kony immediately challenged his rule and continue to do so. They have failed to dislodge him because of their own grave faults and lack of a clear understanding of what Museveni is.


Sunday, 11 August 2013


Museveni went to the Nairobi peace talks well knowing that he was in a vulnerable situation and was armed with only one weapon - the art of manipulation. In the west, NRA fighters were assured not to be bothered by the ongoing talks. Instead, recruitment and training was intensified. Some recruits would even come in from as far as the government controlled areas in Buganda and Busoga.

A ceasefire was put in place to allow the peace talks a smooth progress. The NRA went into a further merry making. The government delegation to the peace talks was composed among others DP Paulo Semogerere and Sam Kutesa. The men Museveni feared most among the government delegation were Paulo Mwanga and Col. Gad Wilson Toko. He pushed for their removal and they were dropped. Unknown to the government delegation was that Sam Kuteesa was Museveni's spy. As a way of buying time, Museveni kept shifting goal posts in his demands. However, what stunned him most was the level of recognition the government accorded to Salim Saleh yet he was not the overall commander of the NRA. Saleh's popularity worried Museveni very much then and continues to be a source of worry hence accounting for why he has always kept him at the periphery of the NRA.

When the NRA went to the west in mid 1985, Saleh's Mobile Brigade had remained in Luwero. During the ceasefire period, NRA's Mobile Brigade would freely mix with the UNLAs in the Luwero Triangle. Senior UNLA officers even tried to entice Saleh to just abandon Museveni the politician and join hands with government to pursue a military career. They would bring him whatever he needed from Kampala more especially Acholi. It is because of the cease fire and that mood of oneness that NRA's Pecos Kuteesa managed to trick all the UNLAs and disarmed them in Kiboga.

To avert a possible sell out, Museveni ordered Saleh's Mobile Brigade to leave Luwero and link up with the now main NRA in the Western region. One would wonder why the UNLA did not move into Luwero to finish off the locals whom according to Museveni the NRA had been offering security. Of course Luwero Triangle meant more than Luwero the district. At this time even Kyaligonza had to leave his operational bases in some areas of Mukono district. In the west the mobile brigade moved through Mityana, Mubende and headed for Masaka where it established its headquarters at Lwengo. The UNLA's 12th Battalion under the able command of Julius Oketta refused to surrender to NRA. The NRA could not attempt to attack the barracks because of the landscape which is its natural defence but more so the heavy undetonated mines that lay intact all around the defence. At the time the NRA did not have heavy artillery that could sustain a bombardment of the barracks into surrendering. The government tried to keep the besieged troops in Masaka barracks supplied but the pilots were not very accurate as some of the supplies would land into the areas under the control of the NRA. The Commanding Officer, Julius Oketta using the military radio would bitterly send strong worded messages. At one point he pointed our that "........the NRA are proving to be men and we are not..." before suggesting that the government should disconnect power supply to the NRA controlled Western region. Around the same time some UFM and FEDEMO Baganda boys crossed to the NRA led by among others Ndugute aka Kalisoliso (RPF). Even Kasirye Gwanga may have become part of the NRA around this time but he always claims to be a historical member of NRA.

The UNLA in Kampala planned a major offensive to rescue the now trapped Masaka barracks. The NRA moved faster to block them at Katonga bridge resulting into the stalemate. The UNLA was let down by an earlier promise by FUNA to avail 20000 troops but it proved to be a hoax. They would often exchange verbal artillery i.e. the UNLA would shout to the NRA that "tomorrow we are taking tea from Masaka" and they would reply in the opposite. NRA's Pecos Kuteesa in particular would shout to UNLA's Herbert Murombe aka Odudua (a Hima) wondering over why Murombe was on the side of the Anyanya and would call him names like you are faeces. Herbert would assure Pecos that he would only have to be captured first for him to join the NRA. Herbert is now a senior officer in the NRA. Security in Kampala was being managed by the different armed groups who lacked a centralised command and control. Another unknown force in Kampala was the Museveni's clandestine group who fueled the insecurity. Serwanga Lwanga was captured by the government and by coincidence a plane was hijacked by NRA's Innocent Bisangwa from Entebbe and taken to the NRA in Kasese. In exchange for the plane and the hostages, Serwanga was set free.

