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Museveni Brings Back Brig. Gen.Kulayigye as UPDF Spokesman

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President Yoweri Museveni has reappointed Brigadier General Felix Kulayigye as the Ministry of Defense and UPDF Spokesperson to revamp the country’s image abroad which is currently struggling with the poor public relations on the joint operations with Congolese forces against the Allied Democratic Front rebels.

Brig. Gen.Kulayigye who has been representing the army in Parliament replaces Brig.Gen.Flavia Byekwaso who was not up-to the task and swiftly sent to study at National Defence College possibly to upgrade her skills. Gen. Kulayigye aged 58 was Army Spokesman between 2005- 2013.

Taarifa Investigative desk has reliably gathered from sources within the corridors of power in Kampala that the appointing authority has not been happy with the poor communications by the UPDF Spokespersons office since Uganda entered Democratic Republic of Congo to pursue the ADF terrorists.

“It is a hard job to speak for UPDF and Uganda Police,” Enock, a social commentator, said.

There is a Problem With UPDF Communications

On November 30 last year, the UPDF hauled its tanks, locomotive artillery and dozens of trucks ferrying thousands of troops into the DRC and the airspace between the two countries was cleared for Uganda’s Sukhoi 30 fighter jets.

“Uganda showed she has fire power ready for use but exposed herself to the world that her communications were extremely poor,” a military source in Kampala told Taarifa, adding that the Shujja operation in DRC has been poorly presented to the world.

Another source who preferred anonymity since he isn’t authorised to speak for the UPDF noted that Brig.Gen.Flavia Byekwaso handled the Shujja operation in DRC as a local matter and did not invite the media into DRC until her office suffered a humiliating communications crisis.

In the first two months, the UPDF, although invited by the Congolese, had failed to work out a strategy to harmonise communications with the FARDC.

For example in the first days Congolese military itself refused to acknowledge that Uganda army had deployed inside their territory but days later after several crisis phone calls between Kinshasa and Kampala, DRC police, military and defence ministry held a joint press conference and officially acknowledged the presence of the Uganda army.

UPDF Feared for Plundering Congo

Since UPDF entered DRC, the international community has been scrutinizing every move the Ugandans are making in Congo. Every statement Maj.Gen. Muhanga Kayanja the leader of the operation makes is subject to scrutiny – there is suspicion that the Ugandans could be engaged in plunder of DRC resources under the cover of chase for ADF rebels.

Photos emerged showing log loaders and trucks loaded with wood logs and a road under construction, still upon verification  some of these photos were from a west African country. This intentional information vacuum has caused mistrust of UPDF intentions inside DRC.

Although the UPDF and Congolese military claimed early victory against the ADF rebels,  local, regional and international media waited for any proof of the impact of aerial bombardments, there was none.

A statement issued said 31 Congolese hostages had been freed, destroyed four enemy camps and captured 34 fighters associated with the terrorist group; still there was no proof at least to defend the statement on a global scale.

On realizing that the communications team had caused UPDF a humiliating defeat on the communications front, “In order to gain the loyalty of the population and reverse the harmful propaganda instilled by ADF, the FARDC and UPDF have launched a vast awareness campaign and are carrying out civil-military actions, Brig-Gen Flavia Byekwaso said in a seemingly crisis management statement in December last year.

Museveni Roads in DRC not Gift But Serving Punishment

By building roads in DRC, Uganda is Serving Punishment after losing to DRC in a case at the International Court of Justice. Uganda has to settle a pending debt of U$13Billion as compensation for damages incurred during the occupation of Congo.

On November 10th 2019, President Yoweri Museveni suggested to his counterpart Tshisekedi that he wanted to build two major tarmac roads inside Congo both 100km each to allegedly link Bunagana-Goma and Beni-Kasindi.

 “We are very surprised and worried, to see that President Felix flew to Uganda from 09 to 10 November 2019, and preferred to give priority to friendship, negotiations against the interests of the people (the victims), instead of justice,” the protestors furiously said on Thursday outside the Justice Ministry building.

Uganda has for over 15 years refused to pay the DRC and because of this failure, the International Court of Justice had ruled to take up this matter and resolve it legally.

The date for Compensation hearing was set for 18-22nd November 2020 but the two leaders jointly wrote a letter requesting the ICJ court to extend the date of hearing to an unspecified date.

For the Congo challenge, Museveni may need to hire services of a more professional public relations company to work in close collaboration with a very experienced military spokesperson that also has an out of the box outlook to the ongoing operations against ADF inside DRC jungles.

Uganda Suffocates With $10Bn Compensation To DRC