“You cannot be here benefitting from the peace and security that we have created, that we have paid for in blood over many years and then you do things behind our backs and cause us problems. We will put you where you belong, there is no question about it” – President Paul Kagame (14.11.2019).
Today is yet another snag in the relations and the growing tensions between the Republic of Rwandan and the Republic of Uganda. Where the two big-men’s pride continue to stride and cost for the public. This is after yet more questionable deaths at the border point between Rwanda and Uganda this weekend.
In September 2019, the parties had agreed to hold a second Ad-Hoc Meeting, but by mid-October there was nothing in sight. The Rwandan diplomats and such was crying foul, but nothing happened about it. They were awaiting an invitation for a meeting, but now that it has come. The Rwandan parts has cancelled the Second Ad-Hoc Meeting in mid-November 2019.
This is all happening after the Luanda Memorandum of Understanding signed by the parties on the 21st August 2019. Therefore, the whole time after this there been no change between the parties. As the border points are closed. The lack of trade and the closure of movement, which has happen because of allegations and finding of illegal arrests of Rwandan citizens inside Uganda. And the support of militias to undermine Kigali. Clearly, the parties have a lot of things to work with combined with the measures made by Rwanda, with closure of border, suspend trade and also violent attacks across the border points towards Ugandan citizens. This is all creating a uneasy field and tensions between the Republics.
This has now happen during most of this calendar year, since the start in about March 2019. That is why this is an continuation of the policies and the acts of both governments. The lack of trust and the playing games. Doesn’t make this better and shows the value of an MoU. Which is at this point worthless, as the Ad-Hoc Commission is doing nothing to settle the score nor making the parties work together. That is why since September 2019, there been no progress or proof of finding any middle ground. To stop either insurgencies, to support militias, to stop the policies of trade and everything else. The supposed aliens and spies from Kigali in Kampala too. All of this is creating an uneasy atmosphere.
What we are learning with time is that the egos of Museveni and Kagame is strong. As none of them is backing down and is warning each other. The Republics and the egos are now spiralling this out. They are not only testing the grounds, but there are already victims there. That has been on both sides of border and this will continue. As long as they are doing this to each other.
Today’s revelation of the cancellation of the second Ad-Hoc Meeting isn’t only a worry, but shows that Rwandans are answering the warning note after the fatalities during the weekend. This is happening after mid last month, they were awaiting an invitation to another meeting. Therefore, the last Kigali meeting of September is the last word for now.
Both Kagame and Museveni needs to talk, sit down properly, kiss and make-up. They got to not only make a worthless document and a process, which creates nothing. That is futile and a waste of time. They need to negotiate and actually iron these things out. Since, this cost innocent civilians, this costs trade and also suspects illegal activity by both parties. Which is again infusing more uncertainty between the neighbours, which should be more friendly between brothers. Now, they are making small battles and small tiny victories, but nobody is really winning. As they are just postponing either diplomacy or filling the chambers with guns.
We rather hope for peace, not war. But these two are warlords who rules the Republics. They are known for militias, warfare and using armed personnel to get their way. Back-in-the-day, they worked together, but now the pride is going to their head. They want to be on top and be the big-man of the region. Neither want to look small compared to the other. That is how it seems. Instead of settling the difference and just talk. Peace.
The Ugandan-Rwandan tensions has been an issue for a while now. It started with a border closing between Rwanda and Uganda. As both parties have alleged insurgency and acts of ill intent from both parties. This being Rwandan spies in Kampala and Ugandan sponsored militias to cause a power-change in Kigali. This is all in the mix. As there are reports of sponsored militias from Kampala in the Democratic Republic of Congo and reports of militia leaders and rebels currently detained in Rwanda. Certainly, the stalemate and the brotherly love between the Republic is gone.
