By Jean Gatera
Col. Kaka Bagyenda, the Director General of the Internal Security Organization (ISO) in Uganda has just been fired by President Museveni and is replaced by Charles Oluka, who will be deputized by one Emmy Katabazi. Museveni has sacked the long-serving Bagyenda ostensibly “due to crimes committed by ISO agents under his watch.”
This announcement, however, prompted derision by watchers of Ugandan intelligence agencies who pointed out that if this was the stated reason then Bagyenda only is a victim of a witch hunt.” “If Museveni wants to fire real criminals he should start with Maj. Gen. Abel Kandiho, the director of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence; this is the worst killer, torturer, and abductor of innocent people in Uganda!” said a Kampala-based commentator on security matters that preferred not to be named so as not to endanger himself.
Reliable information is that, in fact, Kaka Bagyenda has been thrown out because Museveni has deemed it that ISO wasn’t arbitrarily arresting enough Rwandan nationals, or Ugandans of Rwandan origin. The organ that has outdone any other in that is Kandiho’s CMI. Over the past three years Rwandan media has chronicled the stories of countless Rwandans that were abducted by CMI agents who detained them, incommunicado, subjecting them to physical abuses and torture that left many traumatized and carrying scars for life, while an unknown number died.
“This is the kind of thing that Museveni expected Bagyenda to replicate and though ISO did its share of perpetrating wrongs against innocent Rwandan nationals, it could never match CMI!” remarked our source.
The Uganda regime is backing a number of anti-Rwanda groups, mainly Kayumba Nyamwasa’s RNC, in a proxy campaign of hostility against Rwanda, and the harassment, persecution, and torture of Rwandans on different concocted charges is part of that campaign. Torture of Rwandans, for instance, is part of a policy of recruitment for RNC whereby young, or able-bodied Rwandans arbitrarily arrested and tortured will accept to join Nyamwasa’s group.
Bagyenda on the other hand has been a victim of a whispering campaign by Kandiho, who wanted his ISO rival out of the way as a competitor for classified intelligence budgets. Kandiho, said to be the protégé of Museveni’s brother Gen. Salim Saleh and who as a result has the ears of the two most powerful men in Uganda, finally has prevailed in his war with ISO.
Recently Maj. Gen. Kandiho has initiated a series of vicious social media attacks against Kaka Bagyenda on Facebook using among others one Titus Seruga – based described as a troll on CMI’s payroll. The attacks were vicious, “Bagyenda is a traitor against Uganda!” Seruga wrote one time. “Kaka and ISO’s days are numbered!” He wrote another time. It was a well-targetted media harassment campaign orchestrated by CMI, our Kampala source comments.
Finally, in July, CMI agents raided one of ISO’s safe houses, signaling the imminent fall of Kaka Bagyenda. It was the clearest signal how far out of favor this “historical” had fallen out with Museveni who had sanctioned the raid. An anonymous source within Uganda intelligence circles revealed that CMI’s labeling of Bagyenda as “soft” in the persecution of Rwandans in Uganda was what pushed Museveni to wield the axe. The same sources indicate that CMI’s ulterior motives lied in sharing the coveted intelligence budget, and wanted the illegal minerals export businesses all to itself.