By John Kakooza
An incident occurred last month in which an officer attached to the Special Force Command (SFC) was involved in a violent robbery.
For those that do not know, SFC is a highly elite force comprising few handpicked soldiers – mostly from one tribe in Western Uganda – entrusted to guard President Museveni and his family.
The soldier, Bright Turyatunga (mark the name), had waylaid a billion van carrying over 2.5 billion shillings from Kayunga to Kampala through Mukono.
The robber had managed to make a long distance with the loot before he got into a scuffle with operatives of the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) another security outfit – which had apparently trailed the robber and the hijacked van – for much of the distance.
It is only when they got into a shootout that police – who hadn’t been briefed on the mission for this long – intervened and put the suspect out of action.
The suspect, Bright Turyatunga, was found with his SFC service card number 209850.
The SFC Public Relations machine went in overdrive to distance itself from its own, saying that instead the man was attached to ISO.
Of course, remember the police who neutralized the man were not briefed on the mission at hand, going on to show how this was most definitely an inside job between the two bodies.
This is just one example to show you the rot in our so-called security system, the people whom we have entrusted with our lives to defend us and the sovereignty of our country.
And it does not only stop at rank and file, it goes all the way to the top echelons, starting from their commander-in-chief and his cabal of the so-called bush war generals.
Have we forgotten the recent attack by General Matayo Kyaligonza, an Ambassador to Burundi and how he brazenly attacked and beat up, with the help of his security detail, on an innocent policewoman who was simply doing the job she was supposed to do?
Mind you, Kyaligonza is not just a General in the UPDF, he is also the Vice President of NRM for Western Region.
Everyone saw the expletives he spewed on national televisions as he abused the members of parliament who dared question his dishonourable act towards the policewoman.
He knows he had the back of the “Ssabalwayi”, a preferred nom-de- guerre of Museveni, who is also the Chairman of NRM.
Have we forgotten the other “bush-war general” who gave a dress-down to a senior judge for daring to question his attack on the temple of justice?
If you have, General David Tinyefunza as he was then known then, and who has since changed his name to Sejjusa, responded to a High Court judge with a question “where were you when we went to the bush to fight?”
Most recently, on New Year’s eve a few months back, we all saw the bar brawl that involved none other than President Museveni’s son, the rapidly promoted Lt. General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, who, together with his security, assaulted an innocent reveler as they saw off the New Year in a Kampala hangout.
I would go on and on with examples but many have played out in the public arena over the years so I will save the space.
However, what has been most outstanding in as far as breeding impunity in this country is concerned is the outfit called Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI).
What is most interesting, for the past 33 years of Museveni rule, him and his ilk have mastered the art of comparing what they have done to the era of former President Idi Amin.
Ironically, Museveni and his cronies, drunk on power, have at every opportunity reminded us of how they have managed to secure us Ugandans. From what though”, many have wondered, and continue to wonder.
Examples stated above notwithstanding, I want to pick just one, and compare institutions for this particular article.
When you look at CMI, what Amin’s much dreaded State Research Bureau (SRB) did, CMI have only perfected.
Talk of abducting people on streets in broad daylight and have been discovered dead, CMI under a Museveni relative Brig. Abel Kandiho have done with perfection.
This outfit has all the hallmarks of impunity written all over them and all they do is the bidding of their commander in chief, President Museveni.
They have taken over the work of Police, because they do not want to bother themselves with due-process – if there is any remaining in this country of ours.
Look at the current standoff with our neighbors, especially Rwanda, whereby it is said that CMI works with Rwanda rebel groups under the orders of Museveni.
Also, countless innocent Ugandans have been picked up by CMI from either their homes or at their places of work and have never been seen. Those that have been lucky, have ended up in their gulags spread across the country only to be discovered by their relatives to have been permanently impaired – and I must stress lucky here – because very few will get to see another day.
It is therefore absurdly laughable for Museveni to claim to have secured the country because the actions of his soldiers right from the lower cadre to the highest, by far overshadow Idi Amin’s.