By Our Reporter
Brig General Charles Bakahumura, the outgoing Chief of Military Intelligence was appointed Chief of Logistics and Engineering, the heart of the efficiency of any professional army like UPDF.
President Museveni could not have appointed a better person to the position.
Gen Bakahumura who hails from Kamwenge in Toro has been CMI boss for the past five years, which made him the longest serving CMI since 1986. The key strategic position has been occupied in the past by Mugisha Muntu, Noble Mayombo, Leopold Kyanda and James Mugira.
The new CMI is now Lt. Col. Abel Kandiho.
Kandiho’s arrives at CMI at the time the intelligence arm of the military is clear of human rights abuses.
- Eliminating human rights violations
At the time Bakahumura arrived at CMI in 2012, the intelligence outfit had been infested with human rights violations including torture of victims, theft, murder among other misdemenours. This forced several international partners to suspend support towards Uganda’s counter terrorism programs.
According to several Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports, CMI prominently featured as a leading violator of human rights.
One of Bakahumura’s first assignments was establishing the Human Rights Desk at CMI headquarters where all human rights violations would be reported. The initiative immediately registered success. Suspects were no longer held incommunicado. All arrests were geared towards prosecution or referred to police as CMI moved to eradicate the notorious safe houses like the one at Kololo.
Bakahumura is also credited for recommending many soldiers for strategic military courses abroad especially in USA and UK.
- Defence diplomacy
According to our sources, CMI has been at the centre of the military intelligence support to the regional political and military conflicts. During his time as CMI, Uganda has negotiated for smart resolution of conflicts such the M23 which was going to open a regional war. The M23 conflict was put to bed without Uganda getting problems with Rwanda or DRC, nor with the foreign forces comprising Tanzanians and South Africans. Also, South Sudan and Sudan relations with Uganda have improved and Uganda has become more secure in the process because of smart maneuvers from the Uganda political and military leadership.
- Operating from underground
Like a typical intelligence man, Gen. Bakahumura is not a braggart or bully like some military intelligence chiefs before him. He operates from the underground – a smooth operator. He has ensured he stays closer to the enemy and prevented crisises before they erupted. Instead of burning of newspapers, like was the case with Red Pepper Publications which was burnt by CMI officials in the past, Gen. Bakahumura opted for engagement with journalists to dissuade them from engaging in malicious reports.
- Return of dissidents
It is under Gen. Bakahumura’s period as CMI boss that dissidents such as Kyakabale returned home after years in self imposed exile. A source close to Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu says Bakahumura has helped in averting the Rwenzori crisis by talking to Omusinga Mumbeere, instead of using force like was the case in the recent November massacre.
- A man of integrity
CMI, with a classified budget could be subjected to abuse. However, Gen. Bakahumura has not been linked to theft or lived large, boozing or womanizing like officials with access to power and resources would be tempted to do. He has remained religious. He is a proud Catholic with strong connections to the Church. He has also been involved in dissuading the Catholic Church from being acrimonious to the regime.
6. Unearthing and fighting criminality in the military
The outgoing CMI has unearthed and fought criminality in the military, including organized criminal networks in the army. He has been responsible for fighting drug mules and druglords, money laundering and trade in animal trophies. Many people engaged in such business both in and outside the military will probably be happy he has left.
- Highly trained and professional soldier.
Here is a man you will also find with a book. The ex seminarian has a Master’s degree and has trained in the top military academies in the world. His military CV journey has seen him study at among others FORT BENNING Infantry school in Georgia, Kimaka Senior Staff College, Joint Services Staff College in UK and the Royal College of Defense Studies in UK.
- Soldier of international repute.
Gen. Bakahumura enemies say the outgoing CMI boss is adored by Americans and therefore serves American interests. However, one has to earn their right to talk in military circles. Bakahumura is one of the few soldiers from Africa who is often invited to speak or facilitate international high level defence and strategic conferences.
- Fight against terrorism
In July 2010, Uganda was hit by Al Shabab when more than 70 innocent people died at the hands of terrorists in the heart of Kampala. Uganda has been on alert ever since, and Bakahumura has worked tooth and nail to keep that legacy which has ensured that Al Shabab attacks happen no more on Ugandan soil. In the same light, ADF has been contained, although some assassinations on Muslim sheikhs have been registered. Largely, Ugandans are safe thanks to Gen. Bakahumura work over years.
- We pray his successor continue this legacy and make our UPDF highly respected and very efficient.