As his contest with People Power intensifies, Museveni’s hands just got bloodier
By Charles Kamya Ssentamu
President Museveni’s relentless efforts to contain a rapidly growing youth movement against his misrule claimed another victim this week in yet more evidence how he is increasingly turning this into a bloody contest.
The lifeless body of Omara Bonny the coordinator for legislator Robert Kyagulanyi’s People Power movement in Amolatar District in northern Uganda was on January 21 found dumped in Lira District. With hands and feet bound using a rope running from his neck and injuries to the head, the body bore the hallmarks of the infamous “kandoya” torture method that is frequently used within Museveni’s security system.
Omara was the third People Power affiliated youth activist to lose his life in the past five months, at the behest of suspected Museveni regime extremists within Uganda’s deeply partisan security establishment. Details are still scanty about how the coordinator, whose base is Amolatar a district away from Lira, wound up dead far from home.
It is however suspected that his death is connected to recent efforts by police to stymie efforts by Bobi Wine to conduct successful public consultations in the area about his planned presidential bid.
The photo of the dead man went viral on social media where a journalist working for the BBC downed his tools to administer first aid to a man who was bleeding profusely, having been beaten to pulp by Ugandan security forces. It touched millions across the world.
The death of the People Power organizer follows that of Hannington Ssewankambo, popularly known as Sweet Pepsi, who died last November after succumbing to injuries inflicted on him by soldiers of Museveni’s personal protection force – the dreaded Special Forces Command.
Sewankambo was battered by SFC regulars when he joined thousands of Ugandans that had turned up to welcome Bobi Wine into the country on his return from treatment abroad, following his own torture at the hands of the same force in 2018.
The string of extra-judicial executions and abductions that have come in the wake of the People Power movement is exposing Yoweri Museveni as a real Idi Amin, many have been commenting. In August 2019 Michael Alinda aka Ziggy Wyne, a performing artist who was also affiliated to People Power succumbed to death at Mulago National Referral Hospital.
Ziggy Wyne died from horrible injuries inflicted during torture, including an eye that had been gouged out. He had been dumped barely alive at the hospital by people whose identity the police has not disclosed up to now, despite the existence of surveillance cameras.
These deaths are just a few of the prominent ones that have been documented. But many lesser known souls have passed away after acts of assault by the security forces, including deliberately being run over by police vehicles. They reinforce a pattern of selective assassinations that have long been a modus operandi of Museveni’s that’s now becoming more exposed.
Many have been kidnapped and not heard of again. The family of John Bosco Kibalama, another prominent People Power organizer who disappeared mid last year fear he is dead.
But Ugandan youths are refusing to be cowed into surrender to a regime that has been thoroughly revealed to be incompetent, bumbling, and highly corrupt.
Some analysts believe that there are many more collateral victims of Museveni’s panicky reaction to unprecedented opposition as his security operatives murder many more innocent people, to make the targeted killings appear like part of a general breakdown in law and order.
General Kahinda Otafiire a fellow corrupt-to-the-born operator as Museveni, and one of those that know the ruler very well has already warned Ugandans that the man will stop at nothing to advance his hereditary project. In other words if it means massacring all People Power supporters, or anyone else, Museveni is ready to do it!
He is plotting to have his son Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba succeed him in the infamous “Muhoozi Project”, everything else be damned.
As events have demonstrated, Ugandans must brace for the worst or ignore Otafiire’s warning at their own peril!