A highly placed contact within the ruling party has confided in The Insider, details of what is termed as president Yoweri Museveni’s “project x”.
“Project x” allegedly involves a massive clean-up of the old guard who will be replaced by new younger blood that can steer the nation forward.
The source claims the “Muhoozi project” which was widely publicised by former UPDF spy, Gen David Sejusa, was not mere noise but “a reality”.
Sejusa alleged that Museveni was grooming his son, Brig Muhoozi Kainerugaba, commander of Special Forces Command (SFC) to succeed him which government dismissed as “a wild and false allegation”.
The source says getting rid of the old guard started with Amama Mbabazi who was last year axed from two most important positions of Prime Minister and NRM Secretary General.
For exhibiting presidential ambitions, Amama was practically driven out of the ruling party to the extent that he is now standing as an independent, where he still faces blockage from NRM members.
Then came the current hullabaloo about historical, Maj Gen or Brig Matayo Kyaligonza, the NRM vice chairperson Western Uganda.
Kyaligonza faces an overthrow by the president’s son in-law, Odrek Rwabwogo.
Another historical, Hajji Abdu Nadduli’s decision not to contest as Luweero NRM chairman again is also said to be part of the project; he cited lack of facilitation.
Nadduli said Museveni was wrong to send a “boy” to fight an NRA bush war hero.
Museveni’s long broom
The source alleges that the next person on the list is Gen Aronda Nyakairima, the minister of Internal Affairs and then afterwards, Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi, the minister of Information and National Guidance.
Speaking on KFM Hot Seat last Friday, senior journalist, Andrew Mwenda, revealed that the process of eliminating historicals was in high gear.
Muhwezi is already facing Julius Mujurizi, a resident of Rujumbura who has declared his intention of contesting for the Rujumbura county seat come 2016.
Muhwezi, however, dismissed Mujurizi as a non-NRM party member passing him off as a fraud.
In Bushenyi, NRM entrepreneur’s national chairperson, Hassan Bassajabalaba, faces five contestants.
They are; Claudia Kamya, Samuel Lasomo Eikot, Sseruwagi Godfrey Mitch, Mukesh Shukla and Mwesigwa Robert Rukuari.
They have already asked Secretary General, Kasule Lumumba, to investigate Dr. Tanga Odoi, NRM Electoral Commission chair, over reports that he issued nomination forms to Bassajabalaba after the deadline.
Meanwhile, Amama’s wife, Jacqueline, was forced to give up her position of national chairperson NRM Women League, after her husband was cornered by the ruling party.
Ousted East African Legislative Assembly speaker, Margaret Zziwa, Nusura Tiperu, one of the nine members representing Uganda in the 3rd East African Legislative Assembly in Arusha, Tanzania NRM members, Awere Phibby Otaala, Lydia Wanyoto Mutende, former deputy envoy of African Union Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia, Nabatanzi Lugudde Katwe and Mary Sendi, are already fighting to replace Jacqueline who we are told now eyes NRM chairperson western Uganda.
In Ntungamo, First Lady, Janet Kataaha Museveni, is running unopposed for chairperson NRM women league.
Our source further claims that for the success of the disputed “Muhoozi project”, a new team is being patched up.
It started with the cleaning up of the NRM Secretariat where Mbabazi’s clique was dismantled and replaced with young cadres; Kasule Lumumba as Secretary General and Richard Todwong as her deputy, Rose Namayanja as the national treasurer and her deputy, Kenneth Omona.
The other group includes the loyal Youth minister, Evelyn Anite, and State minister of Finance for planning, David Bahati, who successfully executed the Kyankwanzi sole candidature project.
History repeating itself?
The insider says that is exactly what Museveni did between 1981-1986.
“He came in with a team of his own young men with no baggage of the old guard. The old guard who would have had real clout like Prof. Yusuf Kironde Lule [the president who served Uganda for the shortest term – just 68 days], conveniently died immediately before takeover in 1985.”
The other old men like Mzee Kawanga Ssemwogerere were co-opted or plainly stated, employed as “casual labourers” of NRM.
