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Wednesday,August 05,2020 11:17 AM

Museveni doesn’t survive on war

By Vision Reporter

Added 25th October 2006 03:00 AM

I was fascinated by Andrew Mwenda’s article in the Sunday Monitor of October 22, 2006. In the article titled “LRA war has made the north losers”, Mwenda appeals to sectarianism and sentiments of hatred in his usual diatribe to paint President Museveni a villain.

I was fascinated by Andrew Mwenda’s article in the Sunday Monitor of October 22, 2006. In the article titled “LRA war has made the north losers”, Mwenda appeals to sectarianism and sentiments of hatred in his usual diatribe to paint President Museveni a villain.

By Moses Byaruhanga

I was fascinated by Andrew Mwenda’s article in the Sunday Monitor of October 22, 2006. In the article titled “LRA war has made the north losers”, Mwenda appeals to sectarianism and sentiments of hatred in his usual diatribe to paint President Museveni a villain.

Mwenda wrote:
  • Beginning in Luwero in the 1980s Museveni’s political strategy has been constructed in a way that causes alienation between the predominantly Bantu south and predominantly Nilotic north. The guerrilla campaign in Luwero was fought on an ideology that reflected Museveni as a military sent by providence to liberate southerners from the brutal rule by northerners.


  • Therefore a policy of constant war in northern Uganda has been a vital element in Museveni’s political strategy. It also keeps the north under a quasi-colonial military occupation…. best exemplified in the policy of keeping the population in concentration camps on the dubious pretext that it is meant to protect the population.


  • Museveni survives on war and if it is not there he will create it. First of all, it’s poor analysis and myopic of Mwenda to think that President Museveni’s fight for liberation of Uganda, which according to Mwenda was a liberation of southerners against northerners, started in Luwero.


  • It is well documented that with his fellow students, like Rt. Hon. Eriya Kategaya and many others, started discussing ways of stopping bad leadership during the first UPC regime in the 1960s. When Amin overthrew Obote in 1971, Museveni and others ran to Tanzania to organise a struggle against Amin. Museveni’s role in the struggle against Amin is well documented as a leader of one of the fighting groups called FRONASA. Others were Eriya Kategaya, Amama Mbabazi, Kahinda Otafire, Ruhakana Rugunda, Salim Saleh, Ivan Koreta and others. There were also local contacts like the late Kibazo, Bugiri RDC Zubair Bakari and many others, including those in northern Uganda.

    In Sowing the Mustard Seed, President Museveni explains how he was almost killed in Gulu together with Mzee Kategaya after meeting their contact there. His colleagues; Martin Mwesigwa and Mwesigwa Black were killed in Mbale where they had gone to meet contacts coordinated by Mzee Maumbe Mukwana. Museveni and others formed FRONASA to fight the Amin dictatorship and not because Amin was a northerner. After the overthrow of Amin with the help of Tanzanian forces, elections were organised and Mr. Museveni who had been elected to lead UPM, publicly announced that he would go to the bush if the elections were rigged.

    Mwenda, the NRM/A struggle in Luwero was a continuation of the earlier FRONASA struggle by patriotic Ugandans to rid the country of a dictatorship. To call the NRM struggle a liberation of southerners against northerners is an insult to those who participated in it and to erroneously call the UPC regime in the 1980s a northern regime and absolve the UPC of its mistakes. Among the prominent UPC leaders at the time who caused mayhem was Chris Rwakasisi, who is not a northerner. He is in Luzira Prison awaiting execution for murder. Others like Hajji Musa Sebirumbi, a UPC functionary was found guilty of murder and executed. So Mwenda, it’s wrong to say that Museveni led a struggle to liberate southerners against the brutal rule by northerners. It was a struggle against the UPC brutal regime.

    Mwenda, President Museveni has no policy of constant war in northern Uganda. The insurgency in northern Uganda was sponsored by the Sudan government. President Museveni has made this publicly known and I expect Mwenda to know it too. The President has also publicly said that this provoked Uganda into supporting SPLA, which struggle led to the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between Khartoum and SPLA.

    Thereafter, the Khartoum regime allowed Uganda to deploy in south Sudan to eliminate LRA. The results of this deployment can be seen with LRA leaders holing themselves in Garamba, and the many LRA commanders and men who have been killed or captured and others who have surrendered. This deployment also resulted into the current talks in Juba.

    I hope Mwenda recalls that LRA approached SPLA leadership and proposed talks, which Uganda accepted if that route could end the suffering of people in northern Uganda. Why was the LRA proposing talks which they had eluded all along? With the Khartoum regime having stopped sponsoring them and having allowed UPDF to deploy in south Sudan, LRA could not contain the fire any more and SPLA could not allow them use their territory to attack Uganda. Now people in northern Uganda have started leaving what Mwenda call “concentration” camps because of peace brought about by UPDF. Mwenda, where is the policy of constant war in northern Uganda where President Museveni has been at the forefront of bringing peace? You know who was sponsoring LRA and those are the people who wanted war in northern Uganda, not President Museveni.

    Mwenda, if President Museveni had a policy of constant war in northern Uganda, how come the insurgency in West Nile was defeated? Is that not part of northern Uganda? Or are you redrawing the map of Uganda putting West Nile in the south? The insurgency in northern Uganda has ended and our brothers and sisters in the north will enjoy peace under the leadership of President Museveni and prove your analysis wrong. There will also be no resurgence of rebellion as you predict because if it does, it will be crushed. UPDF has developed a capacity to deal with such threats.

    On IDPs, the population was running away from LRA terrorism and brutality for protection. The population identified UPDF as their partner and not the other way round as Mwenda portrays. Now that their partner (UPDF) has brought peace, they are going back to their homes. Its unfortunate that some people died in camps but the over all blame should go to the terrorists and their sponsors.

    The writer is the presidential
    assistant for mobilisation

    Museveni doesn’t survive on war

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