New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: 'Military Coup Costly for Uganda' - Muntu

FORUM for democratic change (FDC) president Maj. Gen .Mugisha Muntu has warned against the on-going military coup talk in the country saying it is a risky venture which would cost the country highly.

"No officer should be tempted to think of overthrowing government, as insinuated by the head of state. Trying to do so will not only be foolish but also counterproductive," Muntu remarked.

The retired Maj. Gen Muntu who commanded Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) for close to nine years added that; "No officer can be stupid to think of taking over government, and then what?"

"The political dynamics in our country, in the region and the international community have all changed any trained officer both military and academically would know that, unless he would be stupid I don't know whether they will do so successfully."

Muntu made the remarks on Thursday at FDC party headquarters in Najjanankumbi.

He was reacting to sentiments by the Chief of Defense Forces, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima who at a press conference said that a military takeover was possible saying the military would not allow "bad politics" take Uganda back into turmoil.

It is also reported that during the National Resistance Movement (NRM) retreat in Kyankwanzi, President Yoweri Museveni reportedly told NRM members that the army would take over if confusion in parliament persisted.

However, according to Maj. Gen Muntu, the function of the army is not to watch over parliament but to preserve, defend the sovereignty and territory of Uganda and to cooperate with the civilian authority in emergency situations.

"I would like to believe that the army I served and contributed to in nurturing will not be tempted to betray the very objectives we fought for," said Muntu.

Muntu suggested other than having a coup in the country which would destabilize peace and development; democracy should be allowed to take its course.

He said, the army's core mission is to guarantee the stability on which respective institutions such as the executive, legislature and judiciary work.

"The army remains a professional, productive and well-disciplined force. It is this mission that successive leaders and governments must protect and cherish," Muntu noted.

He saluted the army for the peace keeping mission in Somalia and Liberia which he urged the force to ensure evasion of coup occurrences in Uganda saying it would result into similar situations like those where they are peace keeping.

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