“By the way not only the old guard, but even the youth who will be perceived to have political ambitions, will be done away with. That is why Museveni is willing to risk antagonising people like Kyaligonza, Nadduli etc because the stakes are so high and the process almost irreversible, at least not willingly,” the source pressed on.
Museveni rids himself of “big-headed” commanders
After taking power in 1986, many of Museveni’s most fearless commanders of the battalions that brought him to power were all dropped, arrested and humiliated.
Kyadondo East MP, Ssemujju Nganda, cites these as; Col Julius Chihandae, Col Ahmed Kashilingi and Col Samson Mande.
Kashilingi and Chihandae were particularly dehumanized and humiliated.
According to Nganda’s The Observer article titled: “Why Gen Kyaligonza is bitter with Rwabwogo”, the officer who helped Museveni do this was Gen Tinyefuza, whose operation boy was late Maj Gen James Kazini Bunanukye.
Brig Tadeo Kanyankore, one of the eight members of the Historical High Command, followed and died a bitter death, and was buried in Buhweju.
Kanyankore, Kyaligonza, Kategaya and Tinyefuza are the only members of the Historical High Command that were awarded the rank of brigadier when formal ranks were introduced around 1987.
Museveni, his brother Saleh, Elly Tumwine and Fred Rwigyema Gisa were all given the rank of Major Generals.
Both Tinyefuza and Kyaligonza were furious with not only the ranks but military numbers.
He cites an example of Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire, who commanded no unit and is not a member of the Historical High Command, but was given RO 0014 upon which Kyaligonza suggested in one of those early-days meetings “that blood is thicker than water”.
It is also said while others were punished severely in the bush, Museveni’s brother, Gen Salim Saleh, “would escape punishment” whenever he was in the wrong.
According to Nganda, Museveni is looking beyond “his first line of defence [Muhoozi] for a possible successor”.
“His wife Janet Kataaha will grow old, Muhoozi may not be in a position to hold the military and politics at the same time…therefore, needs a deputy and the aggressive campaign of Rwabwogo to succeed in the political arena.”
Nganda concludes: “This is no conspiracy theory; it is real stuff.”
Museveni has already won elections: phase 1
The source says those who have hopes in 2016 elections are fighting an irrelevant battle because “Museveni has already gone beyond the political process phase”.
“He has already won the 2016 elections through the overthrow of the NRM constitution and obtaining the sole candidature. This was also achieved through the fraudulent registration of National IDs, registration of foreigners as voters, sham electoral laws, arresting of those who want to stand against him, gagging and actually almost “violent” capture of the media etc.”
The military: phase 2
Museveni has been passing out crime preventers [all dressed in yellow Museveni T-shirts] across the country with the latest count bringing their number to 4,340 in total.
Police says this an additional force but critics insist it’s a militia for harassing opposition in 2016 general elections.
Maj Roland Kakooza Mutale who beat people to vote Museveni with his Kalangala Action Plan in 2011 elections, and kiboko squads in 2007 Mabira riots, is back training militias in Luweero jungles.
Mutale told media that the role of his youth is to eliminate Museveni’s opponents like Mbabazi, Kizza Besigye, Gen Sejusa, Mugisha Muntu and Benon Biraaro, and ensure the “mulalo or pastoralist” returns to power.
Armed with sticks and pistols, these militias will form the NRM Youth Brigade.
The target is reportedly 500,000 crime preventers.
Police, on the other hand, is buying helicopters to counter any lawlessness during election campaigns.
Meanwhile, opposition FDC has also formed its squad; Erias Lukwago, Kampala Lord Mayor, passed out his vigilantes too to counter pro-government military machine, but now faces arrest.
Sophisticated spy network
The source says at every rally held by opposition politicians Besigye and Muntu, 20 participants are government agents, at least 10 being intelligence operatives and others crime preventers.
To counter this, Amama has also sent his youth to USA and Russia to be trained in counterintelligence and spying.
“All in all,” concludes the contact, “Museveni is three steps clearly ahead of all his opponents.”