KAYIHURA AND ARONDA – MUSEVENI LEAD POLITICAL ARCHITECTS
They are the helm of the country’s internal affairs by design to formulate, implement/.enforce Museveni’s designs of the life Presidency project in Uganda. Right from the bush days, Aronda being a master of intrigue; had no other role other than whispering into Museveni’s ear about those with divergent views. He had no defined role and never went for combat operations but stayed around the High Command as Muzei’s (Museveni) boy.
Upon taking over power in 1986, Museveni assigned Aronda to take charge of policing Kampala city. Being a senior member of military intelligence (DMI) at Basiima House, he set up his command post at the Central Police Station (CPS) and policed the entire Kampala city. His operations were responsible for the harassment of the so called Anyanyas (people from the west nile, northern and eastern Uganda) who were linked to the previous regime. As a result many were forcefully evicted from government buildings, terminated from civil service and parastatals.The harassment was characterized by arbitrary arrests and detentions. Its during this time that many former civil servants hailing from those regions fled the the country to exile.
All along Aronda had continued to also double as the Intelligence Officer of the Presidential Protection Unit (PPU) Throughout the late 80s and early 90s. Actually his role was more than an Intelligence Officer but someone who was the top most in-charge of Museveni’s personal security and covert political errands. It is that capacity that Aronda was to play a vital role in concealing Museveni’s extra marital relationship with a female State House keeper who was hailing from Aronda’s home village of Kebisoni in Rukungiri. This same lady bore Museveni children and eventually became the second lady. Later on Museveni appointed Aronda as the Deputy DMI under the figure head DMI Fred Tolit. Like was the case with his son Muhoozi, Museveni has rushed Aronda through advanced military courses at overseas military colleges earning him the prestigious Past Staff College (Psc) when he was at the rank of Captain. While he was the DDMI. Museveni appointed Aronda among the army representatives to the Constituent Assembly (CA).
Its during the CA that Aronda’s politicall allegiance to Museveni came to prominence. Though he made no single contribution on the floor of the CA, Aronda took the lead role in coordinating Museveni’s behind the curtains role in the constitution making process. With an office at the International Conference Center manned by Susan Kazoora, Aronda would lure some CA delegates into towing the Museveni line of thinking. Among the many who fell into his trap were Musa Echweru (former UPA rebel and now Minister) and Simon Mulongo (MP). It was during the same time that Aronda using the vast financial resources at his disposal managed to neutralise the Itongwa rebellion. The said rebellion was suspected to be a pro-Buganda uprising to demand for FEDERO (federalism) that had just been treacherously defeated in the CA. Just like Kayihura is doing against the Mbabazis, at the time Aronda used the financial might to buy off Baganda lumpens into betraying Maj. Itongwa and group. The Itongwa rebellion coincided with the controveral positions taken by Gen. Tinyefuza in the CA and his subsequent moves to leave the army. It was suspected that Tinyefuza was in alliance with Mengo. Aronda took the lead in coordinating all the intelligence gathering pertaining to Tinyefuza’s relationship with Mengo. Salongo Lulika of Makulubita and son of a prominent Lukiko member was the courier between Tinyefuza and Mengo but was reporting to Aronda on every step. Then Lt. Banson Monday of DMI was tasked with surveillance on Tinyefuza both in Kampala and his home in Ntutsi. Its Aronda who was responsible for conduting huge sums of cash between State House and the some Justices and judicial officers to ensure that Tinyefuza lost the petition. To better appreciate Aronda’s strength, one need to look at a scenario where former Vice President Samson Kiseka wrote a note to Aronda with pleas to help him (Kiseka) have an audience with Museveni! At the time Aronda was neither an aide de camp (ADC) to Museveni nor his Private Secretary but of course Kiseka being a founder member and one time Vice President knew what Aronda was to Museveni.
From DMI, Museveni deployed Aronda to the strategic Mechanised Brigade and then to northern Uganda to take charge of Operation Iron Fist against the LRA. Obviously, that operation was a failure and Aronda abandoned it after narrowly escaping death in a road ambush along the Karuma-Gulu Road. That ambush was rumoured to have been masterminded by NRA’s own Geofrey Muheesi who at the time was feared to be a Tinyefuza loyalist. Museveni withdrew Aronda from field operations and instead appointed him the Army Commander. As Army Commander, Aronda’s major role was to ensure that the army is personalised under the guise of professionalising it. To achieve this, Aronda made sure that he planted into strategic command positions a clique of officers who had served under either DMI/CMI or the PPU. Above all, Aronda oversaw the development of the PPU into a Brigade (PGB) and later Special Forces Group (SFG). He incorporated strategic units of the army like Mechanised, artillery and air defence, air force and motorised units into the SFG. He oversaw the taking over of its command by Museveni’s son Muhoozi. Having accomplished this vital component of Museveni’s life presidency project, Museveni moved Aronda to the Internal Affairs Ministry leaving Katumba Wamala as as a figure head commander of the regular army whose strength had been overtaken by the SFG. Therefore the SFG is Aronda’s brain child and remains its founding father.
