Sunday, 27 July 2014


On 5th July 2014 some of Museveni's security machinery installations in the Rwenzori region were attacked by unknown people. The attack came took place a few days after Museveni had installed the Bamba cultural leaders amidst protests from the Rwenzururu kingdom. It also took place when Museveni in a bid to resurrect the Tooro/Konjo hatred was preaching about the injustices that Bamba and Bakonjo suffered under the Tooro kingdom. He also intended to divert the Konjo from protesting the creation of the Bwamba kingdom from the Rwenzururu kingdom.

In Bundibugyo which was the epic of the attack, the desperate attackers killed a number of security personnel before taking 20 guns, according to government. It was only government installations that were attacked. The first attack was on the controversial National Identity Card registration center at Kikyo a number of registration kits were destroyed before taking off with one gun. The recently militarised game rangers out post at Ntandi lost two guns to the attackers.

At the controversial Rwenzururu kingdom shrine, two soldiers were killed at a gun taken. At the newly crowned Bamba king's palace, a policeman was injured and his gun taken. An attack on the army's 39th Bn barracks, left a captain and another soldier injured. Of course there must have been more damage but in order for the army to protect its image, some information must be kept secret. In Kasese, an attack on a police outpost at the weigh bridge saw one policeman killed and another injured before taking off with two guns. In the newly created district of Ntoroko, a soldier was ambushed and killed before taking his gun.

Three attackers were killed at Kibuku, 45 at the army barracks in Bundibugyo (though the press initially saw 23 bodies lying at the army compound), three were killed at Stanbic Bank and two were killed at the Taxi Park.

In Bundibugyo, none civilians were targeted by the attackers. In Karugutu, a stray bulled killed a three-year-old at Kibuku during exchange of fire. The 11 civilians including a soldier who was on leave that were killed in Kasese seem to have been victims of a coincidence since it does not match with the pattern of attack else where.

On 7th the army hastily buried 53 of the 55 bodies of the attackers on Bundibugyo. Two dead bodies were claimed by the relatives. One of them is mentioned as Ramadhan Gasasira (the only non Mukonjo) among the dead. He is a Munyarwanda/Mulaalo whom a local resident had brought from Kiboga to look after his cattle.

The army spokesman said that Gasasira was among the attackers and that he had been indoctrinated by the attackers to help them in attacking. This position contradicts the assertion that the attacks were tribal clashes. The same spokesman stated that the army would keep watch on the mass grave until the bodies would decompose. What are the identities of those who were killed and buried by the army in a mass grave????

A couple of hours after the attack exiled General David Sejusa issued a statement claiming that the attacks were defiance against the government. This prompted Museveni to issue a hasty statement suggesting that the attack was orchestrated by the Bakonjo and their Rwenzururu kingdom though he could not mention any Mwamba who was attacked, injured or killed.

He boosted about how his army had killed 45 of the attackers before repulsing them and capturing 65 suspected attackers. His unfortunate statement ignited tribal sentiments that led the Bambas with the assistance of security forces to attack the Konjos residing in Bundibugyo thus the current secret mass graves being unearthed.

The government persistently insisted that the attacks were tribal clashes. There is no iota of evidence of a single Mwamba who was killed, injured or whose property was destroyed by the attackers. The only civilians allegedly killed by the attackers were the Basongora in Kasese district. Among them was a soldier who was on leave who was burnt to death together with some members of his family. If the Bakonjo intended to attack the Basongora, there were more easy targets than the soldier.

The family names of the soldier in question i.e. Nabimanya, Kwakunda, Bariho, Katushabe, Nduhukire, Bainoburyo etc. are Kinyankole names. This suggests that they are Himas (Museveni's ethnic) and may have been targeted because of that. However, it is also possible they were migrants into the area where there exists land conflicts. The deceased soldier's wife is reported to have stated that the attackers were their neighbours whom they knew by name and face. She added that she had later on taken her surviving daughter to Kyankwanzi in Kiboga for refuge.

The Basongora don't have such names and have no links with Kiboga in Buganda. There is a high possibility of the soldiers’ family belongs to the Balalo community who have been roaming Hoima, Masindi and Kiboga and clashing with locals there. Therefore, the killing of civilians in Kasese may have been a coincidence since it does not match with the pattern of attacks that took place in Bundibugyo where no single ethnic Mwamba was targeted.

