By Alex Muhumuza
On Saturday, October 23, a bomb blast in Kamamboga on the outskirts of Kampala, killing three people and injuring others. Many people expressed sympathy for what they perceived to be a “terror attack” as official statements, including by President Museveni, stated. But then another bomb blasted off on Monday, October 25, in Lungala, off the Kampala-Masaka highway, killing a woman and injuring three people. People began to smell the rat.
Dr Kiiza Besigye, a former victim of state conspiracy, posted on his Twitter handle “TERRIBLE! It’s beginning to look intriguingly familiar! Heartfelt sympathy and prayers to the bereaved families and injured. God bless Uganda,” the retired colonel tweeted on the day of the blast.
While the second blast confirmed to Ugandans that something fishy was taking place, they were speculating at the aim of the terror attacks. Some speculated that additional flimsy charges would be raised against opposition Members of Parliament who, at the moment, are detained and tortured in attempts to frame them for the machete killings (Bijambiya) that claimed the lives of Ugandans in recent months. They speculate that Museveni hopes to use the attacks to justify the arrest of former presidential aspirant, Bobi Wine, who has insisted that the arrests of MPs are meant to silence opposition.
Others like Karamagi Andrew, a Ugandan writer, have speculated that “Yes, false flag attacks by the NRA Junta, intended to justify the removal of bail for capital offences…with the real target as opposition leaders, supporters, and other dissenting voices,” Karamagi wrote on his Twitter on the day of the second blast.
Of course, all this is possible and, knowing Museveni, one does not rule out the other. But the main reason is access to DRC.
Denied permission to deploy in DRC
Early this year, President Museveni met his Congolese counterpart, President Felix Tshisekedi, to presumably help build roads inside Congo that would “facilitate trade” between the two countries. However, Ugandans were quick to mock their president saying that he should first fix the potholes in almost every road in Kampala before he goes to fix roads in Congo. Others reminded Museveni that he had yet to pay the damages that were rewarded to the DRC by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of $10 bn in 2005 that has now accrued interest that makes the debt anywhere close to $25bn. Instead of promising to build roads for the DRC, Museveni should just pay Congolese so that they build the roads themselves, many people reasoned. Of course, like then, Museveni only wanted to return to the DRC to loot the country dry for its timber and gold.
Museveni proposed to deploy troops to the DRC “to fight ADF terrorists,” and protect the so-called roads, which he was supposedly preparing to build. Knowing Museveni’s past deeds in his country, Tshisekedi refused. Not one to give up, Museveni insisted and had his propaganda media abuse Tshisekedi when the latter could not accept.
On September 2, 2021, Museveni invited Ambassadors stationed in Uganda whose countries seat on the security council as permanent members. He pleaded with them to pressure Tshisekedi into allowing Uganda to deploy troops on DRC. Obviously, the ambassadors had no basis to make such a demand against a sovereign country. They needed some form of justification and Museveni thinks that, in the terror bomb blasts, he has found it.
But something remains fishy. The terrorists claimed responsibility for the first blast meaning that they would have been eager to do the same for the second attack on the Masaka highway. This leaves Museveni with the responsibility to tell people who set off the second terror blast.
Finally, Museveni hopes to use the DRC territory as a base to continue destabilizing Rwanda now that the groups he was supporting there were dismantled by Congolese troops. If Museveni is allowed to send his troops to the DRC, a war with Congo is inevitable, with the potential to involve the entire region.