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Waiting for action against Kazini

By Vision Reporter

Added 4th March 2008 03:00 AM

Former army commander Maj. Gen. James Kazini is in the news again after a long spell, but this time for wrong reasons. He was involved in a brawl with his wife’s neighbour, who came out bleeding.

Former army commander Maj. Gen. James Kazini is in the news again after a long spell, but this time for wrong reasons. He was involved in a brawl with his wife’s neighbour, who came out bleeding.

He might have had genuine concerns but he erred to take the law into his hands.

It would be unfair to say that such conduct is reminiscent of the past regimes’ armies whose officers were notorious for harassing civilians. The UPDF has kept a good image due to high disciplinary standards. But it would be erroneous to say this is an isolated incident that should be forgotten easily.

Without forgetting soldiers who have been executed, demoted or imprisoned for hostile behaviour towards civilians, there have been similar incidents which almost brought the UPDF into disrepute and put to test its slogan of “a pro-people army.”

Col. Dick Bugingo started by beating up journalists and destroying their cameras. Everyone waited to see what would happen to him. He got away with this and next he slapped Maj. Rubaramira Ruranga in public. He was removed from office, reinstated and removed again.

Brig. Stephen Kashaka allegedly beat up Ngora MP Francis Epetait at Entebbe airport. Brig. Sam Wasswa was recently involved in attempted eviction of title holders and destruction of property in Bwebajja – using army vehicles and armed soldiers.

Earlier, Kahinda Otafiire was forced to resign his ministerial post for drawing a gun on a woman in a night club. No one should think that he was just unlucky. The teeth that bit Otafiire can still bite others.

It is abuse of power for soldiers to beat or draw guns on unarmed civilians in private quarrels without provocation.

The Police can probe Kazini or Wasswa but they might not apprehend them unless someone else says so. Ugandans are watching and waiting to see if action will be taken against Kazini. Such incidents, and others that go unreported in the media, point to a dangerous trend that must be stopped quickly.

Waiting for action against Kazini

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