This from two heads of state, which has worked together since the late-80s or early 1990s. As the Ugandan President had Kagame as part of his intelligence team, before the RPA, now RPF took control of Rwanda by using military bases in Uganda. Therefore, these two gentlemen knows this and how to operate this. As they both also was involved in toppling the President Mobutu and Laurent Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo and have ever since been war-lords there.
That is why these two men knows what at stake. They know what game they are playing. Both President Paul Kagame and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has played this one out before. They have seen how this goes and now its been a back-and-fourth since March 2019. It continues to go. While the RNC, FDLR, MRCD and whatever name they go by these days. Continue to cause a stir in Kigali. We know something is up with both gentlemen, we just don’t know what.
“We have had officials of both countries meeting in Angola and in Kigali. We were supposed to have another meeting in Kampala on the 16th of October but there was no communication until we later read of an invitation in papers” (…) “There is also a problem of our citizens who are imprisoned in Ugandan prisons without trial” (…) “We restricted our citizens from travelling to Uganda because they are arrested at these same borders. How do you expect countries to trade when certain citizens are arrested the moment they cross the border?” (Paul Kagame, 08.11.2019).
What Paul Kagame said yesterday are talking points of the critics of Kampala. Certainly, the Ugandan counterparts have arrested and detained needlessly Rwandan citizens by the CMI, Flying Squad and ESO. This is known by “safe-houses” and other ungazetted buildings where suspects are kept without court order and so-on, on suspicion of ill-activity.
Therefore, what Kagame said wasn’t untrue, neither wrong, but his high and mighty isn’t righteous either. As he has self-inflicted lot of harm. He has supported plenty of armed militias and rebels. His also brutally silenced dissidents by any method in the book. That’s why Kagame should look into his own actions as well. Not just throw shade at Museveni. They are both playing these games.
What at stake here is that two big-men, two brutal Presidents whose has no quarrel starting a fight or a brawl. Are using their networks and their schemes to try to get a upper-hand. Both are trying to forge a narrative where they are the victim. They are playing with high stakes and hoping to get their way.
It seems that a sit-down wasn’t enough with these guys. These two needs a marriage counsellor and some anger management. Before this goes out of hand. It is bad enough that Museveni has hired enemies to cross Kagame. But they have both been involved in shady business before and could easily pay amends to each other. That before they both are sacrificing innocent civilians, because they couldn’t swallow some pride. There is already enough bad stories on the border-crossings of people getting hurt because of this stalemate. That should be enough for these two. That is if, if they care. Peace.
When reading the letter ‘Update on combating crime’, which was released today on the 3rd November 2019. It was like reading a spread-sheet from an Inspector General of Police. It was reading into the works of the police and investigations made by the Police Force. This wasn’t an letter made by actual President. The Head of State and the Command-in-Chief. No, this was the letter an Inspector General of Police (IGP) should have made.
That President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is micro-managing is now common knowledge. This is why just mere week ago or so, the Deputy IGP had to formulate a plan to criminal gangs, which was just putting basic policing onto a spread-sheet and call it a day. Therefore, what was made today, as a show of effort and work. The President really should have had the IGP J.M. Okoth-Ochola released this letter or something similar. Since, this is initially his job, if not let CP Fred Enaga do his thing and shred some cheese over it and call it a meal.
When saying all this. I will take some pieces of it and show why I feel like this. Because, that is the only way this letter from him makes some sense.
“Greetings, after some weeks of absence. This time, I will, again, address you on the issue of combating crime because crime was appearing, again, after we had suppressed it with Operation Wembley in the year 2002. The criminal groups, in recent times, had killed people in the areas of Kampala-Entebbe, Ntungamo, Lyantonde and the Kisoro areas. I have not yet received the report for Kisoro. However, for Kampala Metropolitan, Ntungamo and Lyantonde, the gangs have been wiped out. These gangs had killed 13 people, injured 2 and robbed sh. 24 million in total” (Museveni, 03.11.2019).
