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Politics

Inside Museveni’s AMISOM veterans’ scam

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By Moses Ssejjoba

Government has announced that the Uganda Peoples Defense Force (UPDF) will soon send a contingent of 1500 veterans of the military to serve under the African Union Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

The move, as has been explained to Ugandans, is for the veterans, who have long been forgotten and have of recent been making their discontent known because of deplorable living conditions, to benefit from the lucrative deployment. To the top brass of the UPDF, this move has been explained as aimed at curtailing the wave of crime that has of late been on the rise, especially in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area, where dozens of people have been killed and robbed.

The armed robberies, which have occurred in succession and carried out by men riding on motorcycles, have been recently attributed by police to “people with high level of training, most probably by military”. The robbers are not only highly sophisticated and heavily equipped– even beyond the standards of the regular military rank and file – they are always equipped with military grade equipment, including the guns and other apparels.

So as explained to the military leadership led by the Museveni trinity of evil – the father (Museveni) the son (Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba) and the holy ghost (the brother Gen Caleb Akandwanaho aka Salim Saleh), this new Somalia scheme will curtail the wave of urban crime, which they have attributed to disenfranchised ex-combatants.

This is how they set their scheme in motion; get something for the veterans to earn a living through the lucrative gig in Somalia, then the crime will stop because even after the 1500 have completed their tour of duty, more will go and eventually everyone will be catered for. Good on paper but that is as far as it gets and this website has obtained evidence to back this up.

One, the robberies, including one that occurred a few weeks back at Nansana where at least four people died and thieves made away with close to 400 million shillings, and a string of subsequent heists, have been directly linked to officers in active service. Not veterans.

As stated at the beginning of this article, it is not the ordinary soldiers that have been linked to these atrocities; they are from the elite units, mainly the Special Forces Command (SFC) that was once commanded by Muhoozi and to whom they continue to report, in his capacity as “Presidential Senior Advisor for Special Operations.”

For clues, look no further than another foiled robbery that occurred back in March this year, where a bullion van that carried hundreds of millions from Kayunga was waylaid and it was all a done deal had it not been a disagreement that occurred between the thieves.

In an ensuing shootout, two robbers were killed and they were both found to have links with elite security organs.

In fact, one identified as Bright Turyatunga was found to be attached to SFC whose card he was found with and was later confirmed to be part of the elite force by a spokesperson, albeit with claims that he had been redeployed to Internal Security Organisation (ISO).

So it is in black and white that the criminals in this case are not the disenfranchised veterans but those in active service and the Somalia plot is a gambit by the trinity and their cabal. Now that the excuse has been created for the UPDF to deploy its veterans, the exercise will in no time be snapped from the formal military structures and taken to Salim Saleh, the so-called champion of the veterans and that there is where the gambit lies.

Saleh has for the past 33 years of his brother’s misrule of Uganda been associated with scores of shoddy deals, right from the one of junk military helicopters in which Uganda lost millions of dollars, the illegal acquisition and sell of the former Uganda Commercial Bank among many others. It is therefore justified that Ugandans read mischief in this Somalia scheme.

Already, the veterans are complaining about the unclear registration process. The scheming aside, the move raises more questions on the importance that Museveni attaches to the mission itself and in particular the people of Somalia.

It only shows that the peacekeeping mission to him is more of a welfare scheme for his soldiers than being an effort to pacify the Horn of Africa nation where UPDF troops have been deployed alongside other nations for the past 12 years as part of AMISOM.

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