WHY MUSEVENI RATES GEN. KASIRYE GWANGA AS HOPELESS, GEN. KYALIGONZA AS DANGEROUS
CHANGE OF GUARDS - Gen. Matayo KyalIgonza deserted Addi Amin’s dreaded intelligence out fit, the State Research Bureau (SRB) in the mid 1970s and joined Save Uganda Movement (SUM) - one of the Anti-Amin fighting groups that was headed by Eteker Ejalu. Under SUM Kyaligonza was responsible for a number of heinous crimes that were committed in the country designed to discredit the Iddi Amin regime. His group plotted to blow up the Owen Falls Dam. He attempted to assassinate Iddi Amin at Nsambya Barracks by hurling a hand grenade at Iddi Amin's jeep.
When Iddi Amin was overthrown, Kyaligonza joined Museveni’s Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM) and was its local Chairman for Hoima District. When the UPM genuinely and miserably lost in the 1980 elections, Kyaligonza opted to join Museveni in the five years guerrilla war.
During the war, Kyaligonza was in-charge of a special task force code named Black Bombers (BB) that was responsible for terrorising Kampala city. In his book, Agony of Power, on page 14 he states thus “My unit, BB and the 7th Battalion made Kampala city very unsafe . By 3.00 p.m all shops would be closed and this became the order of the day.”
In another book by one of his former aides, Pecos Kutesa, he states that under the direction of Matayo Kyaligonza, they planned and attempted to blow up the national fuel depots to torch the city but by good luck they contained no fuel at the time. They again plotted to blow up the main city water reservoir at Muyenga. In one of the several killing sprees by Kyaligonza in Kampala during the war, he personally shot dead Hon Bamuturaki, the DP Member of Parliament (MP) for Mwenge county. On that fateful evening at Kisement in the Kololo area of Kampala city, Kyaligonza had ambushed a UNLA army officer in the urinals but he mistakenly took Hon Bamuturaki for the target officer and shot him dead. Of course the then UPC government of Milton Obote government took the blame.
Kyaligonza was twice captured by the government security machinery but he would still manage to escape from them and find his way back to the bush. During the final assault on Kampala in January 1986, Kyaligonza commanded the NRA’s 7th Battalion that proceeded to Jinja. He became the 151 Brigade Commander based in Mbale. He oversaw the mop-up operations against former soldiers and counter insurgency operations in eastern region. He ferried truckloads of stolen cattle from Teso region to his home in Hoima but most of them died due to change in climatic conditions.
Kyaligonza was very brutal towards captured insurgents, former soldiers and suspected civilian populations. His attitude towards the insurgents was to guide NRA’s future operations against insurgents in the eastern region culminating into some of the most bizarre incidents like the burning of people in a train wagon in Mukura. When the NRA introduced formal ranks in the late 80s, Kyaligonza was made a Brigadier and is reported to have been very unhappy citing sectarianism. He had hoped to have been on the same rank with the likes of Saleh, Tumwine and Rwigyema who became Generals straight away. By the time Museveni swiftly and tactfully removed him from command positions in the eastern region, intelligence reports had indicated that he was planning a rebellion. Later, Kyaligonza was retired from the army and he joined active politics representing his home area in the National Assembly.
When Kyaligonza lost the seat, the going became tough and later he had to kneel before Museveni to come to his rescue. He approached the then CMI, Noble Mayombo who advised him to write a letter to Museveni which Mayombo personally delivered. In the letter, Kyaligonza narrated how life had become so difficult for him to the extent that he could not even afford to pay school fees for his children.
Kyaligonza’s pleas to Musevei came at a time when there was a rumour of a rebellion by PRA and senior army officers who were running to Rwanda. To contain him, Museveni acted very fast by posting him to diplomatic service; first to Kenya and later to less strategic Burundi where he is currently the Ambassador.
In 2012, Museveni promoted Kyaligonza to the rank of Maj. Gen from Brigadier which he had held for 26 years (1987 - 2012). Kyaligonza castigated the promotion as senseless.
