Uganda: Ribe Pi Pace (RPP) – RE: Milita Approach of Commercial Charcoal Dealers & teh Uganda Police Syndicatted Involvement in the Vice (14.05.2023)
I write what I like.
Today, the recent tally in the hands of security, law enforcement and people in uniform has run up to five in 11 days. After another incident involving a security officer with a gun killing a colleague. That is happening within mere days of the assassination of the Minister. Therefore, the National Resistance Movement and their choices in ways of governing is coming back to bite.
The NRM has entangled itself a massive haul of guns. A nation filled with “hired” guns and with private security companies. Also in additional police and army units, which are mostly armed as well. If you didn’t that was enough… just earlier this month there was reports that 114,000 guns are unregistered. Meaning there is a lot of arms about without any sort of trace or ability to quickly find in the government registry. Which is giving leeway to armed and vicious people…
We know the NRM has a lot of blood on its hands. There have been like every year in its existence some sort of “mysterious death”. Where people has died in mysterious circumstances or has vanished. If not they have been bloody murdered, but no one can find the culprit or the ones behind the killing. Therefore, this isn’t new…
What is new is that Police Officers are killing civilians on tape. What is new is seeing and hearing security officers on the run after a shooting incident. What is new is hearing VIP Security Officers killing the one they are looking after. Because, in the past it’s been secret details or “hoodlums” who has passed by and done the deed. Before going into thin-air and no one finding out who did it or why…
Now… there is reasons for this. The NRM are stingy with it pockets. The Law Enforcement, Soldiers and Security are badly paid. Their stomachs are possibly growling. They are not living large or well. The men are armed and have bullets, but they don’t have sufficient pay or allowances. While the people they are looking after and ensuring the safety of … is easily bashing in wealth.
The Government have to handle this one. They are endangering society now. The ordinary day-to-day life. The livelihoods and daily operations is at stake if this continues. The men with arms cannot be hungry, distressed or concerned. That’s why they are pulling the triggers and causing even more suffering. They have no other way to go and the only thing they know is to pull the trigger. That isn’t solving anything, but at least they get of some “steam”. When doing so they are killing a third or an innocent party… who isn’t the reason for their troubles. The trouble comes from the “high above” and in the chain of command.
The NRM has used guns, the President is living by the gun and now his people is dying by it too. It isn’t just one rare incident. No, this is a systemic one now. It isn’t only stolen gun or one basket-case of an individual. No, this is a sign and should make people worried. Five people have now died as cause of this. That is a pattern…
The only thing NRM could thump up its chest about was “safety” and “peace”. Now the way and the NRM Way is hurting itself. The idea that guns can solve everything is biting back hard. The thought that the more guns, the more you are safe is wrong. Especially, if the ones holding the arms are hungry or at a state of mind… that this is the last resort. The gunman, the man of arms who are employed or part of a security organisation has to be taken care of. If his not… his a danger to society and can easily pop-off. He got training and knows how to aim. That’s his job and his duty. So, if has trouble and got no other avenue to rectify his troubles. He will go to the gun and follow the example of His Excellency.
That’s why it’s tragic. These people haven’t seen another way out. The sought this way, because of desperation and need. They were cornered and went to their “safe-have” – the gun.
Now… in 2023 the NRM got a gun problem. Not only the 114,000 unregistered ones. They got a massive undertaking of their whole security apparatus and how these things are organized. Because, they got to take better care of the law enforcement, soldiers and in general security personnel. If they don’t… we will see more incidents, more murder and more suffering.
The NRM has a choice now. They can either try to act upon the issue or hope people forget. However, the ones with the guns will not forget and they easily access weapons. That’s why this is a dangerous game to play. Sooner or later the bullets are flying. Sooner or later the blood is running and life is lost. That could have been avoided, but will NRM do anything about it?
It goes against the militarism of society, politics and everything NRM touches. Arms has been the go-to choice of remedy. We just have to see if the NRM can find another way. I doubt it… Peace.