Francis K. Butagira statement at the United Nations in New York on the 8th July 2003: “The collection of illicit arms in an ongoing activity by law enforcement agencies. A Joint Task Force by the security agencies, code named “Operation Wembley” set up early in 2002 to tackle increased armed crime resulted in the recovery of hundreds of firearms” (Butagira, 08.07.2003). Sam A Akaki wrote: “Creation of ad hoc and unauthorised detaining agencies, such as Operation Wembley and its successor, the Violent Crime Crack Unit (VCCU)” (Written evidence submitted by International Lobby for Reform in Uganda (ILORU), December 2004). What this is showing how he promoted the Operation Wembly now and saying what is happening is the same the past ad-hoc action. This means, there are something similar in the path and usage of the police resources. Therefore, he could just have been an IGP and not so presidential.
After this he shows stories from several places in the Republic, where the been murders, thieving and gangs on rampage. Just writing a protocol of what is the gist of the criminal activity done and even whose name behind it. That is so not like a President, but like a Police Commander. However, he ended this piece with this:
“You all can see that what was missing was vigilance by the public and the Police and increasing the speed of responding by the Police. The cameras helped in a few cases. Forensic analysis of cartridges helped in all of them. Police dogs, helped a bit in the Ntungamo incidents. It is easy to defeat these criminals as I said from the very beginning. You can see, how the criminals are trying to use our good roads and the good telephone system to move from Kampala and commit crimes in Ntungamo or any other far corner of Uganda. I will not use permanent road-blocks to catch them. It disturbs Nalumanya and Ssalumanya (the ones who are guilty and the ones who are not guilty). I will always use the technology of jigger extraction. You do not hurt the toe because there is a jigger there. You patiently pull back the skin, until you extract the jigger itself and reward it with fire with little damage to the toe” (Museveni, 03.11.2019).
We can all see, that his pleased by his own achievement like a Police Commander would be, if his policies and his methods was working. However, his the President and not the Police Commander. Even, if he has the overall leadership of the Republic. That doesn’t mean that he should involve himself as directly as this.
The way he wrote the stories of the crimes. The way he is saying that the roads, the telephones and everything else makes it easier for criminals. What makes it easier for criminals to thrive is the lack of policing, lack of rule of law and also an impoverished police. What has been done here is ad-hoc acts of sudden change of what the police was focused on. Instead of focusing on opposition police, it actually did police work and went after gangs. However, that shouldn’t be commended, but says more about the lack of work been put in the right places by the authorities, by the President and by the supposed IGP. Nevertheless, this will continue and this is not the final word in the saga.
We just know it comes more, but this isn’t the sound of reassuring President. No, this is the words of a proud IGP doing his thing. Peace.
“Okay The point I’m making is this: Soldiering and policing, they ain’t the same thing. And before we went and took the wrong turn and start up with these war games, the cop walked a beat, and he learned that post. And if there were things that happened on that post, where there be a rape, a robbery, or a shooting, he had people out there helping him, feeding him information. But every time I came to you, my DEU sergeant, for information, to find out what’s going on out on them streets… all that came back was some bullshit. You had your stats, your arrests, your seizures, but don’t none of that amount to shit when it comes to protecting the neighborhood, now do it? [sighs] You know, he worst thing about this, so-called drug war, to my mind…it just, it ruined this job” – Howard “Bunny” Colvin – The Wire Season 3:10 (2004).
What Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) Sabiiti Muzeyi wrote and spelled out to the media in this weeks “Enhanced Security Plan to Curb Violent Crimes”. It was basically spelling out what policing is all about. Not strange it is like this, when the army is more involved, the leadership is patriotic, loyal cadres of the army and leaders from with the Police Force itself.
That is why these fellows could have been re-watching The Wire or any other Police TV-Series, which has been known for a while. Even Pacific Blue, Luther, NYPD Blue, Colombo and all the editions of Law & Order. All of these could say about the same thing.
