Museveni’s No. 1 opponent is not Kakwenza Rukirabashaija; it is the security personnel who are slamming him.
‘The buck stops with the president,’ as they say, and history backs them up.
When Museveni’s then-Intelligence Chief Commander Jim Muhwezi Katugugu ordered my arrest and interrogation for two weeks in 1987, I gave him distinction.
I was never handicapped, slapped, or verbally or physically abused in any way. The admission by my chief interrogator, Emmanuel Katsigazi, that Obote’s security officers attempted to castrate him while he was a student at Makerere was the closest thing to a threat.’
Let’s fast forward 35 years to the year 2022.
“The competent Ugandan authorities should quickly ensure a complete investigation into all of these claimed abuses, including the events of November 18th and 19th 2020,” the EU said in a statement. (Nile Post, EU joins US in criticizing Ugandan abuse, demands for release of political prisoners immediately, 7 February 2022).
President Museveni is the most important Ugandan authority today.
Thousands of my relatives, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances were murdered by Idi Amin. Febian Rweigyembe, Badru Muhindu, and Lawrence Mawanda, all civil aviation employees, were among those killed for “collaborating” in the Israeli Entebbe airport raid on July 3, 1976!
Nonetheless, I do not believe Idi Amin personally murdered any of them. But, like many Ugandans who lost loved ones at that time, Idi Amin was responsible for near-genocidal massacres, which is why his body was never returned to Uganda for burial.
The real killers under Amin are “respectable” Ugandan individuals who are either still alive or have already been buried.
Hundreds of thousands were slain in the Luwero Triangle and across the country under Milton Obote, particularly in the Buganda and west line sub-regions. Milton Obote is remembered today as the chief butcher of Luwero, Arua, and Ajumani, despite never signing a death sentence or ever handling a gun in his whole life.
That’s why there were rumors that if Obote returned to Uganda, he’d be shot upon arrival. That is why he died in exile and never received a state funeral, which is now reserved for tribal chiefs.
Under Obote, the true killers remain unidentified, alive or dead, with their reputations intact.
As the NRA drew in on Kampala during and after Tito Okello’s brief presidency, convoys of government and private lorries, as well as passenger automobiles, were observed going north, packed with looted property.
Gen Tito Okello, who was busy in Nairobi attending peace discussions, also known as peace jokes with Museveni, did not and could not have physically participated in the savage robberies by his forces.
Nonetheless, many people consider Tito Okello to be the leader of Uganda’s most violent regime in its history.
Under Tito Okello, some of the truly ruthless robbers and killers in uniform were absorbed into the NRA/M.
That leads us to the NRA/M regime, which is led by Yoweri Museveni, who boasts about bringing peace to Uganda.
Regardless of what Museveni and his true supporters and fortune hunters want us and the world to believe, there are mounting reports indicating that Uganda’s human rights situation is today just as bad or worse than it was under Obote, Amin, and Tito Okello, as the EU and US statements have suggested.
These reports are from 2004, when I was Kizza Besigye’s international envoy to the United Kingdom and the European Union.
In that year, Human Rights Watch, a non-profit organization whose studies are used by donor countries and investors to shape policy, published a report titled “State of Pain: Torture in Uganda.” The report’s summary stated:
“Torture as a tactic of interrogation has been at the forefront of an increase in Ugandan security and military forces’ breaches of human rights since 2001.”
Official and ad hoc military, security, and intelligence agencies of the Ugandan government have proliferated, practicing illegal and arbitrary detention, unlawful killing/extrajudicial executions, and torturing victims to force them to confess to links to the government’s past political opponents or current rebel groups, in what most victims regard as a state-sanctioned campaign of political suppression…
These crimes are not acknowledged by the Ugandan government, which instead fosters an enabling climate in which such human rights violations continue and grow, while torturers go unpunished.
In Uganda, kandoya (tying hands and feet behind the victim) and hanging of victims tied kandoya from the ceiling, “Liverpool” water torture (forcing the victim to lie face up, mouth open, under a flowing water spigot), severe and repeated beatings with metal or wooden poles, cables, hammers and sticks with protruding nails, pistol-whipping, electrocution, male and female genital and body mutilation, death
Detainees in detention have died as a result of some of these methods…”
Granted, some of the accusations of human rights violations under Museveni could be based on fake news, an age-old political dirty trick.
However, as Museveni’s forefathers, particularly Obote, would attest, it was a mix of inhumane behavior by some of his security officials and false rumors about the crimes in Luwero that brought his political career to an end in ignominy.
That was long before the global social media network began to provide real-time news, complete with both actual and fraudulent video images.
That’s why we don’t think Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, Kizza Besigye, and other opposition activists are Museveni’s number one foe. It’s the security personnel who are slamming him. Museveni’s legacy will be forever tarnished as a result of their actions.
The more individuals tortured by Museveni’s security forces, the deeper and further Museveni’s legacy is dragged into the sewer of history, as it did with Obote, Amin, and Okello.
The real killers under Museveni will follow in the footsteps of their forefathers, Amin, Obote, and Okello, in remaining unidentified for the rest of their lives.
Is Museveni willing to join Obote, Amin, and Okello in paying the price for the crimes against humanity perpetrated by some of his security personnel?
If not, he should put a stop to it right now, not later.