This years “Tarehe Sita” seems to be downplayed and disregarded. Not that… it’s shocking or sincerely surprising. Since the reality on the ground is changing. The ones who fought and was part of the bush-war is dying, if not already dead. The few who is left behind is either defiant or betrayed. Except the few who is in the elite and the families who are benefiting from the 1980s war.
The National Resistance Army (NRA) and Museveni came with a promise. It came with pledges and words of fundamental change. We know by now that this has been thwarted and the goalpost have been changed as well. The reasons to go to war and the reason for resisting the ruling government are now gone.
The same ills, impunity and totalitarian government is served by the current regime. There is no fundamental change, when “drones” are taking civilians, civilians are charged in military courts and extra judicial killings are explained away. That’s what is happening, and the liberation of the NRA is long gone.
You know Museveni wants it to be his legendary tale, when he describes it like this:
“Congratulations all Ugandans on the occasion of the 42ndAnniversary of Tarehe Sita. To inform the Bazukulu, the 6thof February, 1981, at 0800 hours (Saa mbiri z’asubuhi), is when the 43 of us, but with 27 rifles, attacked the huge garrison of the Kabaamba Military Training School with the aim of regaining some of the 9,000 rifles, Fronasa had handed to the joint force created after the defeat of the Idi Amin regime. This united force had been given the designation of the UNLA” (Museveni, 06.02.2023).
We know that he wants it to sound prestigious and legendary. The mighty fell to a chosen few. Even when he boosted of a big personal army in FRONASA and as a part of the overthrow of Amin. Hard to imagine that these troops disappeared and went away that quickly after 1979. However, tales must be exaggerated and boasted with time. Just so it sounds supreme and glorious.
Just to put this into perspective:
“On December 23, 1978, rebel Museveni and his merry band of rebels (under the conductorship of Julius Nyerere) embarked on massive recruitment. Soon, Museveni had 200 fighters culled from Ugandan workers in Karagwe District, Tanzania. As he swept into Uganda, Museveni recruited more than 8,000 troops and that’s when Museveni’s Front for National Salvation (Fronasa) teamed up with Tanzanian forces to “liberate” Mbarara on January 28, 1979” (Phillip Matogo – ‘NRA’s 27 guns and tall poppy syndrome’ 02.05.2021, Daily Monitor).
The numbers speak for themselves, and the myth is created to make Museveni seem above it all. Because, if the numbers are better and larger army. The “Tarehe Sita” story makes it seems like an underdog beat the big dog. Instead, the reality might be more boring or more of the ordinary, which isn’t what Museveni wants people to believe. It is also easier to lie, when most of the “we fought tribe” is deceased and no one can counter his origin story. Alas, the records and the past tales will haunt him. Since, we all know that Yoweri cannot be silent or stop talking…
The ironies of the complaints of previous government from Museveni:
“Why such growth in such a short time? It was on account of the following reasons:
(1) People being desperately fed up with the brutality and non-accountability of the old armies ─ UA, UNLA;
(2) UPC blocking the democratic process of genuine and constructive debate that we warned them about many times but never paid heed to our warnings:
(3) The collapse of the economy ─no consumer goods, no wealth creation, magendo, kibaanda, kusamula” (Museveni, 06.02.2023).
Again, Museveni don’t have enough insight or understanding of his own making. The words that his expressing here about the past leadership, the ones he toppled. They can be used against him. The same reasons that he gave to take down Amin or Obote. Can now be used against him and rightfully so. The same traits, the impunity and lack of good governance is all what he does. The same security threats, the same societal issues and bottle-necks haven’t been resolved. Instead, he has amplified it for his own personal gain. That’s why the security organizations are taking away people’s liberties, rights to assemble and be active citizens. Because, if they are… they are easily targets and get’s into legal trouble. That’s just the acts of his government.
That’s why the tales of the Bush-War and the “We Fought Tribe” is becoming irrelevant. The reasons for the war and the toppling of Obote has been forgotten. The leaders, the elites and the President have himself become the same dictator he claimed his predecessors was. Museveni have become everything he fought against. He is blocking the democratic process, the possible peaceful transition and isn’t creating a feasible economy. If the President did… he wouldn’t be where he is today. Peace.
