'Uganda’s armed forces were put on standby after security received wrong intelligence information'-report

    Uganda’s armed forces were put on standby after security received wrong intelligence information, Chimp Corps have learnt.

    A highly placed source has disclosed that during the time President Museveni was preparing to travel for the Commonwealth Heads of State Meeting (CHOGM) in Rwanda, intelligence received information about a national security threat.

    “Some people brought to us very wrong information,” said the reliable official who preferred anonymity to speak freely as he is not authorized to speak to the media.

    “There was a rush to order a standby of the armed forces. But we have managed to address the situation so people need to remain calm.”

    The country nearly came to a standstill after the media reported that deputy Chief of Defence Forces Lt Gen Peter Elwelu had ordered a Class 1 standby order.

    Such orders are routine in the army especially during national events and public holidays.

    A standby order means every soldier must be alert and ready to be called for service any time. In such cases, soldiers are not allowed to go on leave.

    However, this time round, Elwelu directed that armed forces should not only be alert but stay in their position. Movement of military equipment also was blocked.

    The decision to stop movement of military hardware raised fears that the nature of the security threat reported to intelligence organs was actually internal.

    Multiple sources say some officers believe Elwelu’s order was “rushed” and caused unnecessary “tension” and fear in the country. Others said it was the right thing to do given the nature of the reported security threat.

    Nevertheless, on returning from Rwanda, Museveni said he met with security chiefs at 401 Brigade Headquarters in Irenga, Ntungamo District but did not divulge details of the meeting.

    The meeting was attended by Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Wilson Mbadi, Deputy Chief of Defence Forces, Lt Gen Peter Elwelu, Land Forces Commander, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Military intelligence chief, Maj Gen James Birungi, Joint Chief of staff and Maj Gen Leopold Kyanda.

    It is understood Museveni sought to reassure the armed forces that all was well in the army amid reports of lack of cohesion in the top leadership of the army.

    Uganda slipped into anarchy in 1971 when Idi Amin used the army to overthrow Milton Obote as he attended CHOGM in Singapore.

    Museveni has been keen on maintaining cohesion and discipline in the armed forces to avoid a recurrence of coups in the country.

    Some Ugandan army officers previously accused of treason include former spy chiefs Gen David Sejusa, Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde  and Col Kizza Besigye.


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    Evarist Chahali

    Evarist Chahali

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