Secret details of how president Museveni left out three senior army officers in his recent cabinet reshuffle have exclusively leaked to us.
The officers include Brig. Henry Tumukunde, Brig. Andrew Lutaaya and Col. Fred Bogere.
Insiders told us before cabinet was announced; the internal security organization was involved in a secret vetting of some individuals who would be appointed ministers.
The vetting mainly looked into the issue of reducing on Museveni’s adversaries as the country heads towards 2016 polls.
As such, according to sources, ISO was quick to engage in vetting of several officers whom the system thinks are disgruntled.
The whole game was meant to restore good working relations between the disgruntled officers and their commander in chief Gen. Yoweri Museveni.
As such, Museveni allegedly tasked his trusted security chiefs to identify those officers and propose ways of how to sort their issues.
The president according to insiders wants to ‘reconcile’ with most of his old pals so that he runs the government properly. The trio is all former bush war heroes.
Sources stated that security advised the president to ensure that he reduces on internal security threats by sorting some of the solvable issues regarding his officers so that they don’t join opposing forces.
The only enemy of Uganda called Jamil Mukulu of ADF who is not within the UPDF command structure would therefore remain and according to security analysis, he would be easier to handle instead of having many fronts both internal and external.
The president bought this advice and allegedly assigned his men to handle specific cases of his officers those within and outside the country.
This is how Gen. David Sejusa, Col. Anthony Kyakabale and now Col. Samson Mande [both of PRA rebel group] were courted into returning to the country without any incident.
Sejusa’s return was allegedly coordinated by justice minister Maj. Gen. Severino Kahinda Otafiire.
Among the list of internal alleged disgruntled officers included Maj. Gen. Jim Katugutu Muhwezi, Brig. Henry Tumukunde, Brig. Andrew Lutaaya and Col. Fred Bogere.
Sources in intelligence told us that while the Sejusa front was being handled separately, ISO on the other hand also carried out work on the internally ‘disgruntled’ generals.
As such, the four officers were vetted for ministerial appointment as one way to reconcile them with the system.
ISO recommended to the president that the three officers be appointed but at a level of state minister.
Brig. Tumukunde was vetted as state minister for agriculture, Brig. Andrew Lutaaya was vetted for state minister for trade and Col. Fred Bogere was vetted as state minister for investment.
Jim Muhwezi was vetted as a full minister in charge of general duties in OPM though he alleged wanted the docket of security minister which finally went to Mary Karooro Okurut.
However, when cabinet was read, only Jim was in!
WHY MISSED OUT
Sources stated that the president actually bought the idea of appointing the trio state ministers but the problem was on the issue of seats in cabinet.
The president was also facing pressure from members of parliament most of whom wanted to be appointed yet the cabinet size has only 76 seats.
For that matter, it was resolved that he appoints those officers one by one instead of appointing all of them at once.
In the meantime, the president is supposed to talk to these officers and see how best he can help them by either creating special offices for them or giving them some allowances under the classified budget.
“Secondly, he couldn’t bring all of them to cabinet because they would easily challenge him on some matters.
It would be a great risk to appoint many of these former bush war people to cabinet.
What if they gang up against him in cabinet? This is why Jim has been out when Otafiire, Kategaya and Aronda were in.
The same now goes to Jim. When another officer is appointed, he or another bush war hero will be dropped.
The president couldn’t keep many of them in cabinet because some of them may become stubborn” sources stated, adding that by appointing Jim, the trio will now start fighting for their personal entry into cabinet viewing him [Jim] and others as their stumbling block to eating.
In so doing, in case the president appoints them, it would be difficult for the officers to form cliques since each of them would have fought for his fate into cabinet.
WHO IS BRIG.LUTAAYA
Sources told us that at the time NRA rebels wanted to attack Kabamba, they actually didn’t have transport.
Lutaaya at that time was an ordinary lorry driver and he was allegedly sweet-talked into transporting the rebels. This is how he later joined the struggle.
Actually, sources tell us that his lorry is currently being refurbished after spending ages grounded in Masaka.
He is alleged to be among disgruntled generals and some time back, he featured in the media having battles with locals in Singo over land. His efforts to explain his predicament to CiC proved futile at the time.
This one needs no explanation. He has been everything in this regime right from being a celebrated army officer who headed ISO, a lawyer and a prisoner.
He spent ages in Officers’ Mess cage courtesy of alleged political crimes against the UPDF.
The man said to have roots in Bulemeezi is reported to be one of the disgruntled officers after spending a decade on katebe.
He last smelt deployment as a member of parliament but after his opposition [he abstained] to the lifting of presidential term limits in 2005, he has since remained on Katebe besides stagnating on the rank of a Colonel.
Actually, sources state that because he hails from Luweero which ushered in NRM into power, by now, he would be one of the generals from Luweero but this place has allegedly been forgotten in terms of military freebies including ranks.
This stagnation we are told, forced him into his actions in 2005 but he is now practicing law in private chambers along Parliamentary Avenue.