Well, after reading the depressing statement “on alleged abductions” from Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja. We can clearly estimate and assess that the government is cleaning their hands or taking a blind eye to the fact. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) and their allies are not clever enough or wise to bring forth a proper statement. Neither able to articulate or make their statement believable. However, then again, the President appointed fishermen and not brilliant technocrats.
Like the PM stated in her statement:
“To say that Government abducts people, Rt. Hon. Speaker, is to impute that the Government leads someone away by force or fraudulent persuasion. Rt Hon Speaker, Government cannot rule out the fact that the word “abduction” is being maliciously used by the opposition for purposes of blackmailing us, and we highly condemn this act. The opposition are deliberately referring to arrests as abductions. An arrest done by a Police officer cannot in any way turn into an abduction. Rt. Hon. Speaker, I want to categorically state that Government arrests suspected criminals and has not abducted or does not abduct anybody” (Nabbanja, 02.02.2023).
With these sorts of words in early February 2023 makes it unbelievable. The person who says and print it cannot believe it herself. These words are just obnoxious and sincerely troublesome. It is saying that the opposition is “crying wolf” and stating it doesn’t happen. However, there are enough reports and enough people pleading for their loved ones. Who has been taken away, arbitrary arrested, abducted, kept incommunicado and later arraigned in courts after the fact. Therefore, the PM hope people are naïve or stupid. I don’t know which, but one of them is what she’s aiming for.
Without a doubt, the PM explained the nature of the “drones” by default too:
“Indeed, due to the evolving nature of crime to sophisticated levels owing to technological advancement, sometimes the Government may be compelled to effect arrests using plain clothed oflicers and vehicles with civilian registration number plates and other unconventional methods of arrest to keep pace with the ever changing criminal tactics” (Nabbanja, 02.02.2023).
While she claims this is ways to capture and arrest sophisticated criminals. We know these tactics and means to an end is to take in opposition, activists and other people who defies the government. That is an deliberate act by the security organizations and the “drones” are used frequently. The news of abductions and arbitrary arrests are common placed. That’s because of how these state security organizations are operating without fear or consequences. They are doing it and with the blessings of the “high above”. Which is why some civilians are arraigned in military courts to answer for their “alleged crimes” too. It’s a scheme to deter and silence critics. The PM is clear about the activity but claims the victims’ fault for being “criminals” without any facts or evidence of any criminal acts. That just proves the fault-lines of the PM.
The PM ends with some utter baffling response:
“Sharing information on the particulars of an arrest, that is to say who has been arrested, from where, by who and how, will go a long way to not only assist the Government to explain the whereabouts of the arrested persons but also determine whether the arrest was conducted by authorised persons or whether indeed it is a kidnap by criminal elements. Like I stated earlier, the leader of Opposition has not positively responded to the Rt. Hon Deputy Speaker’s request to furnish Government with adequate details/particulars of persons allegedly abducted such as Village of residence, place of work, next of kin, telephone contact, police reference of reports of missing persons, among others yet they are very important for investigation purposes. This has made it difficult for our security teams to trace for these persons” Nabbanja, 02.02.2023).
This is like the right thing to say, but the PM knows better. That’s if she wanted to be sincere. However, we know that she is a part of the problem and a figure head of the state. Which is why she’s undermining and acting “holier than thou”. The PM is just showing how the state neglects the victims of abduction and acts like it got the laws on its side. That the mere gist of the whole statement. She is denying and acting surprised that the Opposition is coming with lists of missing people. Like it never appeared and didn’t really happen. If it did happen, then they were sophisticated “criminals” to begin with. Therefore, we know the malice and the malicious attempts of cleaning the slate for own personal benefits.
We can with certainty say that the Government and the NRM will not take responsibility. It will act like it never happened. They will state the Constitution and the laws, but not say that it acts beyond that. Which is something we already knows, because we heard the stories and read the pleas of the families who has abducted family members. Therefore, the impunity and saga is far from over.
