President Yoweri Museveni has revealed he plans to take time to document the story of the bush war that was fought between his National Resistance Army (NRA) rebel group and government forces of President Milton Obote.
The tales Museveni says, will highlight what he called the “evil” within his own army that he often had to contend with.
These details however, the president said, will not be published until after his death.
“In the NRA we had a lot of power to do evil; we had big capacity to kill people,” Museveni said on Thursday at State House in Entebbe.
“At some stage I will write about the details, may be confidentially; and when I have safely gone to heaven somebody can publish. But that information should not be lost.”
According to Museveni, more often than not in the early stages of the 5-year war that brought him to power, he had to deal with members of his own group who he said were bent towards doing evil in order to get quick results.
He termed these are “shot-cuttists”
“You had some of our people who would say let us kill so and so. Of course we could do it, but somehow I always never liked the idea of killing to get quick results. That was always the temptation,” Museveni said during the National Prayer Breakfast.
Historians and human rights bodies have estimated that up to half a million Ugandans including combatants and civilians, lost their lives as a result of the war; although most of the deaths were attributed to the government forces.
On its part, Museveni’s NRA was accused of among others laying land mines that killed civilians, and using child soldiers.
In his speech today, Museveni went on to accuse some of the ranking soldiers of the NRM of being dishonest.
He cited the current Minister for East African Community Affairs Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire, whom he said tried to betray the anti Idi Amin joint force known as the UNLA
“You must have heard that we started the war with 27 guns; but our group FRONASA by the fall of Idi Amin, we had 9000 guns. When we formed the combined army the UNLA, there was a debate: You had people like Otafiire who I think should repent his sins, who said ‘you never know these UPCs they may turn against us. Let us not hand in all our guns. Let us hand in 8000 and keep 1000’” Museveni recounted.
“I rejected that idea and said I am part of the head of the new army. How can I be an example in dishonesty?. It was a big problem; I could almost face a rebellion by these short-cuttists”
But in the end, Museveni said God rewarded him for always standing up against evil.
“The bible says the wages of sin is death. This I have seen, that if you avoid evil, you get blessed even if you are in very difficult. situation….God blessed us, I don’t know why he did, but it could be because we avoided the short cuts.”