Veteran opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye has described the Special Forces Command (SFC), commanded by First Son Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba as “an illegal force.”
A former bush war soldier that served as long-serving president Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s personal physician in the 1980-86 National Resistance Army (NRA), Besigye is arguably his former boss’ fiercest critic for almost two decades.
In recent weeks, he has not only continued to criticize the Museveni administration but has also taken on the first son, his wife Charlotte Nankunda Kainerugaba, and her sister Ishta Muganga, both daughters to foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa.
For days, Besigye and Muhoozi were involved in a war of words, largely playing out on social networking site Twitter.
Now, Besigye has waged another war against Lt Gen Kainerugaba, his father Museveni and SFC.
Last month, Museveni reappointed his son, also his senior advisor on special security operations, the commandant of the SFC.
Relying on Section 3 of the UPDF Act, the four-time presidential candidate says SFC is operating in total contravention of the laws of Uganda, and its current commandant an embodiment of bias.
“It’s not under Land Forces or Air Forces and has not been “prescribed by Parliament.’ Yet, it draws money from the Consolidated Fund!” argued Besigye.
“Its Commander is now a Senior Presidential Advisor- a political office!All this is a part of contempt of the law and the people of Uganda by the NRM/Museveni Junta.”
Besigye believes the UPDF should have learnt from the mistakes of previous special forces.
“On the official UPDF website, the SFC is said to have its origin in guarding Museveni (1981) in the bush war. An interesting history of Uganda’s Special Forces is included,” he noted.
“It’s remarkable how SFC has learnt a lot from earlier versions- please read the extract!”
Here’s a brief history of Uganda’s special forces as provided on the UPDF website.
From independence in 1962 to 1986, the history of the various manifestations of the Uganda Army had different Special Forces units.
They earned a notorious reputation for brutality and viciousness against the population.
These so called ‘Special Forces’ units were essentially paramilitary forces that were behind some of the most heinous extra-judicial killings ever witnessed by the nation.
Some estimates put the total number of Ugandans killed in that period of political instability and complete lack of human security at eight hundred thousand.
Uganda’s history was written in blood for a quarter of a century.
There was widespread insecurity and severe repression at the hands of the dictatorships.
This suffering was finally put to an end when the guerrillas of the National Resistance Army (NRA), led by Yoweri Museveni, [which] captured state power in 1986.
The NRA became the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) after the promulgation of the new constitution in 1995.