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Army was warned before Saleh firing

Gen Salim Saleh

Before he sacked his charismatic younger brother as army commander in 1989, President Museveni forewarned all army units that something big was going to happen.

The radio message communicating the impending development, which turned out to be the astonishing removal of Gen Salim Saleh just a year into his posting, also advised the officers and men to stay calm.

This is part of the revelations from an interview with retired Colonel Fred Bogere, who served as Gen Saleh’s aide de camp (ADC) when he was army chief, but came to prominence in 2005 as the Army MP who refused to vote in support of the presidential term limit amendment.     

“One thing that people don’t know, and I hear Saleh also saying he was disciplined; that the president sacked him and he agreed to go. The fact is, there were a lot of negotiations before he was dropped, to the extent that the president sent a radio message pre-warning all units that there was something that was going to happen but everybody should remain calm,” Col Bogere said recently.

In the wide-ranging interview, Bogere speaks about the frequent arguments between the brothers. Stretched by counter-insurgency operations in the North, West Nile and the far East, there were disagreements over how the then National Resistance Army was being managed.

And yet soldiers generally had a romantic view of Saleh as a war hero; a free-spirited, wild-living sort of Robin Hood who happily broke the rules for the rank and file.

Saleh, Bogere says, paid a lot of attention to troop welfare. But on more than one occasion, Museveni reportedly told off Saleh, not to bring “Aminism” to the army.

This was probably a reference to former dictator Idi Amin’s unreasonably soft spot for the army, which encouraged indiscipline and partly led to his downfall in 1979.

Although Bogere declined to delve into the details of the disagreements, he told The Observer that the firing “… was not normal; he [Museveni] knew Saleh was capable of causing trouble.”

Saleh was later ‘rehabilitated’ and appointed commander of the army’s Reserve Force (1990–2001), involved in resettling army veterans of the bush war, and senior presidential advisor on defence and security (1996–1998).

Over time, the president’s brother withdrew from the public eye and immersed himself in a wide range of investments through a company known as Divinity Union, among many others.

Bogere retired from the army in 2016 under strange circumstances. As one of ten army representatives in parliament, the colonel refused to support Museveni’sbid for a third elective term in office.

Under immense pressure, Bogere stood his ground and refused to accept the Shs 5 million which was given to each ‘Movement’ MP, including army MPs, to vote for the proposal.

In part I of the interview published last week, The Observer reported how he mobilised against the 2005 scrapping of Article 105(2) of the Constitution; the provision which set the two five-year term limits, actions which saw the colonel gain national acclaim but also become an outsider in a system he helped create.

He remained on katebe (undeployed) for a while until he was finally let go in 2016.

bakerbatte@observer.ug

See 2nd part of interview

Comments

+4 #1 rubangakene 2018-02-23 22:17
This "stale news" is irrelevant t the prevailing political situation now.

Why does this retired man want to create some drama around himself? Ugandans have already formed their opinion on that 'family'.

The only thing remaining now is how to rectify the situation they have landed us in; no more narrations but a way forward.

Let's talk about 'boda - boda' for example, the lot of whose actions are tantamount to "state capture".
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0 #2 gwok 2018-02-23 22:53
Quoting rubangakene:
This "stale news" is irrelevant t the prevailing political situation now.

Why does this retired man want to create some drama around himself? Ugandans have already formed their opinion on that 'family'.

The only thing remaining now is how to rectify the situation they have landed us in; no more narrations but a way forward.

Let's talk about 'boda - boda' for example, the lot of whose actions are tantamount to "state capture".


I agree. Furthermore, let us all start discussing how to avoid repeating the sort of thing that happened to the northern tribes after their sons fled state house.

[That is my wish for my Uganda of the future]. The tribes concerned could help us all to achieve this, by being less arrogant to others [e.g. "the Banyankole are the most qualified ..., "] and begin to see the reality of their future in Uganda without their son in the state house.
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+3 #3 Remase 2018-02-24 13:55
Fellow Ugandans, Colonel Fred Bogere has told us what we, Ugandans, need know, and most of us already know.

That is M7's life presidency. As Bogere has told us, we fought to get rid of life presidency but replaced it with the worst life presidency on the face of the planet!

Like Bogere has stated, the entire country in ruined and abject poverty is biting Ugandans like never before.

Why? Because M7, his family and cronies are looting the country naked. It pains me to my bones that most of know all that but we have failed to get rid of M7.

In my opinion, and I will repeat it over and over until we hold those who support M7 accountable.

The real people and/or institution that has kept M7 in power for all this long is Mengo. Until Mengo/Kabaka Mutebi stops supporting M7, we are stuck with M7! You can take that to the bank.
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+2 #4 Jama 2018-02-24 14:12
This sacking was a kind Charlie Chaplin's comedy show.

Let's try to draw a diagram of those who have a grip of power in Uganda today. First is his excellence, followed by his brother, then comes the first son.

The second category is composed of the first lady and other family members.

The Third category is made of the army hierarchy which is predominantly, tribal.Including the police and other security services.

Lastly a small ethnic holding most of the key administrative places. So who is trying to fool who?
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+4 #5 Lysol 2018-02-24 21:42
The "brother's keeper" had to go either way. But the trio are still running the country.
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0 #6 Kamudingisa 2018-02-27 00:12
It is easier to anticipate where you are going if you take stock of where you have been.

What Col Bogere is demonstrating is that one can live by principle and for the good of the country and still survive.

In fact, living by principle could be one of the most significant sacrifices one can render to the country.

Contrary to an earlier post attributing the regime's survival to Mengo's complicity and/or docility, it is each and every Ugandan's docility and/or greed that is perpetuating the regime.

If we had 100 more Bogeres or Besigyes, the situation would be different.
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0 #7 Lysol 2018-02-27 00:27
The Observer, you edited my article on this article. I understand. There is always another day.
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