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Day March 12, 2015

GEN. MUGISHA MUNTU – A GREAT LEADER AT THE WRONG TIME AND PLACE


Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu,President of Forum for Democratic Change

Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu,President of Forum for Democratic Change


At the tender age of 23 years, Muntu left Makerere University after doing his last paper for his political science course to join Museveni’s bush war. He was driven by the urge to restore rule of law and human rights to Uganda that had broken down at the time courtesy of Yoweri Museveni who had created a situation to justify his bush war. Being a son of a prominent UPC leader (Enock Muntuoyera) who was a personal friend of the then President Obote, Muntu would have been given a better job in government but his resolute character and urge for the freedom of others took him to the bush. Initially, in the bush he was placed under close watch on suspicion that possibly the UPC government had sent him to spy on guerrillas.

In the bush Muntu belonged to the category of ‘intellectuals’ whom the senior Commanders majority of whom were non university graduates so much detested and harassed. Because of the greed mentality of these commanders at one time Muntu together with other NCOs and led by Enock Mondo at one time planned to escape from the Museveni’s NRA and form their own fighting group. In the bush he was shot in the leg and chest and was smuggled to Kampala for treatment. Upon recovery, he rejoined the bush war. During the same time the remains of his father who had died in exile during Iddi Amin’s regime were brought back and accorded a state funeral that was graced by the then President Milton Obote who used the occasion to call on the young Mugisha Muntu to abandon the bush and return home but to no avail.

In the bush Muntu rose through the ranks to become first the Director of Civil Intelligence and later Director of Military Intelligence (DMI) – a position he held even during and after capturing power. As a DMI Muntu is re-known for living a very simple life while his colleagues rushed for the spoils of war that went with victory. His Aides would face difficulty in explaining the source of expensive house items that they would get for him from the army headquarters. His official car was an old blue Land Rover that he would use to carry any junior staff member that he would find on the war to and from work. This vehicle remained a property of DMI/CMI until recently when it was stolen by Charles Tumusiime Rutarago. In one of the interviews this is what Muntu had to say about grabs “….as the war progressed, we were sure we could take over power people started talking about what they were planning, where they wanted to live,or saying I will be this, I will live in this neighborhood. It became intense when we took overpower. After taking over our intentions were to all go into the barracks but that was heavily resisted as soon as we arrived here. People started running to live in Kololo, Nakasero and I think that is where we lost it. This started creating the sense of acquisition and that went into business of and the feeling of everyone getting in to get something for himself. It has now gone into what we see today.”

As a senior officer at the timeof taking over government, Muntu was made a Lt. Col when formal ranks were introduced. He was moved from DMI and appointed as the the army’s Chief Political Commissar (CPC) before appointing him as the Division Commander of one of the NRA Divisions. Within less than a year Muntu was elevated to the rank of Maj. Gen and assigned to take charge of of the NRA as the Army Commander. Museveni’s choice of Muntu at the time was not in good faith but was meant to promote his usual divide and rule policy. While Muntu was capable of being the Army Commander, there were other more senior officers at the time who would have been elevated to the same position. The likes of Joram Mugume, Cheif Ali, Tinyefuza, Kyaligonza a.k.a Kumanyoko, Ivan Koreta, Okecho, Maruru, Nanyumba and a few others would have as well served in that capacity.As a result, there are some senior officers who vowed never to salute Mugisha Muntu as a sign of disapproval.

Through Mugisha Muntu, Museveni embarked and implemented his designs of purging certain army officers. It was during Muntu’s time that the practice of Katebe (rendering redundant) started. As a result, some unsuspecting senior officers petitioned Museveni through Gen. Saleh but to no avail. The cool headed Mugisha Muntu sailed though the rough storm. The army laid a foundation for professionalism, estalishment of terms and conditions of service, accounting systems, procurement of equipments etc. Its during Muntus time that the army faced seven internal rebel groups and three cross border conflicts (Rwanda, Sudan and Kenya) but by the time he left office only one (LRA) was thriving with total victory in Rwanda while diplomatic means took care of Sudan and Kenya.