What the DIGP did launch was more surveillance and investigation capacities, fingerprinting firearms, improving forensics department and more visible police officers in the traffic. This is all steps of ordinary policing. That is not re-inventing an art-form. Alas, this is not changing the ways of doing work.
That is why what they are wanting to do. Is to directly wire-tap gangs, follow-up on CCTV Cameras and investigations itself. So, that they can follow-up on suspects and find proper evidence to link possible criminals. This should be their works, follow leads and breadcrumbs, even have proper detectives, that detect things and solves cases. That shouldn’t so hard, but you cannot anticipate soldiers and the army men to get this. They are securing a territory, they are in the line-of-fire, they are not getting affidavits, finding the motives and the evidence. The Army will use force to keep safety, they will guard a perimeter and secure a venue. They will not find a person with a guilty conscience and ID a suspect with fingerprints and so-on. This they could have learned from watching TV.
Therefore, this sort of enhanced plan to crack down on gangs isn’t that substantial. It shows more the lack of finesse, the lack of protocol and the lack of work ethic within the force. They are just soldiers on the beat and not doing policing. That is why they are not able to stop the gangs from existing. This is how it seems.
This report and PR hasn’t shown strength or ability to restructure. Instead, it has shown weakness and that they have been focused on other work. The Police is known for monitoring opposition leaders, their gatherings and such, but not handling actual criminals. This is maybe why it has to learn basic policing. Which is a sad sight.
Maybe, the UPF should hold seminars, hold course and even have bonus evenings in the police stations with talking points and questions after watching the Wire or anyone else. To see, if there are anything they could learn to do their actual job. Peace.
“I have given 2 days to Commander Sabiiti of the Police to come out with a plan to combat these gangs. The IGP is away in Peru for a meeting. I will look at that plan, comment on it and it will, then, be communicated to all of you. It is easy to defeat these gangs. Their crimes will only add to the credit of the NRM because we are going to defeat them. Yet, the People have already seen the bankruptcy and the criminality of these groups and those who back them” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 15.10.2019).
Well, Deputy IGP Steven Sabiiti Muzeyi has really only about 24 hours to finish the plan to challenge gangs as a Police Officer, a high ranking security official and a former Major General in the army. This on orders and by commands put on Social Media yesterday by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Who should have just sent him the package of already well-written ideas from last year. Unless, these are already fixed.
Because on the 20th June 2018, the President dropped his 9 Point Plan to end insecurity. Which was an extensive plan, but you can bug now 1 ½ year later if the Uganda Police Force and the other agencies did comply to this. Even if the magical plan of last year was implemented and put into action.
Like are the police able to collect fingerprints and ID guns? Are the police able to find out by register of boda-boda’s? How is it going with those specialized helmets for boda-boda drivers? Haven’t the CCTV’s done anything, now that they are actually up and going? How is it going with the building of that forensic laboratory? What is going on wit the Flying Squad? Are the any regulation of drones? How is it going with the thieves den on WhatsApp and on Social Media, any signals of catching up on that? Finally, have the Police and Customs acquired any scanners to secure transit of cargo?
This is brief and quick asking of the 9 Point Programme, as the DIGP Sabiiti only has one more day left. But if felt I left out the breadcrumbs of the DIGP to follow, as he stated earlier in his text: “However, for today, I will only comment on the pigs that are attacking People with pangas and mitayimbwa (steel- bars) and robbing them” (Museveni, 15.10.2019). Not that he has to register or look for lost pigs. No, that he has to register pangas, get people to them illuminated numbers in a registry and also combat illegal imports of steal bars. Maybe even, secure previous 9 point plan and actually enforce it.
Who knows, maybe the bans of hoods wasn’t an bad idea, since the Police Force neither has capacity or resources to follow up on previous orders above high. DIGP Sabiiti won’t say that, because than he might be forced to resign or get assigned to a foot-post in Kotido district or something.
