Muntu: We are back to 1981 situation
Posted Thursday, February 14 2013 at 02:00
However, the former army commander ruled out supporting an armed insurrection against the NRM government.
Former army commander and now leader of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu has openly announced ‘no desire of ever going back to the bush’ as a solution to regime change.
The retired army officer, who commanded the UPDF for nearly nine years, becoming the longest serving officer in that position in the country’s history, said even if the current regime failed to change through the periodical elections, he would not ally with anyone to go back to the bush; just as they (Museveni) did in 1981.
“I comprehend that the current (government) situation is similar to that of 1981, which stirred a bush war, but I would not go back,” Maj. Gen Muntu said on Tuesday while speaking at a public lecture dubbed “The Role of State Institutions in a Democracy” at Makerere University.
He added: “I wouldn’t continue to bear with the fact of going back to the bush with a group of people to fight for a right cause and when they assume power, restore exactly what they claimed to fight against.”
The bush war hero also reiterated his stand on the ongoing ‘coup talk’ uproar as insinuated by the army, as “not only stupid, but also counterproductive,” adding that it compromised the professionalism of the army and was a tactic to frighten Parliament.
“The regime is in a state of free-fall and the military must start engaging in scenario building because there is an inevitable change that is coming and the institution should not be taken by surprise,” Maj. Gen. Muntu said.
Professionalism in army
He acknowledged that structures for exercising professionalism in the army had been best laid but added that because of the greed to keep in power, the regime was not only compromising but also destroying these structures. “I only know of a few individuals who are on the right track, but otherwise even the army itself knows it is derailed from professionalism,” Maj. Gen Muntu added.
Meanwhile, other notable speakers at the event, majorly from the Political Science department at the university, warned of what they termed as the wrong direction, disguised as democracy, the government was headed to, which they said would renew instability.
“Other countries are freely changing leaders, with the army completely de-linked from politics but we (Uganda) are simply looking on,” said Prof. Yasin Olum, who, however, noted that since the army had been part of politics since 1964, the current army was unlikely to abstain.