There is no any other soldier or government official that Museveni trusts than Gen.Aronda

There is no any other soldier or government official that Museveni trusts than Aronda. Very few Ugandans know this. Aronda has successfully accomplished the privatisation/ personalisation process of the UPDF. Muhozi’s SFG group is a brainchild of Aronda.

As a Minister of Internal Affairs, he will oversee the anticipated tough times. The now militarised regular police, ISO, Muhozi’s SFG, CMI, Prison services, the newly created Counter Terrorism Agency and other ungazzeted security agencies will be at his disposal. He will have exclusive powers of utilising any unit of UPDF as he wishes.

Strategically, he will strengthen VIP protection, immigration & citizenship (national ID project), dealing with demonstrations, framing of opposition politicians, pannel beating of the stubborn parliament, detention without trial, bending courts of law, suppressing the media etc. His main focus will be the central region and Kampala in particular where Gen Tinyefuza may ally with Buganda and Mengo in particular.

Both Ivan Koreta and Katumba Wamala would have become CDF years back but were tactfully taken to ISO and Police respectively to give way to Kaziini and Aronda. At that time it would have been fatal for any of the two to take charge of the army. Now that the army is personalised,Katumba can preside over it just as a figurehead. However, he will still be a subject of intelligence surveillance.

As a former FRONASA, Ivan Koreta is next to Saleh in terms of seniority. His ethinic (Ankole-mwiru) background undermined his prospects. His current posting to Foreign Service is nothing but he has been dumped. Charles Angina had a long carreer under military intelligence. His loyality was put under question because of his closenes to Cheif Ali. Later as Chief of Staff he pressed the wrong burton by innitiating a probe into financial deals at the army Headquarters. Consenquently, he was dumped to the Court Martial where he terminated the trial of civilians and was relieved of duties. Both Angina and Katumba know that they are simply foster parents to the UPDF with no blood relationship. Therefore, Ugandans should prepare for the worst under a combination of Aronda and Kaihura overseeing the country’s internal affairs.

The 1995 Constitution renamed Museveni’s former NRA as UPDF. Museveni was opposed to the renaming of his NRA for fear of losing copyright. After taking over power in 1986 Museveni’s security was manned by a small unit called PPU. Its Commanding Officers have been: Akanga Byaruhanga, Mayeku, Muheesi, Leo Kyanda and currently Muhoozi {who is Museveni’s son]. Initially, though Aronda was the Intel Officer, his role has always seemed bigger than that. Even when Aronda held and continues to hold other responsibilities, his attachment to Museveni’s personal security remained , remains and will remain special.

Initially Museveni had close body guards composed of some young Baganda soldiers who had originated from the bush war. Later they disappeared from the scene and some defected and fled the country only to be replaced by the ‘home boys’ who form the inner circle. Later, the PPU was expanded to more than a battalion and First Lady picked interest in this Unit. She initiated a special renumeration for ordinary soldiers of the PPU in excess of the flat rate for the rest of the soldiers. In return, those soldiers and their families call her Mama.

Following the slaughtering of the Burundian President in 1993, Museveni’s PPU was reinforced by Tanks. It was during this same time that a number of senior army officers had their loyalty to Museveni placed under scrutiny thus rendered redundant (undeployed) or placed on Katebe. These officers were suspected to be deriving some strength from Tinyefuza whom intelligence showed that even some active officers were loyal to him.

The worst came when Muheesi, the then Commanding Officer of PPU, was suspected of being a Tinyefuza sympathiser. Muheesi was replaced and the PPU was expanded to a brigade level and
renamed the Presidential Guard Brigade (PGB). Gen Kaziini spearheaded the recruitment of ethnic Hima and Basongora to boost the PGB. This is when the first son Muhoozi came to the scene by privately recruiting for the PGB. At the same time loyal officers from the regular UPDF were being seconded to the PGB while the unwanted were being moved back to the regular UPDF.

Once the Muhoozi recruits were ready (he too had by now ceased being a Local Defence personnel), the PGB expanded its mandate to securing Kampala and Entebbe. The UPDF units were moved out of this zone. The PGB was later renamed SFG and is now composed of over 10000 personnel, Commanded by Muhoozi and the boys he recruited, more equipped than regular UPDF, its mandate extends to operation in Somalia and CAR, suppresses peaceful demos, runs secret torture chambers (safe houses), its welfare better off, it produces leaders for the regular UPDF etc.

Practically, it’s not under the command of the CDF Katumba Wamala. With that kind of SFG, Museveni feels nothing can dislodge him from power.

During the bush war, M7’s leadership faced a challenge from Comdr Sam Magara his army commander. Magara, a Lawyer and an Ankole royal commanded a formidable following from among the Hima fighters and a good section of Baganda fighters too. Magara had earlier defied Museveni in Tanzania during exile in the 70s when he sought Obote’s help to join the Daresalaam University for a Law Degree. Much earlier,still in Tanzania another lawyer and Ankole royal and a close M7 associate, Martin Mwesiga had had mysteriously died. Fingers were pointed at M7.

In the bush Magara mysteriously died and again fingers were pointed at Museveni. Other Ankole royals like Fred Rubereza and Hannington Mugabi also died in the bush under questionable
circumstances. The last of the Ankole royals were David Ndayondi who was transferred from ISO only to be shot by LRA inside Gulu barracks!

Namara Katabarwa died while on Katebe, Peter Mucokori died of natural causes and Tom Taremwa deserted and fled to the USA. Those were the last of the Ankole royals in Museveni’s army. Later Museveni was to oppose the restoration of the Ankole monarchy. After Magara’s death Museveni consolidated his control of the NRA. Soon after Tinyefuza emerged as another headache to Museveni. Shortly before the fall of Kampala, Tinyefuza had just finished serving a18 months detention sentence for disobeying the Chairman High Command (M7). He had been the Director General of Intelligence and Intellince and in his absence Jim Muhweezi had to act. M7 had given an order suspending all operation but Tinye defiantly led an operation that unfortunately led to serious loss of NRA fighters. Tinye took up the command of the Kyenjojo, Hoima, Masindi axis fighting major battles at Biiso and Kinyaara. Museveni deliberately did not mention Tinyefuza’s role in his book.

After the fall of Kampala, Tinye was appointed the Brigade Commander of 163 Brigade based in Kampala.

By: Tugume Sam



2 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Tinkasimire Mike,

    Well,this article by Tugume is really a master piece. But I would like to meet with this man and give him more about what he knows…like it was one of the NRA operational rules that any NRA personnel who deliberately killed another soldier oz civilian would also suffer the same fate. When a Senior Commander in the bush, Jackson Mucunguzi executed a fellow Senior Officer Hannington Mugabi in a day broad day right, he was NOT executed like a Mbonye who killed a civilian to rob him of his money or Zaburoni who also killed some civilians,etc BUT was instead sent to Nairobi and after the fall of Kampala under the NRA, was returned to the country and rehabilited and is one of the richest men in Ugannda. Yes, Sam Magara wanted to revenge for the death of his brother Martin Mwesiga and he fell in the trap of his intended victim..M7. And the list is long…the Katabarwas, Mule Muwanga, Sseguya,etc….

  2. R.R. Birungi,

    Among the Ankole royals there was Captain Jimmy Kamuntu RO615( CO 69th ) battalion, who died 5 Dec 1989; and that was after Capt. Ndayondi.(R.I.P.). Members of the Ankole royal family are still serving in the UPDF, e.g. Gen. Elly Tumwine, Brig. G. Muheesi, Capt. Naboth & a few others, I know the Late Capt. Kamuntu had another brother who is still in the army.

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