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Army will not stage a coup, says Bantariza

By Bonney Odongo, Winnie Prisca Aceng

Added 13th February 2016 05:09 PM

“UPDF will not take over power because we are not competing for power," says deputy government spokesperson, Col. Shaban Bantariza.

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“There are terms and conditions of service governing every officer,” Col. Bantariza also said on Gen. Sejusa. (Credit: Bonney Odongo)



The deputy government spokesperson, Col. Shaban Bantariza has said the army will not take over power if anybody different from President Yoweri Museveni wins the February 18 elections.

Addressing journalists in Town View Hotel Annex on Friday, Bantariza said the army will only be there to ensure there is peace in the country and would protect the person who will be voted into power by the people of Uganda.

“UPDF will not take over power because we are not competing for power, we are only waiting for the next head of state that will be declared by the Electoral Commission and as the Commander-in-Chief we shall defend him [election winner],” he said.

Bantariza also talked about recent comments by FDC presidential flag bearer Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye over election results.

“Recently Besigye made a statement that he will not leave the field if he is not satisfied with the election outcome, but we are there and we will lift you out of the field.”

The government spokesman warned Besigye against recruiting what he is calling P10 which is taking place in every village, saying the army will deal with any group that will think of destabilizing the country and take people back to the olden days of insecurity.

 The UPDF, Bantariza said, is a powerful force that had utilized the prevailing peace in the country to build the capacity and that it will not participate in the reversal of the peace the country now has.

On Gen. David Sejusa’s quest for retirement that has since been denied, Bantariza said retirement from the army is not a matter of opinion but that it has to follow some conditions once you applied to the Chief of Defense Forces (CDF).

“There are terms and conditions of service governing every officer. He [CDF] can accept or deny retirement to any officer. An extra rank or appointment can give you extra years of service,” he said.

Lt. Col. Deo Akiiki, who is the head of strategic communication in the ministry of defense, urged journalists to be very sensitive during this election season and avoid reporting what can bring unrest in the country.

Akiiki however noted that the military will be in place to contain any situation that may arise from careless sentimental statements made by politicians during this critical time when Ugandans are going to elect their head of state.

“During all this peaceful time UPDF has been getting sophisticated and making themselves ready for war and we are known beyond Uganda for containing unrest, so anybody who is doubting that capacity of our military can go and ask from those countries where we have intervened,” Akiiki said.

“The police have been deployed heavily, the military police is coming in slowly and very soon we shall deploy so many infantry troops to make sure there is order in the country in case somebody intends to bring confusion.”

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