The government is exhuming three mass graves so far discovered in Bundibugyo. Initially, the government and security forces in particular dismissed claims of the existence of mass graves in rural Bundibugyo. He even offered to facilitate the authorities with transport to visit the area but in vain.

The NRM chairman of the area, a one Mumbere formally reported about their existence and the perpetrators but was brushed aside. The area GISO and another councillor who reported about the same were instead arrested. The said NRM chairman who is a Mukonjo had to petition the IGP but in vain. Earlier on the LC I chairman one Bataringaya Atwooki (Mwamba) down played the reports saying that only five injured attackers who were retreating died in his area and that RDC and Col Mawa Dula gave them a go-ahead to bury them in a mass grave.

Did the five die at the same time and place!!!!!!! What was retired Col Mawa Dula who is a Mukonjo and NRM leader in Kasese doing in Bundibugyo at the time? Now, the mass graves have come to light and are being exhumed. 15 bodies have been exhumed from three mass graves so far. During the exercise, the local area LC I chairman went into hiding. Some locals state that some of the bodies of other victims of reprisal attacks were ties to heavy stones and thrown into the swamp.

These secret mass graves no doubt are for the Bakonjo victims residing in Bundibugyo who were killed by Bambas and security forces at the instigation of Museveni's inciting and inflaming statement. A councillor of Bundirombi LC I confided to the Saturday Monitor that they were not concerned about those that were killed by the army Police during the attack but were angered by the Baamba who killed their sons who were retreating from battle with government.

"We only attacked government institutions. We were not after our Bamba and Babwisi brothers because if wanted we knew where their families were and we would have killed a good number. Even when we attacked the Omudhinga's (Bamba king) palace we knew where the king was but we were not interested in his life."

Initially security forces claimed to have captured 65 suspected attackers in Bundibugyo. Since then a joint security swoops by the police army and ISO have arrested, tortured and detained hundreds more Bakonjos from both Kasese and Bundibugyo. A total of 171 suspects have been charged before the General Court Martial.

Of these, 51 are from Kasese and they opposed their trial in the Court Martial. The constitutional court had earlier annulled the trial of civilians in the Court Martial. Of course Museveni brought in the court Martial simply to regularise the detention without trial as has always been the case with political offences.

Security forces claim that since the alleged attacks a total of 157 suspected attackers have surrendered and 16 guns out of the 22 allegedly stolen were recovered. The so called surrendering suspects surrender without firearms but the army does not tell us how they are recovering the arms.

The so called reception centers are holding grounds for those rounded up after graduating from the secret interrogation and screening centers by security agencies. Not all those who are rounded up make it to the so called reception centers. The dead and seriously maimed victims of torture may never be known until HRW releases its reports months later. It is also more likely that those alleged to be surrendering are Bakonjo from Bundibugyo who are victims of government inspired reprisal attacks.

The Bambas could be taking advantage of the situation to harass the Konjos so that they abandon their land and other property in Bundibugyo. The army and the Police were attacked, they are the victims, the complainants, the investigators, prosecutors and judges in the ongoing trial!!!! There must be a lot of atrocities by security agencies taking place in that area.

Museveni was the first to give a statement pertaining to the incidents. Later the Minister of Defense who is a suspect (being an ethnic Munyabindi opposed to the Rwenzururu kingdom) also gave a statement on the floor of parliament. The later gave figures that contradicted those of Museveni. While Museveni said that it was 51 attackers killed, the Minister said that it is 68 attackers who were killed.

The army claims to have buried 53 bodies of suspected attackers. When and where were the rest killed and buried respectively?? How many arms were recovered from the 68 killed attackers? Not even a single gun was recovered from the bodies of the killed attackers. Were they suicide bombers! Like any other attack, there ought to have been injuries on the enemy side; where are the injured? Government has never reported any injured attackers! How many Bambas were killed or injured by the attacking Bakonjos? The answer is none! We wait for the government official statement on the secret mass graves now being exhumed.

Rwenzori kingdom rightly rejected the government version of ethnic clashes. Instead, the kingdom advised government not to be biased but to get to the bottom of the root cause of the problem. The kingdom had six of its Ministers arrested and charged. The king militarily prepared for a military assault on his palace but was called off at the last minute.

Had the government dared to assault the palace the result would have had dire consequences. The Rwenzururu king has maintained that the attacks were the design of those opposed to his kingdom. At the time of the attacks, Museveni had bolstered security for the Banyabindi in Kasese who were preparing to commemorate the alleged massacre of their tribesmen by the Rwenzururu fighters during the 60s.

