The Story Behind Col Bantariza’s Arrest


abortion geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 115%;”>Museveni was reportedly disturbed by the manner in which Bantariza was humiliated by soldiers on the orders of Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), Gen Katumba Wamala.

Bantariza was arrested on Monday night from his home in Bweyogerere, a Kampala suburb, before being detained at Kololo.

The following day, the former director of National Leadership Institute, Kyankwanzi, was swiftly paraded before the Court Martial where he was charged on three counts of fraud that include fraudulent offences, offences relating to documents and conspiracy to defraud.

Prosecution alleges that Col. Bantariza, who was the head of NALI, on February 3, 2011 at Akamba Uganda Ltd, on Old Port Bell Road in Kampala District; received a tractor and its accessories which was donated to NALI by the Finance Ministry but later claimed to have bought the said tractor at Sh67 million.

The investigation into the alleged fraud was conducted by former Chief of Staff, Airforce, Brig. Moses Rwakitarate.

Sources in the army have told Chimpreports that Museveni had ignored the investigation report due to Bantariza’s transformational leadership that saw him turn NALI into a centre of excellence for the training of NRM cadres.

“Bantariza spearheaded the construction of residences at NALI which never existed before. Even when Museveni visits the training institute, he resides at the house of the school’s executive director. Bantariza also formulated the curriculum that saw the school churn out a huge number of NRM cadres,” said a source.


When an intelligence brief was forwarded to Museveni that Bantariza had misused shs67m, the President caused an investigation.

However, he did not see merit in Rwakitarate’s report, according to a senior army officer who spoke to this website on condition of anonymity.

It appears because of his ever tight schedule, Museveni did not realize that Bantariza had not returned to his station since the former army spokesperson was still on katebe (undeployed).

Bantariza’s friends later reached out to Museveni to “do something about Bantariza.”

Museveni who trusts only his son, Brigadier Muhoozi Kainerugaba, sent the latter to visit Bantariza at his farm in Bushenyi to facilitate his return to active service.

He, however, turned down a military appointment, choosing to serve as deputy Director at Uganda Media Centre.

The source said Bantariza did not want to serve under General Aronda Nyakairima. Bantariza believes he was witch hunted by Aronda during the latter’s reign as army commander.

Latest reports indicate Museveni was reportedly shocked to see Gen Katumba order Bantariza’s arrest and prosecution.

“It was an error of judgment. Bantariza’s arrest has hugely tainted Katumba’s reign as army commander. While Katumba wants to show seriousness in dealing with graft, he must realize situations where some officers can be framed. Museveni wants Bantariza out of jail before the end of next week,” said the source.

The source further said Bantariza was a victim of internal squabbles in the army, with many seeing him as a “potential contestant for a strategic appointment.”

It is now feared that Gen Katumba is being part of the internal power struggles in the army.

“Museveni has a lot of trust in Bantariza because of his exceptional wit and Pan African ideology. He is one of the best political education teachers the army has ever seen,” the source added.

Rwakitarate who recommended the prosecution of Bantariza over the shs67m was recently relieved of his duties as Air Force chief of staff after Museveni refused to accept “weather and mountains” as the cause of the disastrous crash of three UPDF choppers in Mt. Kenya in August, 2012.

The attack helicopters were flying through Kenya to Somalia when they suddenly tumbled down into the forests of Mt. Kenya, killing seven experienced and highly trained Air-Force soldiers.

Top army officers are now wondering how Rwakitarate, whose gross negligence and incompetence led to the death of pilots and crash of army helicopters worth millions of dollars, was simply fired but Bantariza who is accused of the loss of shs67m is behind bars.

It is understood that Bantariza’s arrest was masterminded by his enemies in the army who feared that his appointment would give him a platform to rise again and shine.

Earlier reports had indicated that Bantariza was arrested over his alleged connection with fugitive General, David Sejusa alias Tinyefuza.

The proponents of this argument said the military intelligence’s involvement in Bantariza’s arrest was enough evidence to confirm his participation in subversive activities.

However, knowledgeable sources said this rumour was spread to taint Bantariza’s image.

Bantariza’s appointment was earlier seen as the beginning of the overhaul of army officers believed to have been traumatized during Gen Aronda’s regime.

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