Muntu’s tenure of office failed to get a partner in Museveni his Commander in Chief to fight abuse of office by senior officers who were all out to grab for personal resources that were meant to improve the welfare of ordinary soldiers. Creation of ghost soldiers and outright theft and diversion of army supplies intensified during Muntu’s tenure. In the early 90s, Muntu took the initiative to stamp it out by instituting a team headed by Serwanga Lwanga, Ivan Koreta and Fred Bogere. The team started from the eastern region to physically identify, photograph and document every member of the NRA and auxiliary forces. From the eastern region, the team proceeded to the northern region but half way into the exercise, Museveni called it off. Even in the units that had already been covered, Museveni blocked arrests and prosecution of the suspects arguing that it is the same commanders that were fighting the insurgency that were about to be punished. Since then vice took root and has become a traditional measure of personal loyalty and allegiance to Museveni. Unknown to Muntu at the time was the fact that thieving by army officers was Museveni’s weapon of ensuring loyalty. In aninterview this is what Muntu had to stay “….a kind of warlord mentality emerged – that you fight to take over power ; you must be recognised for it. As we moved on President Museveni’s long term plans and the warlord mentality found a meeting point. He found it difficult to deal with or punish those that participated. Eventually he became a key representative of that very mentality. He says he killed his animal…….” Muntu is one of the many people who followed Museveni to Luwero without realising that his intention was gain and hold the presidency till death.

However, the practice of Museveni purging officers whom he suspected of disloyalty flourished under Muntu’s tenure. Rendering officers redundant (Katebe) and arbitrary arrest and detention without trial took its toll. The affected officers unsuspectingly mistook Muntu to be the architect of their woes thus developing personal hatred. At one time during the funeral vigil of the late Col. Kyatuka in Old Kampala where Mugisha Muntu was among the mourners, a number of junior army officers led by Rwashande openly attacked Muntu accusing him of complicity in the death of senior officers by rendering them redundant and dying from deprivation. They openly and publicly insulted him by calling him names like ‘Omwiru’. The incident sent shook waves within the army but no disciplinary action was taken against the said junior officers who are now very Senior officersunder the Muhoozi project. Years after he had retired from the army, during a rally in Kamuli district Muntu broke down and cried mid sentence thus “When I recall the times I was forced to arrest my friends and relatives……..” Who was forcing him and who were those friends and relatives?

After serving for nine stormy years as army commander, Muntu got the rare opportunity to see tfrom the inside and grasp Museveni’s hidden intents. When Muntu decided to quit the army Museveni offered him the position of Minister of Defence which the former rejected. Museveni ordered the army to give him fifty million shillings to boost his(Muntu) stone quarry business – the only private economic means he had acquired from his earnings in army. Muntu is the only NRA officer who never stole or illegally acquired any personal wealth by virtue of his position. He is a poor man by all standards. However, it is said that his property on 10 Kyandondo Road houses the NRM headquarters.

When Muntu the former Army Commander joined the opposition, desperate Ugandans who have lost all hope of democratic change of government saw a messiah in him. They anticipated an army man who would employ militaristic approach to the sitting military government under Gen. Museveni. At worst they anticipated Gen. Mugisha Muntu to eat into Musevei’s power base – the military and run him down. Instead, Mugisha Muntu embarked on building and strengthening the leading opposition party. Some sections of Ugandans who don’t fully understand Muntu think that he is a Museveni sympathiser. Ugandans should not be fooled that Mugisha Muntu is not fully aware that Museveni can not accept to loose power through democratic means. In the current efforts to rescue the country, Muntu’s role and method of work should be compared with DP’s Paul Ssemogerere who led his party to form the opposition during the 2nd UPC government. Let us not underrate the role that was played by DP’s Ssemogere to check the excesses of the UPC government which role in turn afforded breathing space and survival of the NRA fighters. There were democratic institutions during the 2nd UPC government unlike the current military dictatorship under Museveni. The other difference is that Muntu has bullet wounds in his chest and leg. Does he fear to be shot again? For those who doubt Muntu’s capability, ask Museveni and you will be surprised. No amount of money, intimidation, blackmail or offer of top position can buy off Mugisha Muntu.

