Saturday November 18 2017

On Bashir’s visit and CMI’s little games in the DR Congo

Asuman Bisiika

Asuman Bisiika 

By Asuman Bisiika

I immediately after AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi’s assassination, Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) sold and popularised the clue that the murder was the handiwork of ADF rebels.
Photos of a suspect and his National ID were procured and published in major media outlets. What followed was a rain of arrests visited on Muslims.

During the month of Ramadhan, a WhatsApp kafunda (joint) of Muslim journalists contributed and bought food items for the families of those arrested. Being the stupidest in the kafunda, I offered to manage the process of delivering the food.

We (me and a brave lady whose name I am under no compulsion to disclose) delivered the food. To my surprise, most of the beneficiaries were families of those arrested for the assassinations of Muslim clerics. What did this mean? That assassination of AIGP Andrew Kaweesi just triggered another wave of arrests visited on Muslims.

Truth be told , Kaweesi’s death was a blessing in disguise for CMI. By the end of 2016, CMI is said to have finalised an operation to round up all former ADF combatants. But they feared it would scandalise the country.

All former ADF combatants (whether on amnesty or otherwise) were swept off the streets as suspects in the AIGP Kaweesi murder. Please disregard Gen Kale Kayihura’s braggadocio that the police had arrested whatever or whoever; the only person the police arrested was the Mayor of Kamwenge.
Dear reader, a certain Mr Museveni was quoted as saying those arrested were not responsible for the Kaweesi murder. Yes, for the first time, in a long time, I concurred with him.
So, why were the Muslims arrested? Because CMI thinks there could be (is) something big brewing up in the DR Congo. And that these former ADF combatants in Kampala could be the infamous ‘Horse of Troy’ (Fifth Columnists).

In June, I called Col Abel Kanduho, the CMI boss. The subject of the call was a personal issue on which I sought his personal assistance. I must confess I have never met Col Kanduho.
In the brief phone conversation, Col Kanduho sounded shy and the kind of person who is not a show off; someone who does his job with less pomp and braggadocio.

But he needs to engage more with journalists (not off-payroll ones like me; real journalists in newsrooms). Boss, we live in an era of the imperial dictatorship of the media (now compounded by the new phenomenon of social media).
When I was masquerading as an employee of President’s Office a long time ago, my biggest contribution was convincing a certain media house to withdraw a website story that said Mr Museveni had been denied a visit to Kasubi Tombs. I managed this because some media managers ‘erroneously’ take me serious.

So, boss Col Kanduho, the media is king; and it matters how one relates to it. Otherwise, how will you manage the real prospects of a UPDF invasion of DR Congo without preparing the population for it (through the media)?
Why did Khartoum’s Omar el-Bashir visit Uganda? Because a very big story is waiting to happen. There is South Sudan and her two bulls (the other bull is feeling homesick).

And then there is DR Congo, where CMI is playing patriotic games. Incidentally, Jamil Mukulu’s arrest doesn’t seem to have had the expected results. Indeed, the remnant ADF rebels are said to have been radicalised to the extent of attracting actors in Terror International Inc.
And a military leader worth his sugar will need to mobilise regional players before he takes action on these matters. You wait when Museveni visits Khartoum; then the very big story will happen.
Mr Bisiika is the executive editor of East African Flagpost.