This was amidst protests by the Bakonjo but since the powerful Minister of Defence is a Munyabindi and a strong opponent of the Rwenzururu kingdom, security had to be provided. Unlike in Kayunga where government stopped the Kabaka of Buganda from visiting for fear of a security breach, in Kasese it provided security for the minority Banyabindi to go ahead with their provocative function. In a bid to further weaken the Rwenzururu kingdom, Museveni intended to install a one Mugisha as the cultural head of the Banyabindi.

Museveni claimed that there had been an intelligence failure. He blamed ISO in particular. ISO chief Brig. Balya disagreed with him by insisting that its only an that can pinpoint who is to take the blame because according to him intelligence gathering in the area is a collective responsibility of the army, police, ISO and the political leaders.

If it is true that the attacks were carried out by local peasants, then such attacks are an expression of dissatisfaction with the system it is difficult for security agencies to detect and deter a mass uprising.

Blaming the intelligence will not save Museveni from the bitter truth. What about the burning of over 1000 people in Kanungu by Kibwetere's religious cult? Was ISO not in place? Poorly armed Alice Lakwena's Holly Spirit Movement managed to overran the army all the way from northern Uganda to Jinja. The ADF managed to overran Mpondwe, Bwera, Kasese and Buseruka in Hoima. Was ISO not present in these areas? The fact is that where there is proliferation of intelligence and security agencies, effective coordination is compromised.

In the recent case of Rwenzori, where it is the president who is perpetuating instability, it is very difficult for security agencies to pay attention. When there is a coup attempt, the only person that is suspected is the President. In the Uganda under Museveni, security agencies are preoccupied with protecting Museveni, his family, his cohorts, and their loot with no time of protecting the country, its people and their property.

From the above facts it can be concluded that the attacks targeted government institutions like the police and the army. There is no alleged attack that was shot, injured and then captured in action. The identities of those who were shot dead and hurriedly buried will never be known.

Those alleged to have been captured in action have denied the charges. Those alleged to be reporting at the reception centers are doing so without arms. The government is not disclosing the method it is using to recover some of the earlier stolen arms and the culprits.

If it is true that the courageous attacks on security installations were carried out by civilians, then it shows the level of disparity among the masses to dislodge Museveni from power by force. It is a challenge to those political leaders in the opposition who are posturing to be having a plan "B" to wake up to the call and provide leadership to the masses who are more than ready. However, the message was well sent and received by Museveni.

The government acknowledges that the attacks were well coordinated but falls short of reconciling the fatal losses allegedly sustained by the attackers and the so called good coordination. Could the well coordinated attacks have inflicted heavier losses on the security forces than the public eye can see!

On the other hand, if the attack had been blessed by the Rwenzururu Kingdom, it would have been more fatal. Unlike other kingdoms in Uganda, the Rwenzururu kingdom is a product of a protracted and bitter armed resistance. Among the Konjos are many former Rwenzururu fighters, former NALUs, NRA deserters and veterans etc. The king himself has a sound military background. It is highly probable that the former Rwenzururu freedom movement still has its arsenals well reserved high up in the mountains in case of a "rainy day". Moreover, given the secretive nature of the Konjos and their unshakable solidarity and determination, it would take a few hours for Kingdom to pass a message and have all Konjos to desert the security forces and they assemble before their king for war.

Even if they did not have reserves of arms, if they needed them would simply go to their cousins in the Congo and acquire as much as they needed instead of attacking police and army barracks bare handed. Well, the army is reviving the Alpine Mountain Brigade to be permanently stationed in the Rwenzori Mountain. Is to prevent alleged tribal clashes or the tightly guarded secret. Why has the government not yet made efforts to institute reconciliation mechanisms between the so called tribes that clashed last three weeks ago.

The real truth is yet to come out.


Saturday, 26 July 2014


The ongoing speedy and controversial trial in the High Court of Jackie Uwera is a clear demonstration of the influence and special status enjoyed by Rwandese in Uganda. The accused is facing murder charges involving the death of her husband Juvenal Nsenga. The accused caused death to the deceased inJanuary 2013 when the car she was driving rn over her husband at the gate of their family house in Kampala.The deseased was a son of Donat Kananura - an influential Rwandese tycoon in Uganda. Donat Kananura has a country home at Butogota in Kanungu District. He owns a chain of powerful business entities in Uganda under KENTRACO (U) LTD which he jointly owns with another influencial Rwandese tycoon Faustin Mpundu. He played a major role in the financing of the RPF invasion of Rwandato topple the Hutu doinated regime of Habyarimana. 