INFORMATION IS POWER

POSTED BY ROBUKUI VIA UAH FORUM

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VETTING THE UGANDA POLICE WONT HELP


BY ROBUKUI
Introduction
Last week a Police Constable Julius Mugambagye attached to Mbarara Police Station shot dead four people over a love affair. He was formerly a member of the Local Administration Police (LAP) that was dismantled and integrated into the Uganda Police Force (UPF). As usual immediately after this incident for fear that the it could spark off the much feared civil disobedience, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Gen Kayihura rushed to the scene of crime. He addressed the residents and dished out cash handouts to the families of the deceased. In his ADDRESS, he expressed regrets over integration of former LAP into the UPF without adequate training. He promised that all police officers were to be subjected to fresh vetting to wipe out the undisciplined and unprofessional thus: “We can not tolerate this. All Police persons are to be subjected to fresh vetting to remove the undisciplined, those with criminal mind and character and the non patriotic.” He ordered that all former LAP personnel be taken for fresh training in Yumbe. He cited patriotism among the few benchmarks for one to be a Police Officer but fell short of disclosing that they were to undergo political indoctrination under the guise of fresh training.

Privatising the Uganda Police Force

When Museveni came to power in 1986 he inherited a Police force that was dominated by people hailing from the northern and north eastern regions though the force had a a good number of personnel hailing from the other regions. He viewed the entire force as being hostile to his regime the same way he it had been the case with the Judiciary and the entire legal fraternity. That way, the army took over policing with Gen Aronda’s team stationing itself at the Central Police Station (CPS). In the countryside, Civil Intelligence Officers (CIO) – the old version of the present District Internal Security Officers (DISO) took over running of police stations. His desperate efforts to recruit loyalist cadres into the police force around 1987 did not make any impact save for a few like Cadre Turyagumanawe. As time went on his conflict with the police escalated to the extent that he one time publicly told them that unless they learnt to vote wisely,their welfare would never improve.

He initiated the Julia Sebutinde commission in order to target and eliminate certain individuals in the Police force. He deployed Gen Katumba Wamala not to improve the force’s performance but to give way for ‘his own’ Gen Kaziini to rise to the position of Army Commander. At the time it was Gen Ivan Koreta and Gen Katumba Wamala who were most qualified to replace Gen JJ Odong as Army Commander. For the same purpose Gen Koreta was diverted to Internal Security Organisation (ISO). At the same time the rising star in the Police force, Inspector Fred was diverted to peace keeping in South Sudan. While at the helm of the Police, Gen Katumba Wamala was accused of mobilising logistics from City tycoons to facilitate community policing – a move Museveni described as “nonsense”. By the time both Gen Katumba and Gen Koreta returned to the mainstream military service, Gen Kaziini had raised to the position of army commander. The same way Gen Aronda had been assigned to the privatisation of the army scheme, Museveni appointed Gen Kayihura turn it into a coercive arm of his ruling NRM clique.

Intergrating LAP into UPF
As part of the wider privatisation scheme of the security forces, the traditional LAP was integrated into the UPF. The Uganda Police Force is provided for by Art 211 of the Constitution thus: “There shall be a police force to be known as the Uganda Police Force and such other police forces in Uganda as parliament may by law prescribe.” The LAP had been provided for under the Local Government Act Cap 243 S.179 thus: “Local Government Police and Prisons existing at the enactment of this Act shall CONTINUE in existence until a new law covering them is enacted.” The Police Act Cap 303 S.67 provided for LAP to be under the local government system but for matters of training and standardisation placed under the responsibility of the IGP. The Police (Amendment) Act 2006 amended the principal Police Act, S. 67 thus:

INTERPRETATION:
Police Authority means:-
(b) In relation to Local Administration Police, the administration of the area in which that force is
established.

S. 67A(1) A local Administration Police force existing immediately before the commencement of
this Act shall continue to exist in accordance with this Act and shall be fully integrated into the
Police Force as a Local Administration Police.

S. 67A(3) Local Administration Police shall be under the command and control of the IGP who
shall be responsible for all its operations.

S. 67A (4) The Local Administration Police shall:
(a) Receive the same training as officers of the Uganda Police Force.

S. 67A (5)
(b) Assist the local government in collection and safe keeping of money collected by
division councils.
(c) Work with Chiefs and Local Councils as may be required in the enforcement of law
and order.

