KAMPALA — Gen David Muhoozi, the Chief of Defense Forces (CDF) who was drawn in Bobi Wine’s National Unity Platform controversy in an astonishing twist has pushed back Wednesday against allegations he directed Mr. Moses Nkonge Kibalama to turn against his friends and denied he did anything wrong.
Gen. Muhoozi who admitted to meeting Kibalama cited his rights and privileges as a Ugandan to meet anybody but denied the meeting was about NUP.
“Someone got in touch and told me Kibalama had requested to meet me. I was going for a meeting, I asked, can’t it wait? He said Kibalama’s life was in danger. I did not solicit the meeting. I advised Kibalama to contact police. Later, I heard that he had gone to ISO and then court. But why shouldn’t I meet him or any other Ugandan?”
Asked whether he regrets meeting Kibalama following the reaction that ensued regarding NUP, Gen. Muhoozi said:
“I wouldn’t want to be drawn in the dynamics of NUP. But everyone is entitled to an opinion. I have finally been given the opportunity to be heard; I met Kibalama on matters other than NUP.”
The CDF name had previously been caught up in a whirlwind controversy involving the Bobi Wine —Kibalama party woes and an alleged role in active politics while others accused him of commanding a biased force.
Kibalama in August this year told court that he had been under detention for two weeks in Mbale, under military protection after he had been summoned by Gen. Muhoozi, whom he claimed that also quizzed him about changes in party leadership.
But the CDF said the meeting was unsolicited and insisted they didn’t discuss any matters regarding the budding party.
Defense deputy spokesperson Lt. Col. Deo Akiiki had previously slammed Kibalama over twisting facts, explaining that CDF Muhoozi had never summoned him for any meeting.
“No amount of twisting should bring the CDF in disrepute. Let the process of court continue without soiling the mind of the public on the matter,” Akiiki said distancing his boss from the matter.
On reports that the military is being used by the ruling party to suppress political opponents, the CDF said UPDF is over the board and still professional to handle its roles without taking sides.
“I want to assure Ugandans that it’s possible for us to participate in elections as voters while being professional at the same time. The mistakes that have happened, we shall correct, it’s a learning process,” he said.
Gen. Muhoozi admitted the military excesses in some instances and said all those involved are facing prosecution but asked the public not to blow the matter out of proportion.
This was after reports emerged early in the enforcement of Uganda’s COVID-19 lockdown that the army and the local defence units forced themselves into people’s homes and beat them up.
Similar excesses have been reported around the country but President Museveni, who is also the Commander in Chief of the armed forces, only directed the head of the anti-corruption unit to deal with errant security personnel after a public outcry against the military and police brutality during the early stages of the lockdown.
He also shared her mobile phone number with the public, calling upon affected citizens to report any violations by the security forces.
Another legacy of military impunity exposed during the COVID-19 lockdown relates to the personalised and irregular deployment of the armed forces to safeguard private interests.
Army officers were being deployed to effect land evictions. Of all these developments, defense analysts say the trend is very dangerous.