A heated debate ensued in the studios of NBS television on Thursday when former Director-General of Uganda’s External Security Organisation (ESO) David Pulkol blasted the army spokesperson Lt Col Paddy Ankunda for allegedly “telling lies”.
Pulkol, a security analyst argues that armed security forces could have used proportional force before shooting stick-wielding men dead in Rwenzori clashes.
He said initially, IGP Kale Kayihura linked the Omusinga to a militia, maintaining that government was trying to make enemies where there were none.
“Our men in uniform are telling a naked lie about the situation in Rwenzori. We need a better explanation.”
He wondered how the army could move an entire battalion to deal “with a few criminals”.
“Has the entire region been taken over by these “few criminals”? Why were police deployed without anti-riot gear to handle stone-throwing residents?” he queried.
Pulkol: This [Kasese attacks] was handled wrongly.
Ankunda: We have people armed with machetes and even guns… who do you deploy? We also have rebels in the area.
Pulkol: You are telling lies.
Ankunda: What haven’t we told you?
Pulkol: UPDF should apologise.
Ankunda: IGP [Kale Kayihura] has apologised.
Pulkol: Instead of winning the hearts and minds of the people from the beginning, you started out with hostility.
Ankunda: If you think the UPDF is not doing a good job, why then has the Omusinga asked for UPDF to redeploy at his palace?”
Pulkol: From the start, government mismanaged the situation in Rwenzori. Senior officers misinformed the president.
Ankunda: There is no enemy in Kasese. We are not there to flush out any enemy.
David Pulkol: Then why are you deployed?
David Pulkol: There was laxity on the intelligence flow at the start.
Ankunda: What link is there between criminality and intelligence?
[Pulkol dares Paddy Ankunda to prove whether there was no mismanagement of the situation in Rwenzori region.]
Pulkol: It’s hard to believe the UPDF when they have kept the media out of their operations.
Ankunda: Government has deployed Hon. Mike Mukula to mediate in Rwenzori region.
Pulkol: In an FDC dominated. We need an independent inquiry into the Rwenzori situation. Independent is not Mike Mukula…