S. 67A(6) Local Administration Police shall be appointed by the respective authorities under the
Act.

Going by the above, it is the IGP to blame for the alleged lack of training and professionalism by the former LAP personnel. However, the issue is not lack of training and professionalism but the erosion of discipline orchestrated by institutional impunity and protectionism. Just during the same time of the Mbarara incident, there was a similar incident in Jinja where the Police and the so called Crime Preventers OPENED fire to unarmed traders who had a scuffle with tax officials and injured two. The Police at the scene were under the command of the District Police Commander Apollo Kateba. In retaliation, the traders also descended on one of the crime preventers whom they almost lynched to death. The Regional Police Commander disclosed that two of his officers had been arrested for shooting people adding that they should have used their training to contain rioters. This phenomena of District Police Commanders leaving their stations to oversee small operations by their men alludes to the much feared civil disobedience. Its for the same reason that the other day the DPC of Old Kampala was involved in chasing the innocent journalist on the street before attempting to murder him. The Police Commanders are under briefing to be on the look out and not to take any incident for granted thus acting under pressure.

Its not only LAP that was integrated into the Uganda Police Force; all the different auxiliary forces that had been created in different parts of the country ended up in the Police force as Special Police Constables without going through the formal police recruitment and training. Currently the drive is targeting millions of NAZI GESTAPO like secret police in the form of Crime Preventers. As part of the reaction to the Mbarara shooting incident, plans were announced to recruit and train 23370 Crime Preventers throughout the district. But AGAIN how does a Local Administration Police personnel from Bunyaruguru end up serving in Kotido in Karamoja. The suspect Mugambagye Julius had just been transferred to Mbarara from Karamoja shortly before the incident.

Essence of vetting
Periodic vetting of Police officers would be a healthy move if it was done in good faith. In Kenya it is provided for in the constitution under Art. 246 and the S.7(2) and (3) of the National Police Service Act. It is carried out by the National Police Service Commission who invites the public to provide INFORMATION that may assist in determining the suitability and competence of officers. The overall objective is to build confidence and trust in the national Police service. The APPLICABLEvetting standards include officers satisfaction of entry and training requirements, their professional conduct and discipline, integrity financial probity, and respect for human rights. Those who satisfy the commission are retained and those whose integrity is found lacking are removed from the service. The last such vetting in Kenya was carried out in late 2013 through early 2014 when some heads rolled.

Therefore the vetting Kayihura is talking about is a purge to get rid of those suspected not to be fully loyal to Museveni’s life presidency project.

INFORMATION IS POWER.

Bank of Uganda Statement on the Exchange Rate


Uganda’s exchange rate against the US dollar, in common with those of many other countries around the world, has come under strong pressure in recent weeks. This is mainly for two reasons. First the dollar has itself strengthened dramatically on global markets, for example by 13 percent against the Euro since the start of 2015. Second, in Uganda demand for dollars has increased strongly, mainly from the corporate sector, to fund imports and dividend payments to foreign shareholders following improved corporate profits in 2015. Unfortunately export earnings have declined mainly because of problems in foreign exchange markets, hence the current account deficit has widened.

The BOU’s policy is not to peg the exchange rate or otherwise prevent it from adjusting to levels which are sustainable in the long run. However, when exchange rate movements are too rapid, the BOU will intervene to dampen volatility. After a sharp fall in the Shilling in mid morning, the BOU intervened and sold dollars, which restored some stability to the market.

There has been concern voiced in the media about a re-run of the instability of 2011, especially because of fears of election related public spending, and these concerns may be contributing to the pressure on the exchange rate. There are, however, major differences between the situation in 2011 and that of today. In particular, under the macroeconomic framework that has been put in place since 2011 the BOU will not finance Government borrowing and it will use its policy interest rate to forestall any danger of inflation rising above the medium term policy target of 5 percent. The strength of Uganda’s macroeconomic framework has been recognized by, among others, the international credit rating agencies. For example, Fitch upgraded Uganda’s sovereign credit rating from B to B+ on February 15, 2015, citing in particular Uganda’s good track record of prudent macroeconomic policies supporting robust growth.

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