Gen. Kyaligonza had anticipated much better from Museveni. During a CEC meeting in October 2014 to sort out Museveni’s Sole Candidature scheme, Gen. Kyaligonza aggressively attacked Hassan Basajjabalaba (SEYA) who was in support of Amama Mbabazi by abusing him Kumanyoko. He went ahead to call Mbabazi’s wife stupid. He told Mbabazi thus; “You are lucky that I am not the President; otherwise by now you and your wife would be in Luzira Prison.” Mbabazi was purged by removing him from the position of the regime Secretary Generalship on charges of vying to contest against Museveni. Hoping that Museveni would respect the age limit of 75 years, in another interview with The Observer, during the same month of October 2014, Kyaligonza stated thus; “Museveni will step down, one, naturally; two, by law; three, by depreciation. In any case, he has declared his age.”
Shortly after, it was Kyaligonza’s turn to be purged from the influential CEC. Museveni sent his son-in-law, Odrek Rwabwogo to vie for the position of Vice Chairman Western Region against the incumbent, Gen. Kyaligonza. Treating it as a second betrayal by Museveni, Gen. Kyaligonza furiously protested forcing Museveni to rescind his decision.
In an interview with The Observer in September 2015, Gen. Kyaligonza had this to say;
“But there is one thing which he (Museveni) might not be able to defeat, is age because time will come; age will catch up with him, with me; the young man (Rwabwogo) whom you call the Young Turk, will also join the old people; they will also go.”
In another interview, he further attacked Museveni and Rwabwogo thus;
“Let the president call a meeting of NRM top organs of the National Executive Council and Central Executive Committee and we discuss the matter [Sucession]” (…) “Our dear president has also made it very clear. Presidency is not like hereditary club. He should call NEC and CEC and let us discuss. We used to discuss matters in the bush really” (…)
“If I meet him (Rwabwogo) somewhere and he says that I know nothing will give him a hot slap” (…). "Who is that one? Odrek? I don’t know him, I have never even seen him,” he said. “Is he the one who gave me work? He should tell such things [about retiring] to his father in–law [Museveni]. We are the ones that brought his father-in-law in power. Don’t make me talk too much” (…) “When I get annoyed, I really get annoyed and I say the truth. I never sugar-coat in order to make people happy. We [historicals] don’t want familiarity because when we came [into power] we didn’t disrespect people,” (…) “ “Look at all those people who are attending [Col Kizza] Besigye’s rallies. They want to support a cause because they are tired”.
Before Museveni made a last minute intervention, Kyaligonza gave Rwabwogo another punch;
“You have never really chaired L.C1 and you want to become Vice Chairman Western region? Your father-in-law is the Chairman of NRM, your mother in law sometimes attends CEC as an invited guest. Rwabwogo is like any other human being who marries from the first family. Maybe if Museveni was still producing, my son would marry a daughter from his family.”
The Observer – interview with Gen. Kyaligonza in Jan 2016.
Gen. Kyaligonza had anticipated that Museveni would respect the constitution but was shocked when around late 2017 Museveni violently amended the Constitution to scrap the age limit. While appearing on the CBS FM Radio talk show, Kyaligonza called on Museveni to “stop pretending to be very busy and should listen to what people are saying. He went ahead and said Museveni should use this chance to (to retire) now when we still love him and not to give a chance to everyone to say he is tired.” He cautioned that the “age limit removal is taking the country down a road which spells doom.” He blamed the parliamentarians for “bringing and forcing a bad bill on people”. He criticized the Speaker for the violence that ensued on the floor of parliament.
Obviously, Gen. Kasirye Gwanga cannot take such a principled stand for fear that he will lose not only bread but protection. For Museveni, Gen. Kyaligonza has not only always been but continues to not only be dangerous to himself but the revolution. He deserves no protection but to be dealt with decisively.
Watch the space.
INFORMATION IS POWER ABD THE PROBLEM OF UGANDA IS MUSEVENISM