The deceased fell in love with the accused in Nairobi when she was 17 years (defilement) and they married two years later. She is a Rwandese and a cousin to Angella Kayihura the wife of Museveni's powerful Rwandese Inspector General of Police, General  Kalekyezi Kayihura. Recently Museveni named him as one of his two most trusted cadres (the other one being General Aronda Nyakairima - the Minister of Internal Affairs). When the accused's car caused the death of husbans, it was a tragedy that engulfed the entire Rwandese community in Uganda. Among them were two big shots at the helm of  law enforcement in Uganda.These are the then Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Richard Buteera and the Inspector General of Police General Kalekyezi Kayihura. Richard Buteera is a relative of the deceased's father Donat Kananura. He is a cousin to the late Patrick Karegeya who was an Intelligence chief in Rwanda. He was detained by the Obote II government for supporting Museveni's bush war in the early 80s. When Museveni took over power, he appointed Buteera as the DPP - a position he held for over 24 years. On the other hand General Kalekyezi Kayihura marries the cousin of the accused.

Amidst the tragedy the issue of management of the deceased's estate arose. The deceased's family held that the accused widow had murdered their son and they sought to deprive her of the big estate. The deceased's brother a one Joseph Kananura openly threatened to kill the accused. According to the accused, her brother based in Kigali alerted her about the impending danger from Joseph Kananura. The accused has told court that Joseph posted these threats on Facebook adding that she knew Joseph had a gun that he had ever used before. Because of the influence and rope pulling of the big shots, nobody bothered to investigate the alleged threat. Instead, General Kayihura placed his accused  sister in law under special police protection in the dreaded VCCU/RRU headquarters in Kireka Barraks. Kayihura tasked the Deputy Director of Criminal Investigation and Intelligence, Geofrey Musaana to take charge of the accused's security and overseeing the investigations into the death of the acused's husband. On the other hand the deceased's family ganged up with the DPP Richard Buteera to press for murder charges. The police investigations made a finding of a much lesser offence of causing death by a rush and negligent act as the possible criminal charge against the accused. The DPP Richard Buteera objected to the finding and directed that Murder charges be preferred. The Police (Gen. Kayihura) stuck to their guns in order to save the sister in law. At the end of the day, the DPP on behalf of the deceased's family prevailed over Kayihura and charges of murder were brought against the accused before the High Court.

 Museveni was caught between the rock and the hard surface. He has historical connections with the deceased's family and Buteera on one hand (prosecution) and needed his most trusted cadre Gen Kayihura (defense) on the other. One of the deceased's brothers (Innocent Bisangwa) is a senior NRA officer. During the bush war Bisangwa hijacked the government plane from Entebbe airport and took it to the NRA liberated zone in the west. The plane and the hostages were only released in exchange of NRA's Serwanga Lwanga who had been captured by the military junta in Kampala. Since Museveni captured power Bisangwa's role has never been clear. He featured in an international arms smuggling scandal in the Americas around the early 90s. Most likely, these arms were for the RPF war against the then Rwanda government. Since then Bisangwa's role has never been specific only that what is clear is that he is always engaged in Museveni's highly classified international security errands. After sanctioning murder charges against the accused,later Museveni moved Buteera from the DPP and appointed him as one of the Cadre justices of the Court of Appeal.

During the trial, Prosecution has been mindful of IGP Kayihura's strong hand in the the bid to save his accused sister in law. In this regard it decided to forego ethics of criminal Prosecution by not calling the investigating officer Geofrey Musana as a prosecution witness.Instead it is the defense who called him to testify in favour of the accused. It is a grand norm that criminal proceedings are instituted by the state. The key players in law enforcement (DPP and Police) being part of the state work closely to protect the public against wrong doers by securing a conviction against an accused. A prudent State Prosecutor mindful of the chain of evidence, parades his witnesses in such away that the investigating officer is the last witness to give evidence before the closure of the prosecution case. It has never happened anywhere else other than in Museveni's Uganda where a police officer in the service of the state leave alone a whole Deputy Director of CID testifies on behalf of the accused!!!!!!!Geofrey Musana was the officer in-charge of torturing and killing suspects during the notorious  Operation Wembly - a quality that earned him the current top position. By testifying against the state, Musana was compelled by Kayihura but at the same time he wanted to demonstrate his loyalty to the rotten system. The DPP is overwhelmingly financially supported by the government of the Netherland to build capacity. Such a development is not only embarrassing but a disappointment to their generosity. For Ugandans who are benefiting from the rotting government under Museveni, such a development goes unnoticed.

