By Rutore Samugabo
Some members of Uganda’s top military brass too are now coming out to add their voice to those of the country’s leadership which has been consistently deceiving Ugandans that there is some “external threat” against the country.
The Commander of Uganda’s Presidential Guard, the Special Forces Command (SFC), Maj. Gen. Don Nabasa, on Monday 11 February 2019, repeated the same baseless propaganda and slanders against an unnamed country (not difficult to guess that he was talking about Rwanda, since it is Rwanda that Kampala has decided to turn into the scapegoat for its numerous failures – even as it in fact is Uganda which is openly engaged in acts hostile to her neighbor).
That was in a speech during a military celebration where he appeared together with the Uganda Air Force Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. James Birungi.
The media quoted Gen. Nabasa saying that, “there are external forces working against Uganda and planning to overthrow the government. External forces are looking and they don’t want us to develop!”
Lapsing into the most blatant sycophantic mode, this general said, “We have the oil here, beauty of the country, stability, development and above all a precious leader. They think maybe if they get the precious leader out there will be disorganization.”
For starters those that heard the speech were left scratching their heads. UPDF officers or soldiers are not supposed to engage in political speeches, especially of the propaganda or sycophantic kind. That supposedly is against the Ugandan constitution and the UPDF Act. Moreover, Nabasa seems to brag that he is knowingly violating the law.
“That a general could make such bootlicking statements that admit to knowingly breaking the law is another reflection of how low these people have sunk; it actually is a reflection of the general lawlessness of the NRM regime,” said an analyst.
In fact being a General should not exempt him from the law; instead it should compel him to serve as an example to lower ranked officers to respect laws.
Keeping with the propaganda theme of his speech, Nabasa then claimed (of the alleged external forces), “they won’t come physically; they will send money and people, like the ones of late being deported…”
This man was repeating some slanders against some senior MTN expatriates – a French national, a Rwandan and an Italian – who last month were arrested and deported in the most dubious ways. CMI – under the cover of Uganda Police – issued a statement that the three allegedly posed a threat to national security. Yet there was no trial. They were just put in detention following several hours of harassment, and deported to their respective countries in a matter of hours. “If they were planning a coup why didn’t they charge them in courts so that the public gets to know the gravity of their offenses and why is it such a secret that only CMI and SFC claim to know why innocent people are being framed and abused?,” asked a journalist who has reported on this cover-up.
The questions on every one’s lips were: “How can that happen in matters of national security?” “Why no trial, if the police had proof?”
Facts soon emerged that behind the deportations was a game of extortion by the Kampala regime to squeeze millions of dollars out of MTN in license renewal fees. But such is this regime and all its operatives that they will keep repeating the discredited lies, like Gen. Nabasa did.
He claimed they were “giving money to youth”, which was one of the many lies people like Sarah Kagingo, a chief regime propagandist was pushing through her websites, claiming the deported Rwandan “was running an espionage ring, distributing money”, among many other unproven claims.
To many Ugandans against whom their own state has declared war, it was beyond astonishing to hear the general urging parents, to “tell their children examples of failed states due to war, so that they understand the importance of keeping the peace”.
The Kampala regime is at war with the majority of its citizens. Those very children the man is talking about daily see how the government clobbers MPs like Bobi Wine almost killing him; they see how they shoot his supporters, or chase down and torture any Ugandan that is a “People Power sympathizer”; they have seen how the supporters of Besigye are harassed, chased down and injured or maimed. People see how even prominent citizens, such as the head of the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters, Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, can be threatened by junior, Kalashnikov-wielding UPDF soldiers, to prevent her from doing her job.
Observers ask how a Ugandan army general can dare talk about peace in a country like this; a country that in addition is convulsed by out of control corruption, and unrestrained thieving by regime insiders, the prime exhibit being the inner circle around the first family itself, plus every other ill of a badly mismanaged state.
No “external force will bring down that leadership, it will be brought down by its own criminality, and unpopularity with the public,” commented a Ugandan who says the frustration is felt by millions of people.
Even the oil that the regime is boasting about, they have been talking about that since well before Kenya discovered its own crude. Now Kenya is exporting the stuff, but the Kampala regime people are still bragging about what’s still in the ground.
In any case, according to analysts, other than the regime bosses and its inner circle or close insiders, which Ugandan will ever benefit from that oil? The president and his brother-in-law foreign minister are already taking bribes – as proved in a New York court recently – selling the oil while it still is in the ground!
“Things like this are what will end this regime. They are talking about threats to stability because they know that instability has been creeping up as a result of their excesses. They now are covering up by alleging coups by ‘external forces,’ said a Kampala-based journalist.