Speaking at a press conference at FDC offices in Najjanankumbi today, Muntu described any military officer that risks taking over power militarily as â€˜foolishâ€™ and his efforts counter-productive. Muntuâ€™s comments come just a day after the Chief of Defence Forces General Aronda Nyakairima told the media that army take-over of government is possible if political leaders donâ€™t show responsibility.
Speaking at a press conference at FDC offices in Najjanankumbi today, Muntu described any military officer that risks taking over power militarily as ‘foolish’ and his efforts counter-productive.
Muntu’s comments come just a day after the Chief of Defence Forces General Aronda Nyakairima told the media that army take-over of government is possible if political leaders don’t show responsibility. Aronda was re-echoing his boss, President Museveni’s own comments aw week ago while addressing members of the NRM parliamentary caucus during a retreat. Museveni is reported to have said that he has the powers to disband and rule militarily.
Defence Minister Dr Crispus Kiyonga made similar comments.
But Muntu, himself a former army commander from 1989 to 1998, sympathized with the army officers that think of the parliamentary oversight role as confusion in a democracy and urged them to consider all their moves before they plan on usurping civilian power.
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General Aronda at a press conference at the UPDF headquarters in Mbuya said the army had been closely monitoring the flow of events in Parliament and that they wouldn’t hesitate to take-over government once they were not content with the status quo.
Uganda has a history of coups or violent change of government since 1966 when the first president, Sir Edward Muteesa, was toppled by then Prime Minister Dr Apollo Milton Obote, just four years after the country gained its independence. Obote, who had succeeded in overthrowing his own government using the army, was also toppled in 1971 by General Idi Amin Dada. Between 1979 and 1980, the country witnessed two violent changes of government with both Yusuf Lule and Godfrey Binaisa removed by the army.
The second Obote government that took power after the December 1980 elections was deposed in July 1985 by General Tito Okello Lutwa, who was head of the army. General Okello was in turn overthrown by Yoweri Museveni in January 1986 bringing to an end a five-year civil war that had started shortly after the 1980 disputed elections.