I think we need to be a little inhibited in our attempts to whitewash the shortcomings of the UPC and its key operatives like Mr Muwanga. These chaps were wicked and they knew it! It becomes a problem when we go to all lengths to rehabilitate them, even to the point of economising the truth.
Paul Muwanga was anti Buganda establishment or at Mmengo. He may not have been anti Baganda. I think he was pro-Baganda who are only UPCs. One of his victims was his brother the late Kafuuma, who was working with Masaka Cooperative Union, who died in Masaka barracks, even when Muwanga was defence minister. His crime was refusal to join UPC.Muwanga was a killer. As Vice President and Defence Minister. Over a half a million people were killed in a state inspired violence in Luwero Triangle and West Nile . He sided with killers like Milton Obote and Bazilio Olara Okello.
Paula Muwanga was the only Uganda ’s Vice President who had a wide ranger of powers other than appointing and sacking ministers. He at one time said that he had powers of live and death. He released a detainee and ordered the killing of another to demonstrate those powers. Muwanga was very powerful. In Masaka there was a UPC Haji, Kateregga, who had been convicted of an offense by the Magistrate’s court. He jetted in , summoned the Chief Magistrate and the District Commissioner and ordered the release of Kateregga with immediate effect. Muwanga was powerful, very powerful, as Vice President and Defence Minister. It is due to Obote’s weakness that Muwanga, with the Okellos, undermined Obote and cause the 1985 Saturday July 27th coup having met Ssemogerere and Museveni in Germany early that byear.
On the clampdown that was contained in Mr Muwanga’s proclamation of PM Thursaday 11 December 1980,The fact is that, each returning officer was to communicate results only to Paulo Muwanga himself and to provide him with a confidential report on “various aspects” of the poll.the Chairman of the Electoral Commission was knocked out of the reporting channels.
Remember that, Paul Muwanga’s proclamation was retrospective, and it gave him the power to declare the poll in individual constituencies invalid, as happened in the case of Mugwiisa/Sebuliba, Nakendo/Mwonda, Katama/Kitariko and Luwuliza/Wangola. It is horrible to be banned from celebrating; but even worse to be told that what you celebrated yesterday was rubbish.
In the 90s, I remember reading the report of the observers and I think under para. 140, must have been page 31, it was indicated that Mr Muwanga’s justification for giving himself extraordinary powers was something to do with the alleged incompetence of Returning Officers. He claimed that the ROs performed incompetently on 10 December, by opening polling stations late, and failing in distribution of polling materials. He claimed that he was worried that if reporting of results was left in the hands of such incompetent individuals at a crucial stage of the conclusion of the count, there would be serious problems. Yet he was supposed to base his judgement on the confidential reports of the same incompetent Returning Officers!