With these irregularities, during the trial the defense irreparably punched holes into the prosecution case. But even if the accused is acquitted by the High Court, the state(deceased's family) will appeal to Court of Appeal where Richard Buteera and Nshimiye (both Rwandese and Museveni's cadre judges) are strategically positioned to overturn the High Court decision. Therefore the music is just starting.

Cry the beloved country!


Wednesday, 9 July 2014


For some years now Museveni has persistently advocated for the recognition of former Tanzania president Late Julius Nyerere into sainthood.  His latest public statement over the matter was during the recent Uganda Martyrs Day celebrations at Namugongo in Kampala. During the occassion he promised to travel to Rome and meet the Pope over the matter. He made the statement in the presence of Late Nyerere's widow who was one of the top celebrants.
A few days later, the same widow was in Kigali Rwanda to attend the RPF liberation day where Museveni was one of the main celebrants. Alongside the victory celebrations, was the Northern Corridor Integration Project (NCIP).  This project is a Museveni orchestrated plan to isolate Tanzania from the East African Integration.  Museveni feels that Tanzania's opposition to the fast tracking of the integration process is failing his plans to become the EAC's first President but more so, securing a regional military alliance that will guarantee his life presidency project.
No doubt, relations between Tanzania and Rwanda are not the best. Therefore, the presence of Nyerere's widow in Kigali was a Musaveni scheme to bypass the government of Tanzania and reach to some individuals and gain political capital by riding on Late Nyerere's strong legacy.
When Iddi Amin took over power in 1971, the following day the little known and insignificant Yoweri Museveni voluntarily crossed to Tanzania where he started a self- imposed exile.  Museveni had just finished his university education from Tanzania. At the time Tanzania was hosting the deposed President Obote and his top former government officials and army officers who had fled with him.
Tanzania under Nyerere had refused to recognise the Iddi Amin take over and was bent on militarily supporting its overthrow and reinstatement of Milton Obote to the presidency.  Museveni sought to use this opportunity to make his childhood presidential ambitions a reality.  He embarked on undermining the main opposition group under Milton Obote by convincing Nyerere that Obote was unpopular in the central and western regions of Uganda.
Museveni provided personal interest-driven intelligence about Iddi Amin's strength that led to the catastrophic foiled invasion by Ugandan exiles from Tanzania.  Within a few hours of the invasion, hundreds of the invaders were killed and or captured while others including Museveni fled back to Tanzania. The undertaking was an embarrassment for the Tanzania backers, a disaster for the invading Ugandans but a blessing for Museveni whose name came to the limelight.  It took another seven years before another successful invasion could be launched from Tanzania that saw Iddi Amin being overthrown.
In the meantime, Museveni got the approval of Nyerere to run an organisation (FRONASA) parallel to the main group of exiles under deposed President Milton Obote.  Museveni managed to recruit a few boys from western Uganda who were trained alongside the Mozambique FRELIMO fighters.  This marked his long-term project of dislodging the northerners from dominating the army.
He also embarked on undermining the other groups opposed to Iddi Amin more especially the Obote group.  This led to the death and detention of many Ugandans inside Uganda through deliberate leaking of information.  In Tanzania, on several occasions he would be arrested and detained by security officers who were managing the Anti Amin project but each time Nyerere would intervene and secure his release.
Despite all that, FRONASA almost remained on paper until in 1978 after the invading Tanzanians had crossed the border that Museveni embarked on a full-scale swelling of his ranks by recruiting from the Rwandese refugee camps and his home area. The Tanzanian army did nothing to dissuade him from propagating a faction within the post-Amin national army (UNLA).  Instead they helped him to train it. Museveni had been allowed free access to clandestine operations around the border areas of Kagera region which operations provoked Iddi Amin into invading Tanzania and sparked off his down fall.
Earlier on during the Moshi conference, Nyerere had helped Museveni to become the Vice Chairman of the powerful Military Commission after he rejected the choice of Grace Ibingira to that position.  It is this position that saw Museveni rise to the position of the post-Amin Minister of Defence.  It is this position of Minister of Defence that he used to undermine the stability of all the Post Amin governments to his advantage.
When Museveni was launching his senseless bush war, he desperately but successfully appealed to Nyerere to withdraw his army so that the infant UNLA could remain vulnerable to his manipulations.  He would disparately make these appeals partly from the late Sam Njuba's law chambers through a one Joseph Butiku who was a close family member of Nyerere.  To speed up the withdraw of the Tanzania army, he attacked and killed a number of Tanzanian soldiers in Luwero.
It is this abandonment of Obote and the UNLA by the Tanzanian army that enabled Museveni's NRA to survive during its infancy. It is for the same reason that Obote did not seek asylum from Tanzania during the 2nd exile.  Therefore, Museveni owes much of his success to achieving his childhood dream of becoming the president of Uganda to Tanzania'a Nyerere.  However, the current Tanzania government is fully aware of Museveni's machination in the ongoing efforts to isolate it from the EAC integration.

