Recently, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, in reference to presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine), tweeted: “There is no soldier in the UPDF who doesn’t look up to Mzee Museveni as a father, many consider him a grandfather. Those who think they can use the military against the country are daydreaming! I told you my young brother, that you can NEVER intimidate us. We are much stronger than you can ever imagine to be. If you want to fight we will simply defeat you. We want peace. But if you attempt to fight us then bring it on!”
Lt Gen Muhoozi is privileged to speak his mind as a result of the sacrifice (direct or indirect) made by so many Ugandans. That statement attributed to him is an insult to those young souls (may the kadogos who died for us rest in peace) who gave their lives for his current enjoyment.
He was thousands of miles away, in comfort, while his age mates perished. I have not read or heard Kyagulanyi intimidating anyone. The laudable statement he made relating to improvement in the living standards of our serving men and women, should be welcomed by any right-minded Ugandan.
We paid, and continue to pay (as taxpayers) for the intellectual development of our senior officers, including Lt Gen Muhoozi. His response to a perfectly peaceful proposal, by a future commander-in-chief of our armed forces, shows that we scored a massive loss on his education. He has failed to respond to reason. He has chosen to bully an elected intelligent leader of a powerful and peaceful political movement.
If he had spoken up for the troops, Kyagulanyi would not have found an issue to speak about. Nepotism and tribalism, as well as incompetence, have come together in concert to deny these quiet upcoming leaders a chance to show their abilities. We have produced Besigye, Matembe, Byanyima, Todwong, Muntu, Kyagulanyi and so many more.
There are hundreds of others that are as capable of doing the same, or even better, if only the paranoid individuals feeling intimidated by perfectly peaceful, legal policy proposals, just relaxed a little bit and thought deeply. We should excuse Lt Gen Muhoozi for his unfortunate tweet. He is a product of a dysfunctional and unfair selection process, which favors nepotism as opposed to merit.
Support private security companies
His Excellency the President is well known for regularly supporting different groups of people or sectors. These interventions have aided these groups economically and financially. These groups are helped because they are looked at as being vulnerable or have a direct impact to the general country’s economy.
Whatever the reason, it’s vital to acknowledge that these interventions have had a positive impact. One of the most important but under-looked or neglected sectors is the private security industry. It’s estimated that private security companies in Uganda employ about 35,000 personnel.
Quite a number of these officers and men are moderately educated with majority holding a UCE certificate. By joining private security industry, these ladies and gents are offered basic security training which turns them into semi-professionals. It should be noted that these Ugandans have provided private security services to many parts of the world.
Currently, Uganda has over 600 private security guards at the American embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. Americans reorganize that Uganda has a big resource in private security. These officers contribute a lot of money in form of foreign exchange from their earnings.
Looking at the numbers and the kind of roles played by private security companies, their contribution can not be underestimated. The current police numbers cannot match the requirement. Uganda police statistics show that there are 37,400 police officers and 396 civilians in Uganda police force.
This puts 1,067 Ugandans under one police officer. This falls for short of the UN standards that recommend 1:450. This is where private security companies come in to bridge the gap. Most private businesses, government parastatals, education institutions are secured end-to-end by private security organizations.
This makes private security organizations important to the economy. Let government give a few billions to private security organisations as support. Private security officers are economically beaten down. They need a rescue. Covid-19 didn’t spare them either.
Opposition should protect Ugandans
Even when the country is suffering soaring numbers of cases of Covid-19, Museveni’s rivals want to hold rallies.
You cannot watch television for news these days and miss a story of police in running battles with the opposition over the violation of standard operating procedures against Covid-19.
Ugandan opposition, being addicts of the camera and wanting to be in the news all the time, see it as opportunity to engage in battles with the police. Is leadership all about sacrificing the lives of Ugandans for personal interest? No!
I think leadership is about responsibility. One is only identified as a leader when they take care of other people’s lives. A leader who doesn’t care about the safety of his subordinates shouldn’t be considered as a leader. I think leaders are chosen to care for the people. A leader should always be bold enough, better than the people he leads and always give hope.
Sam Evidence Orikunda,
Choose those with integrity
We are already in the political season where there is a lot of assumptions, concoctions, fake news and propaganda.
Therefore, it’s upon every Ugandan to sieve what to consume and what not to believe unless it’s confirmed as truth by a trusted person of integrity.
As the season is just fresh, one main issue that we should all consider is political integrity. Integrity is closely connected to trust, and we know that’s a quality that we all need in our leaders.
Political integrity on many occasions means exercising political power consistently in the public interest, independent from private interests.
When I talk about leaders of integrity, I mean those with a strong vision for the country’s future. At the moment, my country has a few leaders of integrity, leaders who take their electorates as a priority by fulfilling their promises, leaders who don’t say one thing to the voters and do another.
They are very few and everyone knows those kinds of leaders. Once you are elected into office for more than two terms, it’s just enough evidence that your integrity is on point.
That’s why many Ugandans have at many times entrusted President Museveni with the leadership of the country because he fulfils all that he promises. I, therefore, encourage fellow Ugandans to closely look at the candidates they are supporting in this election and humbly audit whether they are the right people to be in the offices you want them to be.