Uganda: Gen Muntu Criticises Brig Sande Over Remarks

Masaka- Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) presidential candidate, (Rtd)Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu has castigated the commander of Masaka Mechanised Brigade, Brig Deus Sande, and asked to respect the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) uniform and desist from making 'reckless' political statements.

While speaking at a function of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party mobilisers in Masaka City last month, Brig Sande said the army will not hand over power if President Museveni is not re-elected next year.

"We are not ready to give out [power] to people who are ideologically bankrupt ... Do you think we are planning a handover? We are not planning a handover, actually we are consolidating ... where Uganda is today is not where it was years back. It's up to you to decide if Uganda is to become Somalia, which is in anarchy, or not," Brig Sande said.

Yesterday, Maj Gen Muntu, the former army commander, said Brig Sande's utterances were reckless, especially at a time when the country is holding general elections.

" I am surprised that a senior army officer at his rank with all the courses he attended, can make such reckless statements. This makes me doubt whether he genuinely acquired that rank. At the rank of a brigadier he ought to know when to speak and when not to speak," Gen Muntu told voters at Nyendo Town on the outskirts of Masaka City at the weekend.

Gen Muntu said if he is elected president, he will professionalise both the army and police, and ensure they cooperate well with civilian authority .

" As a well trained officer who once served in the army as a commander, I know how I can clean up and have professional armed forces. There are also some police commanders who are deviating from the path of professionalism to playing partisan politics, which is wrong.

"Some beat up and arrest Opposition politicians because they want to save their boss' jobs, this is also wrong. A professional police officer does not behave like that," Maj Gen Muntu said.

He urged the electorate to entrust him with the presidency because he is trustworthy and well tested.

Before addressing the meeting, Maj Gen Muntu attended Mass at Kitovu Cathedral and service at Masaka Pentecostal Church.

He later addressed other meetings in Lwengo and Lyantonde districts.

At Lyantonde, he promised to improve the agriculture sector, fight unemployment and rampant corruption, which he said have hampered meaningful development in the country.

Mr Samuel Asiimwe, a resident of Lyantonde, said he wants a candidate who will push for reinstatement of presidential term limits and reduce public expenditure.

"We are a poor country, but with a big Cabinet and Parliament. I want to see a president who prioritises reducing public expenditure even if it affects him as an individual for the good of all Ugandans," he said.

Ms Brenda Namuddu, another resident of Lyantonde, said the next president should prioritise health and ensure all Ugandans regardless of their status can access decent healthcare.

Source: The Monitor

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