Saturday, July 29, 2017

Who is Brig. Octavious Butuuro - the new MD #Uganda @UPDFspokesman

Late this week, Museveni promoted Col. Octavious Butuuro to the rank of Brigadier and appointed him as the Managing Director of Luwero Industries Ltd - a subsidiary of the Ministry of Defence's National Enterprises Corporation (NEC).
Brig. Octavious Butuuro is a Munyankole from Bunyaruguru.  He is a young brother to the Chief Justice, Bart Magunda Katureebe, former Bishop of Kasese, Nkaijanabyo, and Journalist Bart Kakooza.  Butuuro joined the NRA in the late 1980s under the special recruitment for the Air force.  After undergoing basic military training, the entire batch was taken to Nakasongola Air Wing where it was grounded for a long time without any progress towards the Air Force career.  A good number of members of this group deserted the force.  At the time, the NRA was using the tactic of enticing educated potential recruits with false promises of serving under the Air Force.
It was around 1990 that the then Air Force Intelligence Officer, Richard Nana selected a number of these abandoned soldiers and seconded them to the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) at Basiima House.  At DMI, most of these boys who were Banyarwanda were incorporated into the Banyarwanda dominated Counter Intelligence department.  Butuuro was seconded to join the Research Desk under the Office of the Director, at the time Lt. Col. Byemaro Mijumbi.  The others were now Col. Dan Munyuza who is now with the RPF in Rwanda and Col. Abdu Rugumayo who is still under CMI.
In the early 1990s, then Private Butuuro was seconded for automatic promotion to the rank of Lieutenant under the University graduates scheme.  However, his academic papers allegedly written in Latin raised controversy.  Efforts were made to have them interpreted by the Vatican Embassy in Kampala.  Eventually, Butuuro was promoted to Lieutenant.
With the coming of Henry Tumukunde who renamed DMI as CMI, his scheme to dismantle the old establishment, the Research Desk under DMI was scrapped. The developments came at a time when relations between Museveni and Kagame were very bad. Tumukunde sought to neutralize the Rwandese spy networks by displacing all the senior staff who had served under DMI when it was dominated by Banyarwanda who went to form the RPF.  The officers under it (including Butuuro) were dispersed.
The now Capt. Butuuro had a short stint at the IGAD secretariat in Nairobi.  His woes were also attributed to the politics of the day then.  In 2001, Museveni dropped his elder brother, Bart Katureebe from cabinet.  As Attorney General, Katureebe has lost the case in The Hague where Uganda was accused by DRC for among other charges, plunder of natural resources.  He went into private practice by starting Kampala Associated Advocates.
Katureebe had also been suspected to have been among the top politicians from Ankole who were opposed to Museveni's 3rd Term.  In April 2009, Brig. Butuuro's other elder brother and TV Journalist, Bart Kakooza caused a stir when he illegally accessed the highly restricted notorious torture chamber at the infamous Kololo Safe House.  In 2002 Butuuro as a member of the probe committee that investigated Maj. Sabiiti Mutengesa's alleged creation of ghost soldiers, made a minority report that exonerated him to the displeasure of Gen. Kaziini who had been witch-hunting the Major.  Later on, Mutengesa fled to exile after Museveni failed to protect him.

In 2005 Museveni appointed Bart Katureebe as a Justice of the Supreme Court.  In 2006 Museveni appointed then Lt. Col. Butuuro to the position of Deputy CMI.  In 2008 he was replaced by Lt. Col. Dominic Twesigomwe as Deputy CMI.  He proceeded to a one year course at the College of International Security in 2009.  In 2010 he was awarded the Luwero Triangle Medal though he was never anywhere near the Luwero Bush War.   He was promoted to Colonel and posted to Rwanda as the Defence Attaché.
In 2013, Museveni rejected the Judicial Service recommendation of Bart Katureebe as Chief Justice. Museveni was bent on reappointing Benjamin Odoki who had clocked retirement age to continue in the office as Chief Justice.  It took the Constitutional Court in 2014 to declare that the reappointment of Odoki was unconstitutional.  In 2016 Museveni had no alternative but to appoint Bart Katureebe as the Chief Justice.  In 2016, Col. Butuuro was moved from Kigali and posted to Khartoum as the Military Attaché.
Brig. Octavious Butuuro is an officer and a gentleman. That is why despite the long service in intelligence circles, he has never been directly implicated in Human Rights abuses.  With minimal military training and exposure to command positions, Luwero industries is the best place for him.
As to Butuuro’s managerial capacity, it doesn't matter because the so-called arms industries are nothing but a tax payer's money trap.  Amama Mbabazi's wife made a fortune out of it.  However, of recent the industries have switched to production of highly classified war materials with technical expertise and aid from Moscow. Museveni has been stuck with getting a trusted and loyal cadre to entrust with the industries thus why Gen. Mugira has been managing both NEC and Luwero Industries.
Under the circumstances, Octavious Butuuro is the best candidate.  His undisputed loyalty arises from the role played by his uncle, the Chief Justice in sustaining the regime.  For the doubting Thomases, backing by political leadership plays a big role in the military careers of some officers.  Andrew Mwenda's bootlicking has helped shape Brig. Kayanja Muhanga's military career. Kasese politics have shaped Gen. Mbadi's military career. Bank of Uganda Governor, Tumusiime Mutebile has helped shape Brig. Sabiiti Mutebiile's military career as the army's chief Engineer.
The need to hoodwink Baganda has worked well for Gen. Katumba Wamala's military career.  The politicians from different regions have more often pleaded for the easing of persecution of certain army officers. The endless list is for another day and a story worth telling.


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