FROM THE PAST[BBC Panorama Programme (1981) : From Tyranny to Disaster (By Jeremy Paxman)- OYITE OJOK



Jeremy Paxman: Really, why all the gunshots and death around Kampala almost on a daily basis?

Oyite Ojok: There are a few bandits who are giving us well…a bit of a difficult time.
Paxman: Surely Brigadier, if these were just a few bandits why would you have have road blocks all over the place?
Oyite Ojok: I told you before, that there are bandits robbing guns, with guns!…robbing people with guns!
Paxman: We saw a soldier robbing a civilian’s bicycle and another robbing money from a woman. Now this may be an isolated cases but there are complaints everywhere of soldiers not only robbing people but killing some and this reflects badly on the image of the army, does it not?

Oyite Ojok: That depends how you want to put it…depends how you want to put it. If your business is going around looking for which soldier is robbing whose bicycle, may be you will find a soldier robbing a train!.

Paxman: But these are issues that should concern you.
Oyite Ojok: Sure! You show me which soldier is doing whatever wrong thing and I will take a severe disciplinary action against that soldier.
Paxman: Have you actually taken such actions?
Oyite Ojok: Absolutely. The jail is full up!.
Paxman: Of Uganda soldiers who have killed civilians?
Oyite Ojok: A few soldiers who have misbehaved.


Billie O’Kadameri
UAH member in Paris.



One Comment so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. John Majwara,

    Many factors contributed to the fall of the Obote 2 government. But the most decisive were:
    1. President Obote’s laissez faire attitude to national leadership. The Obote of the 80s was a shadow of the Obote of the 60/70s. He could not hardly guide(politically and as CIC) the activities of different arms of the army and security services, thus facilitating the emergence of different powerful kingpins including the Late Paulo Muwanga(RIP), Chris Rwakasisi and to a lesser extent Luwuliza Kirunda(RIP).
    2.The vice president, disoriented by his boss’s resignation of all politico-security matters to the Rwakasisi, Kirunda and Otai group, retired to business and a ‘we shall see position’ with the Okellos.
    3. Ethnic politics between the Acholi and Lango all along polarised the army and security services. While Acholi thinking was towards a division of power between the 2-on some form of ratio, Obote dispensation was for the party -UPC to guide government policies, a more inclusive national approach.
    4.The key coup leaders -the Okellos were well beyond retirement age but continued to hang on, wielding
    5. UNLA casualties and government losses in the war areas were largely due to poor training of the militias from the north and east, lack of training in counter revolutionary warfare for the bulk of the men and commanders, and a lack of clear rules of engagement. This contributed to considerable loss of innocent lives and collateral damage. With the change of command and shift to a people’s war approach by the Special Brigade under Col Ogole and a coterie of young battalion commanders, the tide of the war changed and NRA was displaced from the triangle.
    6. The NRA just like any organised strategic fighting force easily capitalised on this fluid or volatile situation . The rest is history.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: