Sunday February 3 2013

Letter From Kireka: Here is why the army will take over

Letter From Kireka: Here is why the army will take over


By Don Wanyama

In the past fortnight, the President, his defence minister and army commander have all warned about the possibility of the army taking over. While meeting in the bar the other day, we postulated on what could cause a possible military takeover and here are some of our perceived reasons.

Rusaniya, our waitress, was of the view that if politicians mismanage our dearest treasure—oil—then the army would have no option but takeover. In her words, “If politicians begin to misuse oil like they have misused donor money and taxpayers’ money, then the army will not just watch. The army has for long been at pains as it looked on while politicians put to waste a lot of this country’s other resources but if they attempt to mess up with oil, then the final straw will break.”

In Iculi’s wisdom, the army will take over if Kony makes a return to Uganda. Here is his explanation. “The army has worked hard over the years to incapacitate Joseph Kony and his rag-tag rebel outfit. Just the other day, they arrested his bodyguard. This added to our earlier gains of arresting his guitar, his jerrycans and even underwear. Kony is a lonely man. But in case by some miracle he makes a return to Uganda, then the army will have no option but take over.” After a while, he added: “They will have to take over such that they stop politicians from meddling with the defence budget.”

Our chair, Alfredo, made mention of ghosts. He said there is a ceiling of ghosts that as a country we can have. Beyond that, the army will be forced to act. Swinging his Nile Gold beer, Alfredo explained: “You know if the country gets so many ghosts, the army will find the defence duty very trying. The last thing one wants is to engage spirits in any form of encounter. Imagine ghosts starting a rebellion in West Nile and you just don’t know how to locate them. It is therefore prudent upon those in charge of manufacturing ghosts in the education, health, pensions and other sectors to watch their backs. They might just cross the red line.”

“Let’s be honest,” is how Araali began his submission, “the quickest reason for the army to take over is if FDC march to State House.” According to Araali, this situation has become even more worrying after FDC chose Mugisha Muntu as their leader. He said: “Unlike Besigye who would warn the army before walking towards Kampala, starting from downtown of course, Muntu is a very quiet man. Probably his right hand has no clue about what the left hand is planning. It is therefore possible to wake up one morning and hear that Muntu was discovered in the State House master bedroom. This would push the army to act in an instant.”

Citing wise words offered by a much-feared General, Masaba said the army has high chances of taking over if civilians begin to ape the ways of Generals. “Gen. Kahinda Otafiire once told us to leave matters of Generals to Generals. I was therefore very scared when I saw some fellows in Kyankwazi weeks ago, who cannot even assemble a gun, wear military fatigues and pretend to be soldiers. This is an affront to the army. Men might have looked on as women invaded their fashion space (read trousers) but I doubt Generals will look on as civilians make fun of their hard-earned uniforms. Imagine the same guys forging pensioners and swindling donor money wearing military uniform and posing as soldiers. In the long-run, to save their uniform and integrity, the army might take over.”

Musoga had the last word. But his submission was a little difficult to fathom. “So, all of you have offered reasons for a military takeover but take over from who? Since when did a man of a house organise a coup against himself? It is like a man returning home in the dead of the night and telling his children: ‘I will no longer be called daddy but father. And instead of referring to your mum and I as mommy and daddy, call us parents.”There was general agreement that none of us could understand what Musoga was saying and we decided to continue drinking.