Uganda: Military Dictator Seizes Control of Nation's Collapsing Police Force

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Gen. Museveni. Wears suit and tie when meeting U.S. officials.


Uganda's beleaguered dictator Gen. Yoweri Museveni has seized direct control of the country's failed police force after firing his top two security officials.

The military ruler, a U.S. ally --who often wears a suit to give the guise of civilian rule-- today fired his hated police commander Gen. Kale Kayihura and the security minister Gen. Henry Tumukunde. The two had been openly feuding after Tumukunde arrested several senior police officers loyal to Kayihura.

Gen. Kayihura is replaced by OKoth Ocholla who is a mere token and will have no powers.

The real power will be Museveni himself and Ochola's deputy Brig. Sabiti Muzeei. Gen. Muhoozi Kaenerugaba, Museveni's son, who formerly commanded the presidential guard, is expected to supervise Sabiti from State House.

Tumukunde has been replaced by Gen. Elly Tumwine, another Museveni ally.

As the regime devours its own members it's clear the day of reckoning is approaching in Uganda.

Kayihura has been Museveni's hatchet man for years, brutally suppressing dissent and helping Museveni steal presidential elections. In the last year however the country's security situation deteriorated sharply.

There have been at least 25 murders of women and scores of kidnappings with demands for ransoms. In one recent case kidnappers demanded $1 million for the return of tbe daughter of a prominent businessman. Even though Gen. Museveni himself reportedly tried to intervene in the matter, Ms. Susan Magara, the kidnap victim was still murdered anyway. Her body was discovered Feb. 25 after being missing since Feb. 7.

The military ruler has been in power for 32 years now, backed by the United States with training and arms for his military and $1 billion in U.S. taxpayers' money annually. That support has waned.

After Museveni stole the 2016 election from challenger Dr. Kizza Besigye the U.S. ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac denounced the regime for corruption and embezzlement of American taxpayers' money meant for the healthcare system. Reuters reported this week that Gen. Museveni is losing his grip on power.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will shun Uganda during his trip to Africa from March 6 to 13, instead going to Chad, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Nigeria. Uganda was a favorite destination of former Secretary of State Clinton in the last administration.

As the security situation collapses the State Department has issued a travel warning.

Museveni was desperate to have Uganda added to Tillerson's itinery but Washington ruled it out after both he and foreign minister Sam Kutesa became entangled in an ongoing U.S. money-laundering and bribery case in federal court.

The arrests of Kayihura's top aides by Gen. Tumukunde was meant to scapegoat the police commander by a dictator who never takes responsibility for his failures.

Museveni did not want to appear as if he favors Tumukunde so he fired both him and Kayihura.

This is another desperate attempt by a military dictator who does not want to face the fact that Ugandans want him out.

The question now is whether the dictator will eventually move against Kayihura and bring some trumped up charges against a hangman who was merely following Museveni's orders.

Kayihura could be appointed ambassador or kept at bay then brought back later to do some more dirty work for the dictator.

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