By Our Reporter
The Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) High Command has directed all soldiers and officers to desist from engaging in partisan politics as they provide security to all politicians they were deployed to guard.
This comes at a time when bitter clashes between soldiers guarding different politicians are erupting in several parts of the country, with the most prevalent case being that of Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa’s daughter Shatsi Musherure Kutesa and President Yoweri Museveni’s brother Aine Godfrey Kaguta aka Sodo.
Both Sodo and Musherure are vying for the Mawogola North constituency Member of Parliament seat in the 2021 election, on the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party ticket and the stiff competition between them currently is about who sails through as Party flag bearer.
However, locals in Ssembabule District who support each of the candidate are already decrying the rampant insecurity and torture being meted unto them by soldiers from both Sodo and Musherure camps.
So far, several locals have registered complaints at Ssembabule police against soldiers from both rival camps.
As a result, the UPDF has threated to withdraw soldiers from all politicians because many of them are being misled by the same politicians into participating in partisan politics.
Brig. Gen. Flavia Byekwaso, who is the UPDF spokesperson, has since issued a letter warning all politicians that the soldiers who were deployed to guard them will be withdrawn if they don’t desist from engaging in politics.
Brig. Gen. Byekwaso’s letter reads in part thus;
“MISUSE OF ARMED PERSONNEL BY POLITICAL CONTENDERS.
It has come to our notice that many Members of Parliament across the political divide who were given military escorts for their personal security in the wake at armed criminality last year, have started misusing these soldiers in the current political season.
This is contrary to the reason they were assigned and is key to involve them in compromising yet unnecessary and avoidable violence between the contending political groups.
For this reason, the UPDE leadership directs that its soldiers should not be misused and where this is found to happen, they will be promptly withdrawn.
The contenders for political office should not involve and/or misuse these soldiers and policemen, who were assigned purely for a different and clear purpose of ensuring the personal security of the Members of Parliament.
This also applies to of the others contending for political office but are armed or have armed escorts.”
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