Saturday, July 1, 2017

When a commanding officer turns into a corporal soldier, it’s 'real Professionalism' - #Uganda

According to Uganda's military structure, a Lieutenant Colonel is a very top and senior rank in the military hierarchy. Its next to a full Colonel and above a Major, Captain, Lieutenant, Second Lieutenant, Warrant Officer I, Warrant Officer II, Staff Sergeant, Sergeant, Corporal, Lance Corporal and Private which is the lowest.  In the infantry, a Lieutenant Colonel (Lt. Col) is a very senior military officer who commands a battalion of 650 - 700 infantry men and is referred to as a Commanding Officer or just C.O.
For those who were old enough during the Iddi Amin regime when Uganda last had a professional army, can recall how respectable and professional a Commanding Officer was. Even at the time of capturing Kampala, Museveni's NRA had men of integrity as Commanding Officers. Patrick Lumumba - 3rd Battalion, Chief Ali - 11th Battalion, Matayo Kyaligonza - 7th Battalion, Julius Chihandae - 9th Battalion, Ashamed Kashilingi - 5th Batallion, Samson Mande - 15th Battalion, Benin Tumukunde - 21st Kyamukwese Battalion, and a few others under the command of the likes of Ivan Koreta, Stanley Muhangi and others.
A Commanding Officer is a highly trained and experienced commander and administrator. Since Museveni has 'transformed and professionalized' the military, it presumed that a C.O is a university graduate and has completed a Senior Staff and Command training. His deputy or Second in Command (2 I/C) is a Major and under his Battalion are Four Companies (Coys) of 150 - 200 soldiers each and commanded by Captains or Majors and often referred to as Officer Commanding (O.C). Under each of those Coys are three platoons of 35 - 40 men each and commanded by Lieutenants or 2nd Lieutenants often referred to as Platoon Commanders and helped by Sergeants often referred to as Platoon Sergeants.
Under each platoon are three sections of 11 -15 men each and commanded by Section Commanders who are Corporals.  Therefore, under his command, a Commanding Officer leads four Company Commanders, sixteen Platoon Commanders, and Fourty Eight Section Commanders. He exercises his command responsibilities by delegating his subordinate commanders at different levels. In certain situations, a Commanding Officer can assume civilian administration in his geographical area of responsibility. The above photos are of a Lt Col and a Corporal (Cpl) and have been used just for the sake of illustrating the point. The Lt. Col. in the picture is the late Brig. Clovice Kalyebara (RIP).
Now, look at this madness; last week the Commanding Officer of Museveni's 3rd Battalion, Lt. Col. Robert Muhangi ganged up with the District Internal Security Officer (DISO) and the District Police Commander (DPC) and allegedly went to lay an ambush to arrest illegal arms buyers as if there are legal arms buyers! Instead they ended up shooting dead two local residents of Ntoroko and the C.O was shot in the leg by his own escorts. Since when did a Commanding Officer also lay in ambush! Even in battle formations there is nothing like a Battalion Ambush otherwise it would be over ten kilometers long. Where were his subordinate commanders at different levels of command as outlined above? Even in battle, apart from an ambush, the Commanding Officer would be the last person to be shot with a riffle.
Under normal circumstances, the information and operation about illegal arms buyers ought to have been handled by his Intelligence officer and C. O’s only role would have been to approve the plan to net the suspects. The truth is that the three top government officers had gone to carry out aggravated robbery and indeed they did commit it.
Those are the security officers entrusted with keeping the lives and property of Ugandans.  The Fundamental Change declared by Museveni in 1986 was for the first time in the history of Uganda for a Senior Army officer to carry out armed robbery. In the late 1980s and 1990s it was argued that it was the semi-illiterate Baganda army officers like Maj. Kigundu, Col Dragon, Lt Col. Badru Kiyingi and others who were robbing. Under the guise of recruiting educated officers, they were replaced by the Muhangis, Muhoozis, Mugumes, Mugishas, Tumushabes etc. but the situation is instead getting worse. The army has carried out its usual cover-up measures by arresting the three and there is no doubt, that is the end of the story. Some one will argue that this is an isolated incident; but just a moment:
In September 2010, still in Ntoroko district, CMI's Zonal Intelligence Officer, Alla. Kyomya was hired by a one local resident, Ategeka to kill his neighbor, Babulitega. The Intelligence Officer took with him a police officer from Rwebisengo Police Station and three other junior soldiers and they ambushed Babulitega. They grabbed him and beat him up before shooting him three times in the head and he died instantly. In revenge, the family of Babulitega attacked the family of Ategeka and killed two people. The army arrested the three soldiers and the RDC, Kawamara promised the locals that they would be tried before the court martial.
That was the end of the story because Allan Kyomya is a Musongora from Kasese and a brother to Capt. Raymond Kayondo who was assisted by Gen. Kaziini and he deserted to the USA. He had been deployed to Ntoroko purposely to link with his cousins, the Batuku and the Hema of across the Semuliki river in Congo. Its no wonder that the guy he killed was a non Mutuku and the subsequent revenge killings could have escalated to ethnic killings. It was a case of cattle keepers siding with Allan Kyomya against Cultivators.
In February 2017 Rangers shot dead two local residents of Ntoroko after they had extorted 100,000 shillings from them in order to allow them illegally graze I'm the park. The matter was swept under the carpet and the following month a 14 years old boy was shot dead by the Rangers as he picked firewood.
During his swearing in in 1986, Museveni view wed never to extra judicial killings by security officers but unknown to Ugandan he was bent on outwitting the past regimes in killing Ugandans. Just look at this; in May 2017, a Superintendent of Police, Sande Habib shot three protest at Nakaloke police station. The protests were following the break into a shop and the police snipher dogs led the trail to the police station.
Also, four days ago in late June 2017 Police and the army in Buwawo S/county in Mbale shot and injured three people including two pupils aged 14 years, almost ten Kilometres away from the scene of the protest by locals over land conflicts with UWA.
Change of guards blog

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