This is the liberty and freedom, the fundamental change Museveni promised in the 1980s. No, I was wrong. He said the opposite, but he stays in power by taking away liberty from the ones who stands in his way. Peace.
“Colleagues, whether you are who or who, no one will be allowed to blackmail this House because I have seen now where we are going. You have started a very dangerous game” (…) “Not any single day will a member come, undress here, try even to commit suicide here. If you are doing it for your constituency and you want to appease your constituency to show you are the one who has worked, do it, but it will never influence any decision I make here” (…) “Started that issue without honourable Zaake being here. Honourable Zaake has not been in this House for over 10 sittings and without my permission, but I have never spoken about him because he is a brother. You leave a colleague, maybe he is in a constituency, but I want to caution you…” (…) “If you ( Zaake) want to do drama, go and do it in your constituency, you can’t do it on this floor. If you want pictures of people holding you up and how you were arrested to use during campaigns, we can organise for you, we are near national theatre” – Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa (29.11.2022).
The Deputy Speaker of the 11th Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa is more into protocol and plenary rules, than into the plights of the people. That is obvious after the recent actions. His acting high and mighty, but he will fall like the rest of them.
Right now Tayebwa is useful. His a loyal subject and one of them who is eating. Nevertheless, when you fall out of favour or do one big miss. You will fall and never return to good graces. It is easy to be boastful and entitled when you have everything.
Zaake might have been out of order. He might have broken a rule or too. However, who would have believed or given him any time of day. Zaake MP has already lost privileges and been scorned in Parliament. It isn’t like his a big-man or a person of vast influence. No, his a renegade MP who fights for his causes. Maybe not doing it by the book.
What he did though, was to infuriate the Deputy Speaker and many others in such a fashion. That the people have to speak out about the kidnapping, abductions, the political prisoners and the “drones” which are used by the authorities. That’s what Zaake did and it’s clever that way.
Maybe Zaake will be punished or get violated in the Parliament. That will not be anywhere near as damaging as the torture he has felt or the injustice the authorities has served him in the past. Zaake MP knows the pain of the opposition leaders, activists and anyone who dares to question the government of the day. He knows the cost and that’s why his vocal about it. No one should blame him for that. He knows better than most how painful and what sort of suffering people are going through.
That’s why the Deputy Speaker can ridicule and mock him. Nevertheless, it doesn’t make the case less important. We know the Government and the Authorities has no interest in investigating or showing the real numbers of the ones suffering injustice. No, they rather act like it doesn’t really happen or is just an anomaly.
We know now that the Deputy Speaker will defend rules, but not have anyone speak out on the injustice done by the state. That is the message. The Parliament isn’t the place for grievances and it will only be Ministerial Statements from the likes of Muhwezi, which will not bring the truth to the table. Because, the authorities would never give a full picture and only small fragments of what is going on.
The kidnappings, the abductions, the keeping people incommunicado and without trial continues. The torturing and the extra judicial killings. That is all done on behalf of the government and the Deputy Speaker honourably represents that… he honours that and he will not have anyone crying out loud. No, he prefers silence and once in a while condoning it. Peace.
“The Government of Uganda does not run any safe houses or ungazetted detention areas. It does not, and when we come back tomorrow, we shall share with you a report from Parliament where they went around all these places, which were alleged to be safe houses and they found they were none. If this happens, then that is a person acting on frolic of their own, and it is not a position of the government of Uganda” – Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka (09.11.2022).
Some days you are amazed. Some days you are flabbergasted and outraged, but not surprised. The Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka has a gift for lying. At a recent a recent meeting of the United Nations Committee Against Torture, the AG uttered these words and some more. Which is just the true definition of lying. He must know it and it should haunt him.
Because, by saying these lies. His just another merchant and a man who allows this to happen on his watch. The AG is content with the arbitrary arrests, kidnappings, torture and injustice served on civilians across the Republic. The AG can act like it never happen and isn’t existing, but we know better. We see the missing people, hear about the tortured people returned and the deposed bodies of activists or opposition leaders; which has occurred on the regular. Therefore, the lies is only showing that the AG is complicit and happy to be a part of regime.