Having successfully accomplished personalisation process in the army, Museveni responded to thechanging political environment in the country by posting Aronda to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. His undisclosed job description is the militarisation of the regular police, turning it into an enforcement branch of his NRA party, suppression of all forms of political dissent, suffocating opposition activism, bringing the immigration services under the intelligence services, overseeing the operations of Internal Security Organisation (ISO) and the overseeing the operations of District Commissioners as heads of district security committees. Above all Aronda is charged with the enforcement of the draconian public safety act. Like Museveni, Aronda’s Ugandan citizenship is questionable and now that he is the head of the National Identity exercise, he is to ensure that the highly protected Banyarwanda pastrolists (balalo) who have been a nuisance to some communities are granted citizenship through issuance of national identity cards. Also, at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Aronda is supposed to act as a link between the army and the civil law enforcement agencies like Police, ISO and Local Councils.
On his part Gen Kale Kayihura had been under the commissariate department of the army responsible for political indoctrination. He is a Mufumbira from Kisoro and son of a prominent pre-independence politicial Kalyekyezi. General Kale Kayihura decided to shorten his Kalekyezi name to Kale in order to disguise his Banyarwanda linkage though he is rumored to have been fathered by Rwakanengyere – a prominent Hima from Ankole. Museveni was later to appoint his as his Principal Private Secretary (PPS) where Kale is on record for facilitating the encroachment of Katonga wildlife reserve in Kabarole by Hima Pastrolists from Mbarara distric. In his directive, Kayihura wrote “the cattle keepers will help to check on the wrong elements hiding in the game reserve”.
Years later the same Kayihura was to make a similar directive for the Hema cattle keepers from DRC to occupy part of Semuliki game reserve. Museveni deployed Kayihura to head the Revenue Protection Services – an anti smuggling outfit whereby he helped a lot in planting the home boys into the prestigious revenue body (URA). Later on w Museveni was to deploy him to the police as the Inspector General of Police (IGP). Kayihura replaced Katumba wamala who had been diverted to the Police purposely to give room for Kaziini to climb the ladder. In the Police Katumba Wamala had gained some popularity among the civilians – which is treasonous under Museveni but the Police remained ‘hostile’.
Kayihura together with Aronda as Deputy DMI had been responsible for smuggling Paul Kagame from Rwanda into Uganda and beyond and back when he was still the Vice President without the then President Bizimungu knowing. Aronda had been Kagame’s best man during the later’s wedding. It is this relationship of Aronda and Kayihura that helped alot in cementing the Kagame/Museveni relationship that had gone sour after the Congo clashes. Kayihura’s role in the atrocities in the DRC’s Ituri region is a subject of indictment by the ICC. His role in brutally suppressing political dissent within the country is well documented and has earned him the nickname of Afande Tear Gas.
Both Kayihura and Aronda have Museveni’s blessing in whatever they do. With unlimited access to human and financial resources at their disposal, the two have the capacity to suppress and suffocate any form of dissent and opposition to Museveni’s life Presidency project. They are Museveni’s political assistants in charge of internal security. At all costs, the two will be the last men to abandon Museveni even after Muhoozi and likewise Museveni will never sideline them so long as he is still president. Its a big disappointment for some section of Ugandans to imagine that Aronda was demoted and sidelined when Museveni removed him from the army to Internal Affairs Ministry!
It is because of such ignorant that several media houses and some Ugandans have been speculating that Aronda is in league with some big shots who have fallen out with Museveni. Actually another undisputable member of this inner circle is Brig. James Mugira the one time brutal CMI whom Museveni moved to head the Luwero Industries where the army is manufacturing secret weapons with the aid of the government of Russia. Therefore, Kayihura is the manufacturer, while Aronda is the designer and Museveni approves the quality of the product. The two Generals are running a secret newly found intelligence network after Museveni developing doubt in the formal intelligence agencies.