Uganda’s Gen Aronda Nyakayirima Was Killed By President Museveni

Museveni lays a wreath on-the casket containing the remains of Gen Aronda Nyakayirima

Despite protests from the Ugandan authorities concerning speculations surrounding the sudden death of the country’s Internal Affairs Minister while returning from an official visit to South Korea, social media continues to abound with what exactly happened to Gen Joseph Aronda Nyakairima.

Formerly the head of the Ugandan army, the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) before being controversially appointed to the civilian post of Minister of Internal Affairs while still wearing his army uniform, Gen Aronda, as many close to him preferred to call him, was one of the generals cited in Gen David Sejusa’s famous ‘Muhoozi Project’ dossier as one of the government officials that the Museveni regime planned to eliminate in order to pave the way for Brig Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the eldest son of President Museveni to succeed his father as the country’s leader.

The actual cause of death is yet to be confirmed as contradicting reports still trickle in. According to our source at the Emirates, the airline on which Gen Aronda, 56, suddenly lost his life, he seemed to be quite in good health as he boarded his flight back home via Dubai, a normal procedure for the airline.

Travelling First Class, the Gen was thought to be enjoying the on-board facilities where passengers travelling in that section can actually enjoy the benefit of a normal bed. But a flight attendant who approached his bed to try and wake him up to prepare for landing was unable to wake him up.

Other crew members joined the stewardess and soon realised the general was no longer breathing.

Many tweets from Ugandan politicians have come to our attention but one from Dr Kizza Besigye, the flagbearer for the main opposition party, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) is worth noting. Dr Besigye tweeted: “Very curious. Gen Sejusa, Hon Amama Mbabazi and Gen Aronda, were all named for being against ‘Muhoozi Project’”.

Dr Besigye was referring to a dossier that was authored in 2013 by Gen Sejusa requesting then International Security Organisation (ISO)’s Brig Ronnie Balya, to investigate allegations that there were plans to assassinate top government officials believed to oppose the ‘Muhoozi Project’.

ISO is the country’s counter intelligence agency responsible for providing national security to policy makers. The ‘Muhoozi Project’ an alleged plan meant to pave the way for President Museveni’s son, Brig Muhoozi Kainerugaba to succeed his father.

In 2013, Gen Sejusa wrote: “The reason I have written this letter [Dossier], is in regard to the very serious allegations that have appeared in the press that IGP [Gen Edward Kale Kayihura, Brig.MK [Muhoozi Kainerugaba], Gen SS [Salim Saleh], one Kellen and others hatched an evil and extrajudicial plan of stage-managing the attack on Mbuya barracks [in March] so as to frame some senior member of this government especially I, Prime Minister [Amama Mbabazi], and CDF, Gen Aronda [Nyakairima].”

He will not be the first General in Uganda to be poisoned

There are suspicions (and the Museveni government can do nothing to stop them) that Gen Aronda may have been poisoned together with two others in his entourage that are yet to be named.

Separately, shortly after the announcement after the death of Gen Aronda, Brig Muhoozi Kainerugaba also tweeted: “I’m extremely saddened at the untimely passing of our long time commander and leader, Gen Aronda Nyakairima.

RIP.” Muhoozi is the commander of the UPDF elite Special Forces Command (SFC), which is responsible for the protection of VIPs, including his father and the country’s strategic installations.

His tweet did not dispel rumours that the minister who has been among the few five-star-generals, was deliberately eliminated.

Previous murders and assassinations of political leaders and opponents in Uganda make it very difficult for the government to explain Gen Aronda’s death to the country. UPDF Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), Gen Edward Katumba Wamala, came out to issue a warning against those spreading rumours that Gen Aronda had died along with two of his aides.

Gen Katumba said that the four aides who were travelling with Gen Aronda were still in a Dubai hotel alive. His warnings and clarifications came in to counter the earlier reports that Gen. Aronda together with his two aides had mysteriously died.

Earlier reports had given contradicting accounts of the event. Whilst the general’s family initially wanted to go to Dubai, the government informed them that there was no need for them to travel and they would join the investigation after the government-commissioned pathologists completed their post-mortem in Dubai.

So the government dispatched the pathologists and doctors to Dubai without the family. Currently, inquisitive journalists have been banned from accessing Gen Aronda’s home at Buziga, south-east of the capital Kampala.

Born in Rukungiri District, western Uganda on July 7 1957, Gen Aronda attended Kitgum High school in Kitgum district north Eastern Uganda and joined Makerere University Kampala in 1978, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in political science in 1981.

He joined the then National Resistance Army (NRA) guerrilla force in 1982 and in 1989, after the NRA shot its way to power in 1986, he attended a basic military officer’s course.

President Museveni appointed him Chief of the Defence Forces in 2003, a position he held until he was dramatically eased out of the powerful post and made Internal Affairs Minister.

He worked as a military intelligence officer before being appointed assistant director in the Directorate of Military Intelligence in the UPDF.

He previously worked under the Presidential Protection Unit, and as Commanding Officer of the Armoured Brigade. He has represented the army in parliament from 1996 until his death.

But whatever the Ugandan authorities will wish to tell the country and the international community, rumours are continuing to abound that the general may have succumbed to yet again becoming one of many Ugandan politicians and military officers who have died as a result of being shot dead in questionable circumstances or being poisoned.

Most prominent among these is Brigadier Noble Mayombo who died in Nairobi after being poisoned in Kampala. Others include former Energy Minister Dr Andrew Kayiira, former premier Wapakhabulo, to mention but a few.

High profile inquiries especially in the killing of Dr Kayiira have been put into place but in all these deaths, not a single person has ever been charged with their deaths.

In most cases, they have all but been forgotten. As with all these other untimely deaths, the government is wrestling with PR to convince the public the actual cause of Gen Aronda’s death, a man who had not complained of any illness prior to his untimely death on Saturday morning.

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