Monday, 7 July 2014


Gen. Saleh is Museveni's young brother. For quite some time he had been Museveni's half-brother till the late 90s when he was elevated to the status of full brother. As a teenager and in Secondary school during the mid 70s, Museveni took hm to Tanzania as part of his future presidency project. In Tanzania, Saleh joined the likes of Ivan Koreta, Fred Rwigyema (Rwandese refugee in Uganda), Eriya Mwine aka Chef Ali, Late Sam Magara, LateFred Rubereza and a few others under the rag tag FRONASA - a Museveni anti-Amin group. They underwent some military drills in the FRELIMO bases in Southern Tanzania. Of all the school dropouts whom Museveni took to Tanzania at the time, its only Sam Magara whom the Late Milton Obote helped to complete his law degree at the University of Dar-EsSalaam. This was in spite of many years of redundancy and anguish in Tanzania when the anti-Amin efforts became a stalemate and Museveni resorted to teaching at a cooperative college.

At the fall of Iddi Amin, Saleh was under the command of Museveni's ragtag FRONASA field commander Chef Ali. Saleh couldnt be nominated for the first post Amin officer cadet training in Tanzania because he lacked the academic requirement of 'O' level.  He first came to the limelight around 1980 when he together with part of Museveni's private army that comprised of Rwigyema among others, rescued Museveni (then Vice Chairman of the ruling Military Commission) from a road block at Kireka where he had been held by a section of the UNLA. This incident signified the clear split within the post Amin Uganda army along ethnic/regional lines that Museveni formented and exploited for his bush war against the historical northern Uganda dominated army. Despite his low academic level, the UNLA awarded him the rank of Lieutenant as other identifiable Rwandese like Fred Rwigyema were eliminated from the new national army. At the time, Museveni's faction (FRONASA) of the new infant national army (UNLA) were assembled at Kabamba under the banner of Red Army under the overall command of Fred Rubereza since Chef Ali had abandoned  Museveni's selfish designs and joined the UNLF- AD armed wing in the Rwenzori mountains.

By the time Museveni launched his senseless bush war, Saleh was a serving Officer under UNLA in Moroto. He was not there by Museveni;s design but the former must have wished to settle down and pursue a military career with the national army. Obviously, Museveni must have have kept him in a total black out of his political manoeuvres to launch another war for which Saleh did not approve another round of disrupting his life after initially missing out on formal education. Like all victims of Museveni;s political machinations, Saleh falls in that category of those who joined Museveni as a result of those who joined hands with Museveni not by conviction but as as a result of his shrewd manipulations. Around that time, Museveni sent his driver Topher Agaba to Moroto with a message to Saleh. Soon after, the UNLA placed Saleh under close watch and subsequent harassment by the UNLA administration prompting him to desert and join Museveni in the bush.

Initially, Saleh was not the most senior officers in the bush. He found there the likes of Ahamad Sseguya, Elly Tumwine, Fred Rubereza,Sam Katabarwa,Sam Magara and others. His low academic credentials matched with those of many others like Rwigyema against the university graduates that were often referred to as Intellectuals by the majority illiterate and semi illiterates. It is this same academic footing that brought Saleh closer to those of equal academic footing like Fred Rwigyema. Soon after, it is this category that Museveni made his close confidants and members of his most trusted  inner circle. The method he used to achieve this goal is discussed in our previous posts. Matayo Kyaligonza in his book discloses how he saved Saleh from being killed in a plot by his own comrades. Such plots were a result of Museveni's manipulative ways of selfish propping up individuals while sidelining others for his personal interests. Most recently, a similar failed plot was hatched against Gen. Aronda in an ambush around Kamdin Corner during Operation Iron First. The 'intellectuals' would challenge some of Museveni's manipulative ways and in turn Museveni would undermine their influence among ordinary fighters by branding them non-performers in terms of combat action. For example, in the bush at one time Dr. Besigye compared the then prevailing situation to 'Animal Farm' - to the great annoyance of Museveni. Of course, the non intellectual individuals like Saleh, Rwigyema and others could not understand what Animal Farm was all about other than singing 'Mzei Amesema' (Museveni has said) since they owed all their survival to Museveni. When the going got tougher , Saleh together with a couple of  officers with minimal education apart from the educated Himas who sided with Museveni to oppose the motion for a negotiated surrender to the UPC government.

