Deployment along Clock Tower to Kibuli Stretch to Secure President Becomes 'Normal'

Asked when Clock Tower area became a threat to the president, SFC spokesperson Jimmy Omara said, “The role of SFC is to guard the president, it is our cardinal role. How we do it is purely on us.”
09 Sep 2021 17:16
When taxi operators blocked Museveni at Clock Tower roundabout in 2017

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“When you see someone with a gun and you don’t have it, your heart beats a bit faster and causes fear,” said a boda boda rider at a stage on the Clock Tower to Kibuli roundabout stretch, responding to question on Special Force Command -SFC deployment wherever the president is chauffeured by, heading to Entebbe or Nakasero State House Lodge.  

The deployment has become 'normal', five people interviewed said. 

Deployment happens both in the morning and evening and it started about three months ago, they say. People who work around say soldiers don’t harass or intimidate people.

“When the president passes here, they go,” said a boda boda rider. “There is no uniformed soldier who has beaten anyone. When Mzee is about to pass, they tell us to get off the road. We do as they direct.”


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Though three boda riders accepted to be sound recorded, no one was willing to let his name get into this story. They argued that they don’t know the would implications of revealing their identities whether they give negative or positive responses.   

This has been Museveni’s route for years that he has been in power. It’s the route he uses whenever crossing the town even though he is rarely a visitor in down town Kampala. Museveni’s recent memorable visit to Kampala down traders was in October 2018. He bluntly told the city traders that they abandoned him, embracing opposition politicians and he abandoned them in return. Museveni referred to a runyankore proverb that says; "amazi kugagira ngu otanyoga, oti nanye naba ntine nziro." This is loosely translated to mean that "when water rejects you, you in return say you had no dirt that warranted a shower." 


Given that everyone knows it is the route Museveni uses, disgruntled Kampala informal sector players such as taxi operators once in a while block the president’s convoy around Clock Tower to directly speak to him. 


Asked when Clock Tower became a threat to the president, SFC spokesperson Jimmy Omara said, “The role of SFC is to guard the president, it's our cardinal role. How we do it is purely on us.” 

Omara argued that Kampala is a city that’s growing day by night, hence, the desire to have it secure and peaceful is deliberate. 

The Kampala Central Division area councillor Kasirye Kavuma Henry also argued that the deployment is normal given that soldiers strictly doing their job, not harassing people who work along the road. The president, he says deserves more security since he is increasingly threatened. 

“Today, our president is more threatened than before. If you follow international news, the president is even threatened by some of the neighboring countries,” he said in an interview.  

But Kampala Deputy Lord Mayor Nyanjura Doreen argues that the deployment isn’t a surprise given that Museveni knows Ugandans don’t like him. 

“This clearly demonstrates that Museveni know that Ugandans are tired of him,” she says. Nyanjura further argues that tight security has been extended to Museveni’s family members, ministers and whoever associates with him.  

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It’s also an indication that Uganda is not that secure, Nyanjura says. 

“Museveni for a very long time has been deceiving Ugandans and the world at large that Uganda is secure. Him being heavily guarded is an indication that Uganda is actually not secure,” she says.  



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