Is Museveni Laying A Foundation For The Next UPDF?

hospital geneva;”>Recently radios, order television stations, the social media and all the other surviving bimeeza were inundated with one concern, “Was the president bound to give response to co. Kiiza Besigye’s comments, or wasn’t someone else in a better position within the army supposed to do so?”

FDC’s Ssemujju Nganda’s reaction to Museveni’s utterances was, “Is he then not hijacking the role of his own appointed officials? How come up to now the national army cannot stand its ground and counter accusations leveled against it, rather than having to wait for the Retired General to do so on its behalf?”

However, in the minds of key opposition figures and civil society a question still lingers: “Does President Museveni appreciate that after three decades the UPDF is still flimsy and vulnerable to the opposition, the media and ‘those that have for long been enemies of democracy, principled unity and social transformation?”

To this, Makerere University Social Scientist Dr. Anthony Okuku inquires “Why is Museveni always swift to leap in sentry and protection of such a brawny and independent army every time it is faced with the slightest verbal confrontation from the public?” he asked.

Sliding down the memory lane, the President was in August 2003 entangled in similar accusations; this time around it was a militia force formed in northern Uganda called the arrow group. These were ‘voluntary’ civilians that had been armed with rifles.

A citizen via the Kampala Daily Monitor expressed concern that by civilians taking up arms, it implied that UPDF had failed their constitutional duties to defend the nation. He said society was being militarized and that there was no chance for civilians to defeat Kony if the UPDF itself had failed.

Two days after the publication, President Museveni came down hard on the newspaper and said, “Oh Dear, it is tragic to read the puerile lies and misinformation by the editor of The Monitor.

They do not know that it is the UPDF, a defense force that is comprised of Ugandans. Indeed Article 3(14) of the constitution makes it mandatory for all able bodied to master military science in order to defend their sovereignty. Kony and his colleagues including The Monitor have been violating this. They are traitors who work with external sinister forces to kill our people and disrupt development programs.”

However, this is no big deal to people close to the big man. They think it is nothing but only a blessing to the nation, for Museveni to be protective of his army, (as he sometimes refers to it).

“Ugandans should consider themselves lucky to have in service, an army whose founding father is still alive and ably in control,” muttered Fred Bamwiine who was in charge of recruiting varsity students as NRM cadres a couple of years ago.

“It very difficult to make mention of any military triumph in this region and skip the name Museveni, he knows the UPDF more than any other person and he is its founding father after all,” added Bamwiine.

So as the nation mourns the demise of Mzee Amos Kaguta, the President’s father, and a ‘grandgodfather’ to the UPDF, it is worth illuminating the future of the national army at least in the oncoming couple of decades, perhaps from an economic point of view.

His high regard and passion for the subject is almost always unmistakable every time the President is elucidating some GDP stats and all the other little particles of microeconomics to his esteemed audience.

But his ‘fellow economics’ would have a thing or two to disagree with him concerning his approach of what Hon Ngada loves to call micro-management of national issues.

Instead they will remind him that for any business to be recognized as effusively successful is when it has fully survived the regime of its initial founder. They would ask for his bet on the future togetherness, valor, pride and continuous triumphs of the defense forces when his is ultimately no more.

Short of satisfying answers to these questions, they would warn him of looming chances of the Defense forces ending up in a similar fate as those of Saddam’s Iraqi Armed Forces, President Hosni Mubarak and the Libyan Armed Forces or even Libya Arab Jamahiriya in post Gaddafi era.


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