“We can assure the committee here that the government of Uganda does not condone the acts of torture. It frowns upon it and we do prosecute those that have been alleged to have been committing these offences” – Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka (09.11.2022).
It is like the AG have forgotten about these reports alone. One from the former leader of ISO and the other the previous Minister of Security, late Gen. Tumwine. These told stories and we know it’s legit. The Safe-House are existing, the authorities are torturing and kidnapping civilians and this is happening on a semi-regular basis. That’s why these places or areas exists
This is why I just show these, I could have taken pieces from recent court cases of the recent years. Where the victims and innocent civilians has been violated by the state. They have been tortured and kept incommunicado. That’s why we know its happening and the AG cannot just act like it isn’t the modus operandi of the government.
Just read these here.
“At that point, Kaka, then Director General of the Internal Security Organization, who owned islands, Lwamayiba, Ssemuganja and land on Funve and Bunyama Island found it wise to use Lwamayiba as a detention center. Several temporary structures were erected at Lwamayiba, soldiers taken as the place turned into a detention center. “While there, you cannot leave since there are no boats that are used for transport. Soldiers there determine whether you are under rehabilitation or punishment,” one of the victims of the harassment says. The area according to a one Musa, the LC1 Chairperson of Lwamayiba landing site, on Kaka’s detention center was not enough prompting the forwarding of some suspects and officers to Panorama cottages, a facility situated on Kalangala’s main Island, owned by Col Kaka” (Entebbe Post – ‘Col Kaka’s Panorama Cottages turns into a Safe House’ 13.08.2020).
“General Tumwine informed the committee that Uganda had safe houses and noted that safe houses were secure places used for intelligence work. He further said that all intelligence and security agencies world over operate safe houses and that the running of safe houses was not peculiar to Uganda but a worldwide intelligence practice” (Parliament Watch – ‘The State of Safe Houses in Uganda’ 05.11.2021).
We also know that the safe-houses haven’t been investigated. Some MPs was blocked from entering and investigating the premises. The then Minister of Security Gen. Tumwine didn’t allow the MPs to enter. We also know the current Minister of Security Maj. Gen. Muhwezi is claiming there is no safe-houses. However, we know that his lying too. Because, would Gen. Tumwine address it like this a year before?
Just like the state lied about the closure of Nalufenya. You can expect further places in operation and in use. Not only the ones on Lake Victoria, but other places too. There are safe-houses who is in operation and are used for the benefit of the state. That is the gist of things.
We know now that the AG is willing to drop the big lie. He is willing to tarnish his name and reputation to serve the impunity and injustice of the state. His not a man of honour or integrity. The AG is just a merchant of injustice. Peace.
The “drones” or “Panda Gari’s” never left the Republic. It is clear that abductions, kidnappings, keeping people detained incommunicado, torturing and also extra judicial killing is far from over. The authorities does it in broad daylight, they do it in the middle of the day. They come unannounced and without warrants, take away people and their remaining family or friends are shocked.
This can happen because the family is in exile, associated with the “wrong” political party or has some sort “questionable” behaviour. There can be “intelligence” gathered against the person, but nothing has been in the courts. None of the charges or the reasons to apprehend, abduct or kidnapped has been proven or tested. It is only on a hunch and possibly by association with someone. That’s all it takes and there is no other justification for doing so.
This is being done by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), Special Forces Command (SFC), The Flying Squad (Uganda Police Force) or Internal Security Organization (ISO). All of them are doing at different times to various of people. It is just so commonly happening. The only reason why we know about it is because people leak videos and messages from “loved-ones” or family members who has been “taken-in”.
The amount of this practice is hard to figure. The numbers fluctuate and the accuracy is hard to know. However, with the lack of oversight and no one been able to look into the practices of “safe-houses”. You just know the state has more facilities where they are keeping “prisoners” or “people of interest”. As they are held without their legal rights or after the 48 hours window to be taken to court to be processed. Because, the entities and the security agencies doing it is operating on a flimsy basis. There is little to no “intelligence” or “proof of criminal activity”. If the security agencies had it. They could have produced warrants and justification for the action in the first place.
