By Lawrence Kazooba
When President Museveni announced changes in UPDF top command structure, many people moved though a lot of airtime went to the outgoing and incoming chiefs of defense forces.
Gen Katumba Wamala, a lighthearted man, didn’t show he was bothered by his redeployment from the helm of UPDF, an enviable job, to a lowly position of a state minister! He instead took it up with optimism and even came out to castigate talking heads alleging he was demoted. He said he wants to serve Uganda. That’s most important.
The new CDF is a man of few words, a mold of the late Gen Aronda Nyakairima. Of course Gen Muhoozi David will learn with time to face the public and media given his job has a public relations and diplomacy part to it.
Whenever the President makes changes in the military, he’s either addressing security challenges of the time or, shifting the military to a paradigm. UPDF today is largely a peace time force, and therefore it should be involved in more civilian interventions, given its experiences, resources and organization.
UPDF of course has many challenges, however, it remains Uganda’s only standing institution able to rejuvenate itself and that’s why it needs to change its leadership now and then, to bring in new blood that can solve prevailing challenges.
Gen Katumba has since moved on. He’s busy as roads state minister. Gen Muhoozi is visiting his troops rallying them to focus on being more efficient. Even Col Paddy Ankunda who seems to have got a direct demotion, is silently focusing on his new job somewhere in Mbuya.
However, a leak last week is pregnant with who’s sulking over his redeployment.
Gen Charles Angina is yet to move on. The story and commentary which followed show an officer who needs to move on and allow his successors pick on from where he left. UPDF is bigger than any single individual.
Why am I writing this?
Last week, news that Gen Angina lost his job as deputy CDF because he had investigated a corruption scandal in UPDF and recommended refunding of the money by the company alleged to be linked to the First Lady Janet Museveni. In so naming Mrs Museveni, Angina only fell short of saying his commander in chief was defrauding the UPDF!
The former deputy CDF should learn that he had the honor of serving as CDF as deputy CDF. However, if his boss sees his departure from the job is important, it should be taken in good faith just as he did when he was appointed in that position.
Gen Angina, should also be thankful that he was deployed in operation wealth creation (OWC) as deputy commander for two reasons; one because his predecessor Gen Ivan Koreta was given a non existent diplomatic appointment in Algeria, and secondly, because OWC is an opportunity wananchi can benefit from his efficiency and superior management skills. It’s clear Ugandans are dying to benefit from OWC interventions but it’s failed due organization inadequacy.
Like Gen Wamala believes he can make a difference on Ugandan transport infrastructure, Gen Angina too should give Uganda’s agriculture the much needed life.
And that’s why references to investigations he has already sent to his boss to act on, should not bother him. Instead, homesteads not getting seeds and other farm inputs in time this planting season due to inefficiencies in OWC should bother him. That’s where he’s called to be for now. He should give OWC his 100%. It’s very important.