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Muntu defends Museveni on Luwero

By Vision Reporter

Added 18th April 2005 03:00 AM

FORMER army commander Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu has defended President Yoweri Museveni over the Luweero Triangle massacres, saying Obote’s government forces were responsible.

FORMER army commander Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu has defended President Yoweri Museveni over the Luweero Triangle massacres, saying Obote’s government forces were responsible.

By Jude Etyang

FORMER army commander Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu has defended President Yoweri Museveni over the Luweero Triangle massacres, saying Obote’s government forces were responsible. Muntu blamed the massacres during the six-year National Resistance Army struggle to oust Obote on the Uganda
National Liberation Army (UNLA).

Museveni and Obote blame each other for the killings.

Museveni has threatened to sue The Monitor newspaper and Obote for “telling lies about him.”

Muntu, the head of mobilisation in the opposition party, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), was nostalgic as he explained the murders.

He narrated how he joined the NRA liberation struggle from Makerere University in 1980.

Saying he would not mind being a witness in the Museveni-Obote case, Muntu said the struggle would never have succeeded if it did not enjoy the support of Luweero Triangle people. who protected the NRA fighters. He said they ran to the NRA for protection from government soldiers.

“I have no doubt that UNLA committed a lot of atrocities in Luweero. UNLA soldiers will tell you they killed people, not because they wanted to, but because the system had collapsed.

“If we did not have support of the population we would have never survived. We were protected by the population. If we were terrorising them, they would have gone to the government,” he said.

He was addressing journalists at FDC villas on Entebbe Road yesterday.

About the murders in the protected camps, Muntu said the camps were guarded by the government soldiers and that there was no way the NRA rebels would infiltrate the camps to kill civilians.

He, however, said people have started looking at the NRM government as no different from the Obote government because it has lost the moral high ground.

“People cannot differentiate whether we are liberators, killers or crooks like anybody else,” he said.

“The NRM has digressed from the path of liberating the country and reached a point where the population thinks that we are no different from past dictatorships.

What a betrayal to all the thousands who died!” said Muntu.

Muntu blamed this on “selfish individuals.” “You do not put a whole part of history of people’s sacrifice and subject it to the agenda of a few.” He said the public perception of NRM today should be an eye opener to Museveni.

Asked if he would return to the bush for a second liberation, Muntu said. “A war is not a tea party as you have heard all those people who died as freedom fighters are now just as good as a statistic. But people love to be free, they may seem fearful, but they reach a point where they say enough is enough!
“I don’t know whether they have reached that point. I don’t know where I will be at that point.”

I like to cross bridges when I reach them,” Muntu said.

The press briefing also attended by another NRA liberation fighter Major Rubamira Ruranga and MP Reagan Okumu urged the Government start educating the public about the upcoming referendum on change of political system to avoid a political crisis if majority vote for retention of the movement.

Muntu said the Government needed to explain what would happen if the people voted to keep the Movement system yet political parties are already operating.

He said if the Government was trying to use the referendum to close down the parties, FDC would not refuse to close down.

Muntu said the referendum was a grand deception to make the people feel that they were participating in deciding their future.

“Why spend thirty billion shillings on an exercise whose result will not be of any consequence, when there are no drugs in the hospitals?” Muntu asked.

Muntu defends Museveni on Luwero

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