KAMPALA, Uganda: Dr. Kizza Besigye has been arraigned several times in relation to being one of the leaders of a rebel outfit known as Peoples Redemption Army (PRA). No one has ever heard of, neither witnessed any raid which had been carried out by PRA during the years Gen Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has been the President.
But we have come across some old literature, about a rebel group going by the very particulars as PRA which was one of the groups that sprang up to fight Idi Amin Dada in the aftermath of his own coup. It would later on change its particulars and became one of the rebel outfits which would go on to fight the government of Dr Milton Obote, plus the junta of Okello Lutwa.
Besigye’s young brother, Musasizi Kifeefe, would years later pay with his life for supposedly belonging to the shadowy rebel outfit. He died in prison after being joined with Dr Besigye and incarcerated in prison over treason charges based on being part of PRA. Besigye has won all the charges related to PRA previously and possibly, still counting. On one memorable occasion, one of the commanders of warlord Joseph Kony was produced in court to try to link Besigye to the globally blacklisted terrorist group.
The sight of Kony’s man in the Temple of Justice, infuriated the trial judge, John Bosco Katutsi. So much that he angrily and loudly lambasted the State for using people whose hands are dripping with blood of thousands of people, to dubiously implicate Ugandans who step out to exercise their right of competing for power. After washing down the State, Justice Katutsi barked out at Kony’s partener-in-genocide to quickly leave the dock and leave the honorable court in the same breadth.
Katutsi would later on refuse to hear Besigye’s treason charges anymore, whose lead prosecutor was the current Chairman of the country’s Electoral body. The next we heard was when the State witness himself was being arrested by the State itself, over charges of robbery. Yesterday, a Police Station in Busiika-Luweero was rundown by what have since been identified by the Uganda Police to be rebels fighting to occasion a transition from Gen Yoweri Museveni to someone it’s spokesperson, SCP Fred Enanga, doesn’t mention.
But since people like Bobi Wine, Dr Kizza Besigye, Erias Lukwago and even Norbert Mao are insisting on the issue of transition and now that a rebel group is fighting to actualize the same, we can easily smell huge trouble brewing up for a certain category of people. That the rebels, as per Enanga, left behind messages, as per Enanga, threatening to fight and achieve the transition, as per Enanga, should itself make certain people really afraid.
Following calls by groups of people to the President to kindly listen to Ugandans and return on the ballot paper in 2026 as the NRM sole candidate, the President himself stepped out to reject the claim by his Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, Norbert Mao, suggesting that he agreed with him to stop running for power. The President said that what Mao thinks and wants to achieve, may be, but beyond that, what he is talking about is completely wishful thinking. Forget about Mao the day dreamer and law scholar, the President himself unambiguously states what he did to Mao is his long, as well as known method of weakening the opposition.
Yet the talkative Mao has since been there posturing about how, what the President states boosts their memorandum of understanding wherein, he himself, Mao wishfully thinks, undertakes to leave power. Some humorous Ugandan writing in the Weekly Observer, tags the agreement Mao talks about as the memorandum of misunderstanding. What the writer seems to imply is that either of the two parties to the agreement misunderstands what the agreement itself means, or that the same is the source of the misunderstanding taking place currently between the two allies.
One of our own, Fred Daka Kamwada opines, the President can’t be stupid to sign himself out of power. Yes, Truer. Get smarter Chairman Mao, to understand finally that mere papers don’t remove revolutionaries. Kamwada doesn’t state, however, who then is stupid and which is stupid itself. On a serious departing note, what I have been writing doesn’t in any way suggest or even imply in any way, that what the police states in relation to the latest attack on their own station in Busiika and killing of policemen and stealing of guns and, in regard to who could have carried the attack, isn’t it itself correct.
But we are just using the past and what is going on currently together, to try to understand the latest attack on the security installation. Fundamentally, the police should come on top of the situation and carry out thorough investigations to secure convictions of those responsible. But without, in any way, using the ugly incident to try to settle political or other scores by arresting and persecuting innocent people.
Just as the President can attest, using torture as a tool to extract evidence from suspects is undesirable since such evidence would be declared untenable by the courts. If that happens, then the same can be exploited by smart lawyers to win acquittals for wrongdoers without the real wrongdoers themselves necessarily being fit for such lighter treatment.
Using the gun to grab power is not a nice idea. It belongs to the past. But we all have a responsibility to jointly ensure that what led us to use the gun to correct the past mistakes, doesn’t again end up tempting other groups of like-minded people today, to do what was done in the past. Again, we can’t afford to fight, kill and occasion massive destruction again. That is purely stupid and outrightly nonsense.
- Mr. Stephen Kasozi Muwambi is a seasoned crime investigative writer, majoring in judicial-based stories. His two decades’ experience as a senior investigative journalist has made him one of the best to reckon on in Uganda. He can also be reached via [email protected]
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