No doubt, Saleh was a bush war military genius and so were the likes of late Kagwa, late Mutebi, late Mawanda, late Sebatta, late Chef Ali, kanyankole, Fred Bamwesigye and other Ugandans who perished in that senseless war. Who knows the military capability of Dr. Besigye, Amanya Mushega, Kahinda Otafiire, Late Kategaya, Late Dr. Bata, Late Ondoga Amaza, Tom Butime, Moses Kigongo, Abbey Mukwaya and many others who Museveni restrained from fully exploiting their military potential. Its Museveni who determined who was to become what in his NRA. Who knows what would have been the results if the Mobile Brigade, the Masindi raid,  foiled and devastating attack on UNLA's 24th Battalion, the siege on 12 Bn in Masaka, would have been if it had been under the command of Otafiire, Mushega, Besigye, Tinyefuza or any other senior member of his NRA!!! Because Museveni favoured some individuals to advance their military capabilities, Saleh emerged as the hero in major battles.

Like any other military genius,  Saleh is naturally gifted with a generosity, a sense oh humour and negotiation skills. Coupled by nationalism and non sectarian tendencies, he won the hearts of many NRAs and UNLAs alike. During the failed Nairobi Peace Talks, the military junta held him in high esteem with offers of very high positions in the proposed interim government arrangement with NRA. During that same period the top UNLA leadership established direct contact with him with view of luring him to abandon Museveni and hand over hisNRA (at the time the exhausted NRA fighters were exclusively for Saleh and not Museveni) to the UNLA. Sensing danger, Museveni hurriedly moved him from the central region to Masaka where he established his tactical headquarters at Rwengo.During the final assault on Kampala, it was Saleh who negotiated for the surrender of the UNLAS under Brig. Obonyo who had advanced from Entebbe around Zana in the outskirts of Kampala city thus averting a major catastrophe.

After taking over government, Saleh who became the Chief of Combat Operations (CCO) was the de facto head of the NRA as the Army Commander Gen.  Tumwine was a mere administrative head. As CCO, Saleh did not rest but went ahead to the northern Uganda region to handle the insurgency that was protesting against Museveni's governance. Saleh negotiated a deal with the insurgents that saw the surrender of some rebel UPDA under the command of Lt.Col. Angello Ochero Okello after signing of the peace deal at Pecce Stadium. In the late 80s, Museveni elevated Saleh to the position of Army Commander replacing Gen. Tumwine. The popular Saleh embarked on improving the welfare of the army. Hardly a year into office, Museveni relieved Saleh of the office of army commander and retired him from the army. Museveni claimed that it was due to Saleh's drunkenness. Was Saleh more of drunkard that Gen Kaziini who even smoked opium!!! The truth is that Saleh's popularity within NRA was viewed by Museveni as a threat to his designs. As Army Commander, Saleh was deploying and assigning officers according to their capabilities and not basing on ethnic and regional background as Museveni wished. Saleh was dismissed midway during his countrywide tour of all NRA units where he was meeting officers. Intelligence beforeMuseveni at the time  indicated that Saleh was upto something sinister and Museveni had to move faster. Immediately after, the army headquarters were burnt followed a purge of senior officers including Col. Matovu, Col. Julius Chihandae, Col. Ahmed Kashillingi and others.

