Incoming CMI Chief Gen. James Birungi.

Journalist Benon Herbert Oluka (my senior) has raised an old and ongoing debate about the appointment/ allocation of government jobs by the government of President Yoweri Museveni in government institutions.

The debate on allocation of these jobs seem to favour a certain narrative that if one’s tribe isn’t appointed then the matter becomes sectarian/ tribal but if his/her tribemate is appointed then that matter ceases being sectarian.

Mr Oluka in his January 26 Facebook post seem to question the rational President Museveni based on to appoint and reappoint in the latest security deployment where he made changes as of January 25.

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The president appointed Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Katsigazi Tumusiime as a Deputy Inspector General of Police, Maj. Gen. James Birungi as head of Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence

Maj. Gen. Abel Kandiho as Military Attaché (South Sudan)

Brig. Henry Isoke, head State House Anti-Corruption Unit

Maj. Tom Magambo Director Criminal Investigations Department

Dr. Johnson Byabashaija reappointed as Commissioner General of Prisons

Mr Oluka further says in his post that Ugandans from all corners of this diverse country wish to thank His Excellency for his thoughtful appointments.

It is true that all the above appointed persons come from Western Region but the fact is that Western Region stretches from Kabale/Kisoro (Kigezi) through Ankole to Fort Portal (Tooro) then Kasese/Bundibugyo (Bakonjo/Bamba) and finally Hoima/Masindi (Bunyoro) explains the range of different social and ethnic backgrounds and different interests like it can be said of any other region of this great country.  For your information Mr. Oluka and for purposes of clarity, the incoming Deputy IGP Gen. Katsigazi hails from Rugungiri district in Kigezi, Gen. Birungi from Nakasekke district, Gen. Kandiho from Ntungamo, Brig. Isoke and Maj. Magambo from Tooro. We ought to remember that Gen. Katsigazi is replacing Lt. Gen. Paul Lokech (Rip) who hailed from Pader in Northern Uganda.

The insinuation that Museveni appointed the above because they come from the same region like him seem to be misplaced if we factor in geographic/tribal/religion and competence.

Why didn’t Mr Oluka question the appointment of the following officers;

Her Excellency Jessica Alupo the Vice President of Uganda

The Right Honourable Anita Among, Deputy Speaker of Parliament

Col. Charles Oluka, Director General of Internal Security Organisation

Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu, Deputy Chief of Defence Forces

Maj. Gen. Sam Okidingi Deputy Chief of Land Forces

Gen. Jeje Odong, Minister of Foreign Affairs and former powerful army commander

Lt. Gen. Charles Angina Uganda’s Deputy Ambassador to Egypt and former Deputy Chief of Defence Forces who also served as Deputy Chief of Operation Wealth Creation.

Gen. Sam Okidingi, one of Teso’s prominent sons in the army

To the contrary, the above-mentioned officers all hail from one sub-region called Teso as opposed to “Western Region” as raised by Mr. Oluka.

For purposes of context, there was a time Professor Gilbert Bukenya was a Vice President, Professor. Apolo Nsibambi was a Prime Minister, Right Honourable Edward Sekandi was a Speaker Gen. Katumba Wamala as Chief of Land Forces and subsequently rose to Chief of Defence Forces, Professor Kiddu Makubuya was Attorney General, Syda Bumba as Minister of Finance and all these were from one region called Buganda/Central but Mr Oluka never complained of this region dominating the cake?

There was a time, Eastern Region had Her Excellency Specioza Wandira Kazibwe as Vice President hailing from Iganga (Busoga), Late James Wambogo Wapakhabulo as Speaker hailing from Bugisu and Waako Wambuzi as Chief Justice hailing from Kamuli district (Busoga).

In mid 2000s there had also been a tribal talk that Banyankole were dominating Uganda Revenue Authority top positions but when the list of the URA employees and their positions was tabled before parliament, the MPs kept quiet and never apologised.  

So as journalists/ writers, we should avoid unfair judgement and be educative. This can be dangerous because it incites tribal sentiments.