President Museveni downplays CMI, Uganda Police fight fears

President Museveni downplays CMI, Uganda Police fight fears
President Yoweri Museveni harvesting passion fruits on Wednesday at Kawumu Presidential demonstration farm in Luweero District

President Yoweri Museveni has downplayed reports of fighting between the police and the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI). Reports of animosity between the two agencies emerged after the arrest of several police officers and informers.

But Museveni told journalists at Kawumu presidential demonstration farm in Luweero district that there was no fight between the security agencies. He however hinted at possible bickering between individual security officers. It is a public secret that security minister Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde and police boss Gen Kale Kayihura are not the best of friends. They have publicly attacked each other’s work methods in ensuring security and peace in the country.

Museveni added that police officers who were recently arraigned before the General Court Martial misbehaved by serving the interests of foreigners at the expense of Ugandans. He urged security personnel to focus on fighting the enemy instead of weakening security strictures by fighting amongst themselves.

Those facing charges before the General Court Martial include Nixon Agasirwe, the former head of the Special Operations Unit in police. He is charged alongside Joel Aguma the former commandant of Professional Standards Unit, Faisal Katende, an operative of the Flying Squad, Sgt Abel Tumukunde also of Flying Squad and James Magada who works with Crime Intelligence.

The nine are accused of kidnapping Lt Joel Mutabazi, a former bodyguard to Rwandan president Paul Kagame and Jackson Kalemera and repatriating them to Rwanda.

Others who have been arrested are Abdullah Kitatta, the chairman of Bodaboda 2010 and 12 others who were jointly charged before the Unit Disciplinary Court sitting at the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) in Mbuya. Kitatta was a close confidant of Kayihura.

While reacting to a refugee scam involving senior government officials and some members from humanitarian assistance organisations, Museveni said that all those found guilty will go to jail and refund the money.

“Well, the ones who’re stealing refugee money will go to jail. That is simple because the prisons are there, Luzira is there it is waiting for some occupants from the Prime Ministers office who steal refugee food. And of course, I think God will kill them himself because to steal what is meant for refugees, what is meant for desperate people, God will also come in. These thieves have lots of problems…these thieves will pay…they will pay and they bring shame to our country because these refugees come from all sorts of countries and the funder…They will regret,” said Museveni

Complaints indicate that the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in connivance with aid workers have been inflating refugee figures in order to attract more aid which is then corruptly shared.

The allegations were reportedly raised by South Sudan refugees to UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, during a recent visit to Uganda. Donors have since threatened to withdraw the funding if the government doesn’t act tough on those found guilty of the scam.