The ones that is amazed by this have clearly lost a step. This has been done so deliberately over the years. In such a manner, that the state is now and then forced to pay damages to people captured without a legal basis. That’s why the Courts are forced to so, because the laws are stipulated in that way and the state has to fork out funds. This is for a reason and it happens too. The ones that is fortunate enough to challenge the kidnapping, torture, pain and suffering, which was caused on them by brutal force.
This is the legacy that the National Resistance Movement will leave behind. The acts of the CMI, SFC, Flying Squad, ISO and others will be things that has tarnished its reputation. Everyone knows they are doing it and they cannot run away from it. They have their Argentina House and other facilities that does it. There is no way to run away from it now.
There is no clever spin or sort of reasoning that can suggest otherwise. These actions will remain as dubious and be seen as deliberate acts of vengeance. They are not only done on political leaders, activists and random bystanders. It is also done on people by association and connected by blood. They haven’t even done anything, but their kin did a decision either in absentia, in exile or are already captured themselves. That’s how the state operates and they are not even hiding it. Peace.
The “Drones” or the Panda Gari’s never ceased their operations. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) have only reconfigured things and made it their own. The same resistance group and rebellion, that promised freedom and liberty. Alas, security for all and no fear of sudden arrests, which would happen according to law. However, with the time that has withered and its now obvious that this was a lie.
The NRM wants to rule on intimidation, fear and strike vicious vengeance towards the ones that is defying it. That’s why people are ending up missing. Cheiftancy of Military Intelligence (CMI) is known for suddenly abducting, keeping people incommunicado and some even end up dead.
It is various of authorities who does this activity, not only the CMI, even if that is the one who is most recognized for it. The army own branched Special Forces Command (SFC) has been doing and so has other agencies like Internal Security Organization (ISO). It is not like the Uganda Police Force (UPF) or Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) haven’t worked in tandem on this.
There is a reason why “safe-houses” exists and they are used for keeping people unknowingly. They are there, usually tortured and battered. The authorities using violent means, which are supposed to break the spirit and get them to tell stories. However, this is only showing the brutal side of the government. As these people are detained, tortured and in harms way without any due process. The civilian are taken there and kept without warrants or court order. They are not deemed felons or people who has breached any statute or law. These people just happens to be caught, captured and be maligned for a crime they didn’t do.
That’s the sort of activity the Parliament is condoning, but never acting upon. No, the government isn’t stopping it. The Parliament haven’t been allowed to investigate and the authorities will only give progress or cliff-notes on the few that is mentioned in Plenary Sessions. The vans are coming to a street near you and someone is going to be at the mercy of the law.
When someone is saying it’s hard to spot the difference between a bloody gang and the people running the “drones”. That is saying something about how they operate. There is the same sort of acts that goons or street thugs do. They come silently and strike powerfully. The victim can be taken brutally away from the location and be kept at unknown location indefinitely.
With the usage of these means, it is hard to separate who is criminal and who is law enforcement. It is the same sort of violent approach and it’s no difference then in Amin’s time, which Museveni has said to be different too. He is actually using the same means and intimidation. His security organizations are using similar means and they not even concealing it. That’s why the Penal Code haven’t been revised and the authorities have the same colonial laws to pin civilians in. Heck, the same government is using military court to detain and charge civilians. That is just showing how far the authorities has taken it. There is no boundaries and the state is willing to do everything to silence the ones in its way.
The drones never left. They were prevalent in the year and months in advance of the 2021 elections. They have been active since then too, but now they are targeting more people. It is happening so often and with such haste. You know the government is trying to do a point. Just like it did with the Flying Squad and the Black Mambas. Things are just coming back and we can rest assured that the LDUs will soon kick-it off too.
This sort of government don’t come in peace, but it comes in resounding viciousness and no one is left untouched. That’s the justice and liberty that the NRM serves the public. You have to be careful. One day it might be you. Just because you were associated with the wrong people at the wrong time or the CMI/SFC has grudges against people like you. Peace.