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Museveni has earned General

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd April 2004 03:00 AM

OFWONO OPONDO
Opinion

ACCORDING to the new guardian angels of the Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) Dr James Rwanyarare and his sidekick Henry Mayega, Gen (rtd) Yoweri Museveni does not deserve that rank in the UPDF.

OFWONO OPONDO
Opinion

ACCORDING to the new guardian angels of the Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) Dr James Rwanyarare and his sidekick Henry Mayega, Gen (rtd) Yoweri Museveni does not deserve that rank in the UPDF.

OFWONO OPONDO
Opinion

ACCORDING to the new guardian angels of the Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) Dr James Rwanyarare and his sidekick Henry Mayega, Gen (rtd) Yoweri Museveni does not deserve that rank in the UPDF.

President Museveni, the founder of the NRA (now the UPDF), was early this year promoted to general, but subsequently retired from the army. As a civilian, Museveni is anticipated to be a major player in the new political phase of multipartyism.

To Rwanyarare and Mayega, “Museveni has never attended any military academy, which means that he has been simply masquerading as a soldier.”

Mayega added, “My feeling is that he has been promoted to continue his control over the army and continue his dictatorship over the country.”

So the question is: If they fear Museveni both in service and retirement, where do these critics expect him to be beyond State House?

Rwanyarare and Mayega ought to be ashamed of their logic because it is Museveni and his NRA, without the alleged military academy credentials, who openly and courageously fought for five years to dismantle the UPC fascist regime of decorated generals from high profile military academies around the globe!

That army, the UNLA of decorated generals, was to say the least based on and controlled through ethnicity to spread dictatorship.

The fascist ideology turned the UNLA into serial criminals of armed robbery, looting, rape, murder and extra-judicial killings with impunity in broad daylight countrywide.

The army was turned into a private looting enterprise.

Yet the enlightened UPC leadership where Rwanyarare was the minister for culture and community development refused to stop the crime or bring perpetrators to justice! Just for taming the army, Museveni deserves recognition, if not applause!

Mayega, a supposed teacher of history, and civil servant at Makerere University ought to know that academies are not the only places of higher and useful learning or which build human beings to their full potentials.

Indeed, the world is full of examples of self-educated people such as Jesus Christ, Prophet Muhammad, Socrates, Aristotle and William Shakespeare.

In military tradition, kings who captured and ruled swathes of wealthy lands never attended any known military academies.

In the contemporary military establishments, Gen George Washington, Chairman Mao Ze Dong, Kim Ill Sung and Commandente Fidel Castro became generals by learning on the job, mobilising mainly rural peasants and artisans to bring liberty to their people. In fact, Museveni has never claimed to have trained at any formal, let alone professional military college.

Like many of the above, Museveni is a self-educated, trained and efficient, if not competent, soldier in his own right who ousted fascists, not through palace coups but revolutionary armed struggles.

Then, as usual, failed presidential hopeful Aggrey Awori, the jack of all trades but master of none, jumped into the fray. Awori told The New Vision that he was “not aware of any recent UPDF victories (field) that make him (Museveni) deserve that rank.”

To a falsely celebrated Awori, for promotion to take place, there must be field victories, which in UPDF’s case he has not been able to “see” although it defeated his banditry Force Obote Back Again (FOBA).

It should be re-called, that Awori has on many occasions publicly and proudly said he used his forces to indiscriminately kill RC officials in Busia district between 1986-90, simply because they belonged to a system he opposed at the time!

But at any rate, even without recent UPDF victories, Awori ought to know that there are many stable and peaceful countries where soldiers are promoted without firing a single shot in combat.

In countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, US, UK, Canada, Australia, France and Germany and others, military service is a professional career.

Secondly, promotion even in Uganda’s case can be based on other achievements either in research or intellectual work leading to a new technology or military doctrine or strategy.

While Museveni’s military strategy of a “protracted peoples’ war” is not entirely new in the world, its successful application within a relative short time (five years) could be a useful indicator to his military ability.

Unlike China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam, Museveni successfully applied that strategy here in a small, landlocked and poor country with no rear base, yet bordered by large and hostile neighbours.

Critics of Museveni’s military credentials or achievements could alternatively be invited to study his Three Essays on Fighting Counter-Insurgency which led to the defeat of numerous armed groups since 1986, ushering in the current stability.

Also critics need to know that the hitherto threats from Congo, Sudan, Rwanda, and Kenya in the early days of the NRM and supported by powerful nations, were not provoked by Uganda.

The defeat of direct and proxy wars were not by benevolent hands but hard military, political and diplomatic work. If Museveni had failed as Obote did twice, Uganda would have been bathed in national crisis similar to or worse than Liberia and Somalia put together!

Uganda’s defence of South African blacks, and Rwandese against racism and genocide respectively was a noble task for which its leadership under Museveni is proud.

If Obote, Amin, Lule, Binaisa and Okello Lutwa who failed to protect or even conspired to destroy the country can be decorated as doctors or generals, Museveni deserves better. I rest my case.

Museveni has earned General

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