Col Samson Mande, one of the heroes of the National Resistance Army (NRA) Bush War that brought President Yoweri Museveni to power, has called for an all-out uprising to change the current regime.
“What we need is a popular uprising and a total revolution,” Mande told his followers and colleagues in one of the WhatsApp groups for Ugandans living in diaspora.
He called his message a “good missive that has fallen short of giving a direction to the way forward and the highly anticipated way forward”.
He said it all starts at mobilising the critical mass.
Mande said Power 10 [P10], a group of pro-change Ugandans living in the Diaspora – Europe, North America, Asia, Australia, and parts of Africa, is the concept.
“How many confidants have you mobilised in your clandestine cells. The whistle will soon be blown loud enough for you to hear. You will then be required to lead and swing your confidants into action,” Mande rallied his allies.
He said those who will not be able to participate physically shall provide logistical and financial support.
“I propose that each P10 cell of 10 members should start gathering some of those requirements and store them for use when the whistle is blown. Such that we won’t be taken by surprise when action starts.”
In an April 2016 interview with Daily Monitor, Mande said the propensity to adhere to militarism and tolerance of intrigue, power struggle, sectarianism and corruption had reached levels that totally undermined and threatened the National Resistance Movement’s ( NRM’s) revolution ideal, threatened cohesion of the NRM, stability and security of the country and could reverse the achievements we had toiled for and for which many of our comrades died.
“The situation has not changed and I see groups opposed to the NRMO regime propagating a new violent struggle for a democratic dispensation, good governance and hope for a living.”
He said they could be justified by the fact that the ruling party has fused itself with the state, the army has adhered to use of repression to retain power, rigging elections has become a practice and the majority Ugandans have lost hope for gainful employment and a foreseeable better future so they will soon say ‘we have nothing to lose’.
“As long as the head of State has not renounced the idea that he is a “cota-pin” and can only be removed by force (violence) and retired Col Kizza Besigye remains the hammer and the wish for Gen Sejusa to become a power saw becomes a reality, our country can slide back into violent and worse struggles than we have ever experienced.”
He, then, appealed to both groups to rule out use of violence to retain and attain political power.
“I am not saying this because I fear to fight; no one should mistake me for a coward. I am saying this because I participated in all the armed struggles against Uganda dictatorships, I still remember the pain, the losses the fighters, civilians or the country suffered and up to today we have not got what we fought for. Therefore, I have abandoned the old school of depending on violence to bring about change. The struggle is inevitable.”
Mande promised to work with his network of activists and unveil a project that will contribute to achieving the dream of non-violent change.
Mande joined the NRA struggle in 1978 during the military campaign against the junta under the late Field Marshall Idi Amin (RIP).
In 2001, he was the only serving officer that stood up and declared support for Dr Kizza Besigye openly.
He has been in exile for 13-14 years now for standing against President Museveni.
He was accused of commanding the dissolved rebel group People’s Redemption Army (PRA) to oust Museveni.