Saleh went into private life doing private business. He even returned to school to complete 'O' and 'A' levels of secondary education that prompted his famous remark "Nze ndifa nga sibadeko Minister" (will I die without ever being a Minister"). He managed Saracen private security company, went into joint venture over the shoddy purchase of UCB, the controvercial kickbacks in the purchase of junk helcopters for the army etc. In these business ventures, Saleh managed to accumulate huge sums of cash that kept his spirits high amidst the cry for a failed military career. Still with these huge amounts of cash, Saleh managed to build a web of simperthisers across both the civilians of all ethnic divide and the military. Although Museveni put him in charge of the reserve forces, Saleh remained the defacto overall commander of the NRA next to Museveni in terms of hierarchy. During the reign of Mugisha Muntu as Army Commander, Museveni successfully managed to antagonise some top officers with Mugisha Muntu through the practice of Katebe (rendering them redundant). The affected officers made fruitless efforts to petition Museveni through Saleh who had by then not grasped Museveni's designs.  Museveni did not like the move of army officers seeking attention through Saleh. It is by virtue of his high position in the NRA that Saleh ventured into the Congo during the NRA military expeditions. Together with Lebanese Talal and Gasam minertal dealers, Saleh accumulated huge fortunes from illegal trade in the Congo. He is listed as one of the key players by the UN probe into the plunder of Congo. This revelation and the potential for indictment by the ICC tamed Saleh into total submission to Museveni's presidency. He knows that he can only be safe as long as Museveni remains President. He publickly expressed his frustrations during the wedding of Museveni's son Muhoozi when he stated that "I advised Muhoozi not to join the army but to join me and we do business but he did not heed my advice".

Museveni's only problem with Saleh was to allow him in direct command of the NRA. This has also been the case with the lkes of Gen.Tinyefuza. When he was allegedly retired he was at the rank of Maj Gen. but since then he has risen to the rank of a full General. Why cant Museveni also promote the likes of Besigye, Muntu, Mushega, Butime, Kazoora and others!!! After a short stint as Minister in charge of micro-finance, Museveni withdrew him to the position of Presidential Advisor on Defence - a position he holds todate. His public stature continued to shine. As such Saleh has been dragged into politics especially during presidential campaigns where his popularity and mobilisation tactics backed by vast amounts of cash enable him to lure unsuspecting and impoverished voters to Museveni's side.

From the above it can be concluded that Saleh had intended to pursue his much cherished military career but Museveni did not bother to help him achieve his dream. After the bush war, Saleh was not helped to transform from a guerrillar fighter to a modern military commander through training in modern warfare and exposure to command positions. Museveni suffocated his career advancement through unclear assignments and diversonary promotions while keeping him around as a dangerous substitute. This has been the case with many others including Tinyefuza and Oketta. For decades now he has kept him on the bench (not the usual katebe) as a top General who could put the NRA  together in case of any threat to Museveni's power base. However, now that Museveni has successfully managed to privatise the NRA, created a more personal army (SFG) under his son, but more so the phasing out of historical commanders, Saleh's strategic role is fading out. Saleh's role will be taken over by Museveni's son Brig. Muhoozi since he has successfully recruited and placed a cream of loyal officers to take control of strategic command positions of the army.

Therefore, when Gen Saleh announces that he intends to retire, he is being sincere and serious. What Ugandans need to understand is that for the last 40 years Gen. Saleh has been in-charge of Museveni;s personal army. He delivered victory to Museveni that saw him become President. However, he is retiring a very disappointed man for he did not fully utilise his military potential. On the contrary, had he not fallen victim to Museveni's political manipulations, Gen Saleh would have become one on the continent's if not the world's distinguished Generals. He would be involved in resolving some of the world's re-known military conflicts by heading peace keeping missions.  Had Museveni not deliberately not excluded Gen Saleh from the 20 years counter insurgency operations in northern Uganda, the LRA rebellion would have been resolved through a negotiated settlement at an early stage.

Gen. Saleh would not approve the hording of people in camps (IDPs) in appalling conditions; the lifting of  presidential term limits; the involvement of the army in partisan  politics; the arrest, torture and detention of political opponents among the other vices of the Museven regime. Gen Saleh must have shed tears when he could not save the man who saved his life in the bush (Dr. Besigye) as he was being sprayed with pepper into his eyes by Museveni. Gen. Saleh knows the gravity and consequences of disagreeing with Museveni. Even as he expresses intentions to retire, he must have be skeptical if Museveni will let him go. His situation is aggravated by the presence of Gen Tinyefuza on the other side of the fence. For Museveni, its only Saleh who can match Tinyefuza in terms of holding the NRA together in case Gen. Tinyefuza strikes.  Do you know why Gen Saleh does not approve of the Tutsi regime in Rwanda? The only link that he had was at a personal level with the late Col. Karegeya, but following his assassination Saleh washed his hands.

Is the disappointed and frustrated General trying to jump off the sinking boat?