A peace deal was signed on 7th Dec 1985. Saleh negotiated with Julius Oketta who as a condition was left to command his own forces that helped to dislodge the UNLA from Katonga bridge - opening the door for Museveni to march to Kampala and take power.


Saturday, 10 August 2013


An interim administration in the west headquartered at Rukoki sub county in Kasese was a non starter. The west was cut off from the central government in Kampala. Social services had completely collapsed. Hosipitals had run out of drugs and schools were not functioning. Even Makerere university students who were on holiday in the western region could not connect back to Kampala. That is how Noble Mayombo, James Mugira and a few others ended up in the NRA training camp. Apart from Tooro and a few areas in Mbarara, the rest of the western region was considere hostile to NRA. On crossing from Tooro, the fighters were briefed that they were entering a hostile area and that they should deal with civilians with caution. This is because Museveni was resented by the Banyankole in general. The interim administration had put in place a non functioning semblance of a cabinet. One of them was the Commissar for Commerce, Katenta Apuuli who entered into trade deals with Burundi's Bagaza. Among such deals were the controvercial 28 years old outstanding Picfare deal. The likes of Jim Muhwezi and Fred Rwigyema struck deals with local businessmen like John Katuramu of Give & Take over the coffee that the NRA had grabbed from the Cooperative Union stores. Kick backs on under supply of essential commodities and unequal opportunity for grabs by senior NRA officers led to serious misunderstandings. Kaitirima was managing the Kilembe Mines. Abbey Mukwaya became the Special District Aministrator in Kabarole while Ndayondi was the Civil Intelligence Officer (CIO) of the same area. The struggle for who becomes what swung into action because of the associated economic benefits. Internal bickering threatened the cohesion of comrades in arms. Kanyankole was accused of attempting to sell the revolution to the DP/Military government of Kampala. As all this was going on, the ordinary fighters were paying the heavy price by continued hardships. The Baganda and Banyoro in particular, felt they were still in the bush and craved to be home too. It took the future Buganda King Prince Mutebi to come on the ground to assess the allegation that Baganda were being mistreated. Kakoza Mutale ran the political indoctrination camp based in Kiijura Tea Estate outside Fort Portal town for the civilians cadres. After the fall of Kampala, Kakoza Mutale without sufficient notice established the same camp in a forest in Wakiso but was mistakanely attacked by the NRA leading to deaths. Mzee Gureme lost a son in that attack but nobody was held responsible. This is the indoctrination camp that has over the time evolved to become the present day Kyankwanzi NRM institute. The army ran a parallel school of political education for the military Cadres in Kabukero along Rive Mubuku. After completing military drills or even before, all the recruits with a reasonable level of formal education would be taken to this school. However, many would under declare their education levels so that they are let to continue with military adventurism. It was managed by Amanya Mushega, Alphose Furuma (RPF), Wilson Rutaisire (RPF) among others. The likes of Shaban Bantariza, Kajabago Karusoke and Noble Mayombo who had been students around late 1985 were retained as lecturers. Kahinda Otafiire was the overall army political commissar. After taking over power, this political school was moved to the former Entebbe State Lodge. The government hosipitals in Kilembe and Fort Portal together with the missionary hospitals in Fort Portal were shared by both the NRA and civilians. Proscovia Nalweyiso was the coordinator of medical services in these hosipitals.

Because of change of political landscape in Kampala, NRA's tone of mobilisation changed from fighting against Obote/UPC for having rigged elections to fighting Oboteism. The coalition of political forces that composed the government in Kampala, was collectively refered to as Anyanyas because of the presence of UNRF and FUNA armed groups that had returned home fron their bases in Southern Sudan. The force that had overwhelmed the NRA during the foiled attack on Mbarara was part of this West Nile group. In the meantime, Libyas Gadafi sent in another consignment of arms that the NRA collected from around the border with Tanzania. It consisted of among others the She Guns - Libya's version of the AK 47.

Such was the state of events that left Museveni with no option but to go for peace talks that as a way of buying time in order to treacherously gain power.

NEXT: Dont miss how Museveni manipulated the peace talks to gain power.