Friday, 21 August 2009

Hail Thee Julunga

Unanswered questions in the assassination of Tom Julunga.

The murder of Tom Julunga in the days before Heroes day must have been calculated by his murderers to give him a decent demise, divert Ugandans on this day of self-evaluation and this calls to mind for most of us with a sense of history, the return of the bad times recognized in the preamble of our constitution. The rare kind of principled young politicians Uganda needs, Julunga without exaggeration was destined to cause trouble for the ruling regime in the upcoming elections, this is however not to point an accusing finger . An energetic mobiliser, he will be remembered as one of the young men who escorted and carried Dr. Besigye shoulder-high during the trying times of Reform Agenda and later FDC. He had seen the inside of police cells a number of times, been to a safe home, had received a number of threats just like many opposition politicians in this country and had found himself in as many demonstrations and riots as had his heart permitted. I remember Julunga coming to Makerere to mobilize for the FDC candidate Gerald Karuhanga during the 2006 Guild elections and was awed by his gusto and commitment. As a UYD activist campaigning for Ssekabira, I found his campaign tactics too confronting and hoped that they were not employed at an advanced stage involving politics of the gun; little did I know that he would succumb to the gun. An ardent listener of political talk shows, I found myself listening to him more than thrice a day. His death at such an early age casts a doubt to the country’s future especially as we near the 2011 elections.
Was his murder an indicator to what lays ahead of 2011?
Many people dismiss the idea that Nankunda was assassinated just because accidents happen every day, questions remain unanswered on the possible cause of the accident that killed Francis Ayume, the untimely demise of Noble Mayombo, the former President’s A.D.C. of Patrick Musisi whom we were told died of a heart attack or Anthony Sekweyama. We were told Ayume and Sekweyama died of road crashes. How dangerous roads can be when you have many enemies!! The assassination of Julunga brings to our memory the cold blood murder of Vincent Lugonvu another vibrant young man. We have been conditioned to believe that murders like these are not accidents from official speeches where ‘bad elements’ read opposition have been promised to go six feet under. God calls each one of us on a certain date to meet him but I have a feeling that certainly some individuals for their beliefs are forced or rushed to meet him. Human rights reports have indicated the presence of safe homes within our midst and have documented the torturous activities of security agencies mtted out on politicians. In a country where a certain Magara can shoot people in broad daylight, and opposition politicians domiciled in safe places, the possibility of an assassination on Tom Julunga or Nankunda Muwanga or Lugonvu becomes obvious. Killed only two days before Heroes day, Julunga’s stand on many issues will be remembered. Assassinations are not only aimed at weakening a group but destabilizing organisations and removing a stumbling block to an Agenda. But usually in all assassinations the victims have bulky volumes of information which if revealed can be harmful.
Was this a robbery?
The killing of Julunga had all traces of organized murder, why would a robber shoot an unarmed victim 4 four times? Why was police reluctant to handover the post-mortem report to FDC officials and her mother Yudah Kagenyi? Why would the authorities increase security at the mortuary if Julunga was an ordinary Ugandan, a victim of a robbery? What did Tom Julunga, Vincent Lugonvu and Nankunda Muwanga, William Kasirye and Wasswa, the other victim of the Julunga incident have in common? What did they know that others did not know? Why would they be harmful at such a young age? Who would want to end such young lives? The Roman writer Seneca seems to have an answer. ‘He who most benefits from a crime is the one most likely to have committed it’. Have you ever asked yourself why many vibrant young politicians flee the country, others under pressure from their families drop politics into business and the little few paid by the regime to keep quiet? DP presidential hopeful Sam Lubega was a victim of harassment, earning spectacular visits to safe homes until he found his way to UK . The formation of UYD posed a threat to the regime in Kampala that soon after its first month, members were picked up on charges of treason. It was even alleged by a one Joseph Luzige now an employee of State House that Dr. Kawanga Semwogerere was training rebels in Sudan . Mr. Luzige a former President of UYD at a press conference in Kampala had alleged that UYD members also planned to assassinate NRM leaders including Mr. Museveni. He alleged that differences arose when he refused to got to Sudan for military training. This was a way of discrediting a vibrant youth organisation. The formation of the group Popular Resistance Against Life Presidency saw the arrest of many youths affiliated to this organisation formed to contest Mr. Museveni’s hold onto power. Its members have seen the inside of many Ugandan prison cells perhaps more than the prison commissioners and a few have been forced to met their creator prematurely including Julunga, Lugonvu, Kasirye,Wasswa and Nankunda. The trick has been tactical reducing them by numbers.
The Julunga Assassination in Perspective.
In all murders of such kind confusing clues are manufactured to divert attention from the real cause. It’s exactly the reason why police in the first instance could report that Julunga was stabbed and not shot. Police says he was shot in Ndeeba but he was discovered wounded and crawling into Rubaga Police post, a distance of about two kilometers later. They could well have gone on to say he was poisoned but were overwhelmed by the evidence present.
Usually after an assassination a scapegoat murderer is identified to stall all efforts of independent inquiry and the case is rested. The method is that an immediate arrest is made, suspects paraded, they can be forced or coached to make confessions such that there’s no need for further investigations. This tactic according to David Icke (Author of the Biggest Secret) works best if done immediately. Already certain individuals whose credence is doubted have been “arrested” and are “helping police in its investigations” and like election petitions will last until Julunga’s last funeral rights. Then the second stage of diversion is initiated with the media where the public is made to chase a mass of false stories and leads. Already a ‘chase car’ story has been circulated as if it were a scene in a movie. Currently two scenes of the murder have been proposed, one in Ndeeba and the other in Busega. Confusion sets in with people being fed with conflicting leads and eventually their interest wanes. That’s why we can only remember when Ayume, Mayombo, Lugonvu, Kasirye, Wasswa, Nankunda, Julunga died but forget the circumstances under which they died.
Why would police insist on Julunga making a statement in such a poor condition? The Uganda Police Motto is ‘To protect and Serve’ but it is regrettable that while police could not protect him, they also failed to serve him. With a police force that operates like the party violence machinery, I had least expectations of the truth from the Uganda police. With officers like Police Spokesperson Nabakooba speaking like party ideologues, no Ugandan in their right sense of mind would believe that Julunga, a man whose voice could be recognized by 11 year olds was killed in a failed robbery. She seems to have cross-cutting duties with Karooro Okurut, the NRM spokesperson.
Ugandans will always remember Julunga and others before him and they owe us a commitment to pursue their visions.

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