If the President was serious he would have given him more time. As he himself hasn’t finished any of his previously made plans, starting all the way back to the 10-Point Programme, before the Vision 2020 or 2040, even the National Development Plan I and II. Therefore, the man should be a bit more patient with his technocrat or civil servant. However, don’t anticipate that. But just like the 9 Pointer of last year.
The additions made by the DIGP will be put in a stacks of paper and forgotten. That is just the way it is, because the funds are only for monitoring opposition and not fight actual crime. Peace.
“I am a member of parliament, honourable members and I felt hurt when you ashamed the institution of parliament for knocking at peoples gates thinking that its a safe house. I want them to apologise for shaming parliament” – Gen. Elly Tumwiine (Moses Namayo – ‘Gen Tumwine wants MPs to apologise for “invading safe houses”’, Nilepost, 02.10.2019).
Dear Sir, General Elly Tumwiine, Members of Parliament (MP) and the Minister of Security.
I am writing to you, because clearly it is need. For someone being an MP and Minister. You surely need a kind lecture.
I know your arrogant and feels entitled to living lavish and being unquestioned for role in the National Resistance Army war against Milton Obote II government from 1980-86. Since, then you have been in power together with the President. This is public knowledge.
However, I am not writing to you because of your history. I am writing to you, because you need to hear this. I cannot believe I have to write it even, but apparently I do. The Members of Parliament are Representatives of their constituents, they are the Representatives of the citizens. Initially, they are the lawmakers and the ones having oversight of the government, the Republic and secures the state. The Security Organizations are mandated to secure the country for crime, spying and possible insurgency. The army has mandate to secure the territory and safe the Republic, but not to be policing.
Just as I wrote that, I have to be clear, as Representatives of the Citizens, they are there to ensure the citizens are safe and taken care of accordingly to laws. The MPs did their job as an oversight mechanism to see the state of the safe-houses. Because, this is ungazetted safe-houses should be scrutinized and analysed like Nalufenya Prison before its closure. Surely, there is found and litigated violations of laws from the safe-houses, as this has been proven in the Courts. Therefore, the MPs should be allowed to enter and report to the Parliament.
General Tumwiine, you need to understand your place. Your in the mercy of the MPs and the citizens who elected them. They are not your minions or your little civilians. They are the people, who is there to ensure the public safety. Which you are supposed to respect as a Minister and MP in Parliament too. Instead, you want to keep these practices secret and only the survivors and brave enough to speak about it. Get to give a little gist of the acts done by the Security Organization within these ungazetted safe-houses.
Mr. General, your not superior, these practices will be shed lights on, whether you like it or not. Because, the truth will appear eventually, not because you want it, but the reality will be surfaced or leaked. At one point, the acts and the questionable violations done in the mercy of the security agents of the state. Will shed lights on the ones you want to keep a secret.
Still, you should let the citizens and the MPs know what that is done. General Tumwiine you need to understand your part. Because, you got no rights keeping people without warrants, without court rulings or in detention indefinitely. These things needs to be brought to light. We cannot let this be in the darkness. What we already know about these Safe-Houses is grim and bleak parts of humanity, which a state shouldn’t do. However, you want this behind closed doors and forgotten.
What if one day, another regime put you and your family members in a house like this, General? Wouldn’t you like your MP to knock on the door and check if he laws was abided and your rights was preserved? Have you considered that?
General Tumwiine, tides are turning, times are changing. We don’t know tomorrow, that is why we have to make the best of today and try to make tomorrow, even better. Therefore, you should think of the future and what might happen to you. Who is now defending these practices, who says that you cannot end up in similar places?
I am not the one to charge you, I am just the one to make you think and maybe reconsider your approach. General, the MPs should be allowed to enter and do their duty. Just like you have the duty to ensure the Republic is safe and prevent crime. That doesn’t mean, the state shouldn’t allow questions in how it does it.
Time for you to respect others and actually listen to others. It would be helpful.
Writer of Minbane