By Ndawula Ronald
In a charged society like Uganda we enjoy to see generals fighting each other on Social media, one discrediting the other, teaching and reminding themselves a word or two.
In a mature tweet, General Mugisha Muntu advised the son of the President and commander of land forces to follow the constitutional provision of retiring from the Army and then join political arena as the norm in UPDF.
This didn’t go down well with the CLF and son of the president who tweeted back reminding the former commander and bush war Hero that his tenure as chief of UPDF was a disservice to the force and if they had known, a better officer in the late Jet Mwebaze would have been a better choice for army commander …..
I loathed swahili and army because of the bitter history and persecution we encountered with the army in the Luwero war jungles in the early 80’s.
Then many of us loved the NRA war Heroes and the first time Ugandans In the central region felt like they owned the army.
This love started fading towards the early 21st century when many of our people started to be pushed out of the army because many didn’t possess the minimum standards and others never wanted to be soldiers but felt the need to liberate their country from the now I see as a demonized Obote regime.
We loved the Army and their leaders especially their commanders, Generals Museveni and the timeless Salim Saleh, Elly Tumwine and Mugisha Muntu who embodied bravery, Charisma , Character and honour.
In the NRA I witnessed a sober, people centred and patriotic group of people serving a national duty. Nobody doubted the potential of this initial group of leaders because up to now, they emit attributes of standard professional leadership, knowledge and no doubt they deserve what they own and merited their status.
This has slowly vanished and the army has transformed into a defender of personal interests, seemingly despotic and belongs to someone not Ugandans.
The Promotions are no longer meritorious, favouritism is the norm not courage as the ideal.
When I see the larger than life video actions of military man-handling traffic officers on their national duty, General Kyaligonza slapping women officers with impunity, and gun wielding officers assaulting women travellers and the many reports of safe house torture of Kakwenza, civilian NUP supporters court martialled and our Muslim brothers everywhere are on tenterhooks for an Army which is supposed to protect them turned tormentors, I feel pain and nostalgia for the NRA and original UPDF.
From the chronology of events and the brief transition of the NRA to UPDF todate , several officers have been sanctioned for violation of human rights which is a negative parameter to the UPDF and serves as a pointer of dwindling efficiency of the institution Muhoozi now serves and a level of degeneration to us the innocent observers.
For Muhoozi to demean a sober and a merited bush war Hero and a former Commander of the NRA and the original UPDF army the Ugandans respected and loved is unfair and a shame.
Muhoozi has not proved to us Ugandans that he merits being the CLF and what we suspect until otherwise disproved is that, he is a puppet of his father Gen.T. Yoweri Museveni.
His entry into public space has been through tweets and the birthday which to a common man like me was not a very good choice of event because of its selfish, extravagant and subjective nature apart from the schemers and fortune seekers.
As I said earlier , Muhoozi like any other Ugandan has a right to vie for the Presidency of this country but should come out of the shadows of his father and be his own man.
He already has empirical advantage and platform ahead of other contenders but should not avoid public scrutiny. We want to know his mind and suitability as a leader.
Standing on the shoulders of a great man because he is your father, you can see further and walk faster like him but it makes you a Puppet not a gentleman.
The day you miss being carried you will not get out of your house.
Ndawula Ronald, the author is the former Chairperson of Luwero district