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"We make it very clear to our soldiers that if they abuse any citizen, the punishment they will receive will teach them a lesson. As for killing people, if you kill a citizen you yourself will be killed. During our struggle we executed five soldiers of NRA for killing people"

Museveni's innagural speech after swearing in as President - 26th January 1986.   

Walking the talk
For the next 15 years the NRA never killed any soldier; not because they were not killing civilians but because the other five killed earlier had been simply sacrificed. The year is 2002 and the NRA is conducting a brutal disarmament exercise in Karamoja region. The deadline for voluntary disarmament has expired and the army is conducting a forceful disarmament exercise. A Mill Hill Fathers Missionary Fr. Michael Delan O'Toole from Ireland is serving in Karamoja region. On 9th March 2002 he is assaulted by the army for his criticism of the army's brutality against locals. He had also authored reports of gun running by soldiers in Karamoja. The Irish Ambassador rises the issue of his assault with the Prime Minister. A few days later on 21st March 2003, Fr. O'Otoole is shot dead together with his two local assistants at Nakipelmoru, 3 km from the army camp of Kofasarich detach along the Moroto-Kotido road. Apart from life, nothing else is stolen from the victims by the assailants. On 22nd March 2002, the army arrests two of its own soldiers as suspects; Corporal James Amedio and Private Abdallah Muhammed of 'B' Company, 67th Battalion. The NRA 3rd Division Commander Col Sula Ssemakula said of the incident: "the UPDF court martial would try them expeditiously and execute them in Kotido town to show the community that the army is serious about soldiers who violate the law"  Indeed, on 25th March 2002 at 12:50 pm the two suspects were indicted before the army's Field Court Martial Chaired by Col. Sula Semakula. The suspects pleaded not guilty to killing Fr. O'Otoole. The trial proceeded since investigations had been complete, were found guilty, convicted of murder and sentenced to death by firing squad. Three hours later, the two convicts are put on firing Squad and shot dead amidst pleas from some quarters including the family of the slain missionary to accord them a fair trial. Three months later, the army put in place a cosmetic board of inquiry into the trial and execution which made a finding that the execution had been lawful and that the murder of the priest was having a negative impact on the momentum of the disarmament exercise. Who killed Fr. O'Toole and why?

Senior Officer (SO) Fred Mugisha aka Karampenge is one of the celebrated NRA fearless fighters. He deputised Pecos Kuteesa in Command of the NRA's 1st Battalion during the battle for control of Katonga bridge and the final assault on Kampala where his unit took over the army headquarters at Republic House (Bulange). In the small village of Mbogo, Kanoni Sub-county, Kazo county then under Mbarara district, SO Fred Mugisha Karampenge's biological father is murdered. The senior army officer sets off from Bombo barracks with a squad of soldiers and heads for his home village in Kazo. Upon reaching the village he embarks on rounding up all the suspects who were neighbors to the deceased. One by one, seven  male adult suspects are tortured to death by the soldiers under his direction. The families of the killed suspects were stopped from mourning while their widows were also rounded up and made to do the cooking of  meals for the mourners at the funeral of the army officer's father. For four days the village was smelling blood and death hang on the head of every adult male resident. 
This incident was simply swept under the carpet and no SINGLE authority ever questioned SO Fred Mugisha's actions. When the formal ranks were introduced, SO Fred Mugisha Karampemge was made a Lt. Col but unfortunately he died shortly after. Museveni flew to that village to bury Lt. Col Fred Mugisha Karampenge and of course he must have praised the fallen soldier's patriotism. For the widows, orphans and relatives of Karampenge, they further suffered from Museveni's helicopter blowing away their grass thatched makeshift huts. Lt Col Fred Mugisha Karampenge's life is highly honored in the NRA such that a hall in Nakasero barracks is named after him. Maybe if Tadeo Kanyankole had rounded up and killed villagers in Buhweju he too would be honored like Lt Col Fred Mugisha Karampenge. 

Each dog has its own tail
Major Rwamukaaga.
Celebrated NRA bush war fighter Maj. Peter Rwamukaga joined the army before Uganda became independent. He was part of the Independence Guard of Honor in 1962. He retired from the army during the regime of Iddi Amin in the 70s only to join Museveni's bush war during the early 80s. While in the bush fighting government, back home in Hoima his father was murdered. When the NRA took over power in 1986, he went and killed the person he suspected to have killed his father. He was arrested, tried for murder, and sentenced to imprisonment. Museveni saved him from the long prison sentence by pardoning him. Since then he lives the life of a destitute. Maj. Rwamukaaga thought he could enjoy the same privilege of immunity as Fred Mugisha Karampange. 

Lt. Col Kaye
Another bush war hero Lt Col Kaye shot dead one stephen Kabuye in 2011. The deceased who was suspected to be in a love relationship with the wife of the accused had come to drop her at the accused's gate at 3.00a.m after a late night outing. The accused pleaded that he thought he was being attacked by robbers who were very rampant in the area thus the shooting. He was charged with murder before the court martial, denied bail and recently convicted and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. His father together with a couple of Luwero War Veterans vowed to seek the intervention from higher authorities. The 'higher authorities' is Museveni but do the Luwero Veterans still matter to him?????

L/Cpl Rwakihembo
 In December 2013 L/Cpl Rwakihembo shot dead three people and injured one in Kmapala. Among the dead was his fiance whom he accused of having been unfaithful while he (Rwakihembo) was in Somalia when she had a kid with another man on top of misusing all his savings from the Somali mission. The army indicted the accused in a court martial and trial was conducted expeditiously and publicly.
The court martial handed him a 95 years imprisonment sentence and everyone appreciated the strictness of the NRA in DEALING with killers. As usual, when we went to sleep, the family of the convict soldier who is a home boy approached higher authorities and the sentence was reduced to three years to run concurrently. Considering the period the convict spent on remand, he is soon matching home. 

The list is endless, but what is clear is that Museveni used the firing squad during the bush war to gain cheap popularity. May the souls of the seven who were sacrificed on firing squad rest in peace.

*A positive mind is a courageous mind, without doubts and fears, using the experience and wisdom to give the best of him/herself.
 We must dare invent the future!
The only way of limiting the usurpation of power by
 individuals, the military or otherwise, is to put the people in charge  - Capt. Thomas. Sankara {RIP} '1949-1987

*"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent
revolution inevitable"**…  *J.F Kennedy


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