Why Kaka Bagyenda is on his way out of office
By Moses Ssejjoba
A few months ago, the motor-mouthed Andrew Mwenda, a communication strategist for President Museveni unleashed vitriol over the head of Internal Security Organisation Col. Kaka Bagyenda.
According to Mwenda, who is known to hide behind pseudo journalism to sanitize Museveni, Kaka is singularly responsible for the torture of Ugandans and foreigners using “safe houses” that he has established across Uganda. “I, Andrew Mwenda, made an investigation and established that Bagyenda does not only maintain safe houses in Kampala, but also across the country, including on islands in Lake Victoria,” Mwenda said during a political talk show on NBS television last year.
Many started wondering how Mwenda has suddenly turned against the regime from which he earns hundreds of millions of shillings, with some jokingly saying that probably his cheque had been delayed so this was a way of reminding the paymaster. That was however not the case.
Mwenda’s hit on Bagyenda was a calculated move that was part of a wider scheme by Museveni acolytes to alienate the ISO man. Mwenda made sure blame for abuses of people rights in Uganda is apportioned to Bagyenda; not the entire security apparatus, or even ISO as an institution – but Bagyenda as an individual.
Then as the country is in the throes of a critical phase of the storm raised by the COVID-19 epidemic – which Uganda has completely, and shambolically mishandled – Museveni on Saturday made promotions in the Army. Among the few officers who were promoted is the notorious Brig. Abel Kandiho, the head of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) who has been promoted to Major General.
Also promoted is Kandiho’s close associate, Charles Asiimwe who is promoted from Colonel to Brigadier. Asiimwe is the CMI deputy director in charge of counter-terrorism and has worked very closely with Kandiho to brutalize so many Ugandans.
Explaining the promotions, especially in CMI, Brig. Richard Karemire, the UPDF Spokesperson said, “due to the strategic coverage, and size of CMI the institution now requires a two-star command.” Analysts believe that this latest development is part of a wider scheme to alienate not only Bagyenda, but also ISO as an institution in Museveni’s security apparatus.
“The infighting for operational funds and to catch the eye of Museveni has been playing out in the open between the two institutions, and now we have a clear winner,” said a political commentator based in Kampala. According to this source, Bagyenda is as good as done, and that the ISO chief should have seen this coming for a long time.
“First, a sequence of hard-core criminals like Sobbi around mid-last year were all over the media claiming to work for ISO and bragging how they were involved in torturing people. That should have been the first red flag for Kaka,” our source said.
Another red flag, the analyst opined, was “the resurrection of the murder case against Kaka’s son, which had been buried due to the father’s clout – or at least when he still had it.”
Brian Bagyenda was last month convicted and handed a 32-year sentence for the murder of his ex-friend, one Enid Twijuke. The case was resurrected at the beginning of this year, after years of pleading for justice by the girl’s family while the junior Bagyenda remained scot-free. The family had given up on the fight for justice until the case suddenly was brought back and expeditiously concluded.
“It is good that the girl’s family got the justice they yearned for but we all know that as long as Museveni still has you in his good books, you will get away with anything. Look at how the Kanyamunyu case has dragged on,” any Ugandan will point out.
The Kanyamunyu case involves two sons from a prominent family from Western Uganda who shot an innocent young man identified as Kenneth Akena in Kampala in 2016 using an unlicensed gun. Up to now the case has dragged on.
The conclusion, when everything is taken into account is that Museveni will soon sacrifice Kaka in the fight between ISO and CMI.
This website tried to establish what could be behind the jostling between ISO and CMI, especially at this particular time and different sources pointed to 2021.
Analysts say with the General Elections on the horizons, everyone is angling for the classified budget. During election, Museveni is known to give a blank cheque to anyone that will help him rig his way to another term. It explains this bickering between the two security organs.