Board of Inquiry Into Latest UDPF Plane Crash Will Yield Nothing

 over a dozen Uganda People’s Defence Forces soldiers tragically died after a helicopter they were in crashed
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Photos: YouTube

Only days ago, over a dozen Uganda People’s Defence Forces soldiers tragically died after a helicopter they were in crashed in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo during take-off.

The Mi-17 helicopter, which is mainly used for transportation, medical evacuation and VIP travel, had just delivered food consignments to the Uganda People’s Defence Forces troops engaged in Operation Shujaa.

Operation Shujaa, which means brave or hero in Swahili, is collaboration between the Uganda People’s Defence Forces and Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) to rout the Allied Democratic Forces, an armed rebel group primarily active in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Gen. Yoweri Museveni has reportedly ordered an investigation into the chopper crash, he said, which Army spokesperson Brig. Felix Kulayigye confirmed by saying: “every time there is an accident, a board of inquiry is established to investigate the matter and they have put up one in this incident.”

This “board of inquiry” will probably serve the same function as the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, known unofficially as the Warren Commission, constituted to investigate the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy that had taken place on November 22, 1963, in that it will probably raise more questions than answers.

That’s because, over the years, there have plenty of similar crashes under Gen Museveni’s government. So many that if we were to list or chronicle them, this whole article would be expended on that alone.

However, suffice to say that these crashes follow a predictable pattern and may actually be linked to the original sin of Gen. Museveni’s corruption-plagued rule in the sense that his junta has always nurtured such tragic consequences.

In 1998, for instance, Gen. Museveni’s younger brother Gen. Salim Saleh’s company purchased helicopters for the army, for which he allegedly received a commission of $800,000. The helicopters turned out to be junk and he did not have the book thrown at him.

It is clear, then, that out of such junk, crashes and related untoward occurrences are inevitable.

To be sure, in 1998, the then Member of Parliament for Gulu Municipality, Norbert Mao, made this lynx-eyed observation during the probe into junk helicopters:
"They nominated people (to investigate thejunk helicopters) who are boot-lickers of the system. The independent-minded MPs like Owiny Dollo were struck off the list. Questions have been raised about why the committee has not called up Dr. Kiiza Besigye (then military advisor to the minister of defence) to testify. Moreover, there were no technocrats on the team; just a bunch of folks determined to dig deep into matters they knew little or nothing about…this committee will not have the last word in this saga. We cannot close the chapter yet; this committee will just put a footnote. First junk tanks, then junk choppers and now from all indications, a junk investigation by parliament.”

As junk begets junk, Gen. Museveni attempts to convince us that there shall be a proper investigation into the recent plane crash, of course, is not possible.

This is like treating the symptoms to a disease instead of treating the disease itself and the disease is the endemic corruption under Gen. Museveni’s rule.

This corruption has put Ugandans lives at risk by allowing shoddy work to proceed unencumbered because there are some people in government who wish to “eat” at the expense of the general wellbeing.

Sadly, we expect to witness more crashes and avoidable deaths until we start treating every death under this regime as a vote of no confidence in Museveni’s junta.

Of course, though, it would be unfair to say that Gen. Museveni will take no action in this latest case of criminal negligence and gross incompetence.

I am certain he shall isolate some “weevils” who shall be declared to be enemies of country.

Yet, in truth, they are probably suspected dissidents within the system and Gen. Museveni is using this incidence to purge his junta of any dissenters.

Then again, we could be wrong, but we know we are right.

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