The declining popularity of President Museveni and the NRM Government is attributed to several factors such as poverty, unemployment, corruption, poor service delivery, and more. However, the most prominent factor that may eventually lead to the fall of the NRM Government is the deliberate underfunding of the Internal Security Organization (ISO) and the External Security Organization (ESO).
The rampant corruption is largely due to the weakened ISO, which lacks the capacity to detect corruption schemes and possibly investigate corrupt wealth among government officials covertly.
In districts, ongoing looting, poor service delivery, and the theft of drugs in hospitals are attributed to the weakened Internal Security Organization (ISO). ISO operatives are living in poverty, frustration, and depression. How can we expect disadvantaged individuals to hold wealthy, corrupt government officials accountable? The Parish Development Model funds are being misappropriated by government officials in the districts, and their activities go largely undetected. ISO, which used to function as an early warning agency, now relies on WhatsApp groups to generate information, which is then analyzed into intelligence reports.
The intelligence and competence of ISO officials at the national and district levels are not in question. However, these individuals are poorly funded and lack the necessary resources to perform their duties effectively. This is why, in many cases, ISO officials or operatives attend public functions and identify themselves as representatives of the Internal Security Organization (ISO) in the hope of receiving transportation refunds from corrupt politicians and wealthy individuals. It’s unfortunate that ISO operatives are now seeking transportation refunds from politicians.
The rise in criminality can be attributed to the weakened ISO. Scams, theft with impunity, and more occur because ISO, which used to engage with communities covertly, now operates more as an overt security organization with limited resources to fulfill its mandate.
The Internal Security Organization (ISO) is tasked with providing national security intelligence to Uganda’s policymakers and the President, but it is poorly funded and lacks the capacity to fulfill its mandate. It’s crucial to note that the gap between President Gen. Museveni and the International Security Organization is widening. The President allocates limited time to the agency, which explains his detachment from current realities. State House officials wield more power than ISO and ESO senior officials. Recently, the President has relied more on military intelligence rather than civilian-based intelligence. However, military intelligence lacks the skills and competency to engage with civilians and detect criminal activities.
President Museveni may invest billions in politics, but he will not achieve positive results if the Internal Security Organization (ISO) remains vulnerable and ineffective. Politicians and mafias will exploit the weaknesses of ISO to manipulate the President and involve him in unproductive schemes. The SFC is doing an excellent job in counterintelligence, particularly in the field of political intelligence and strategic engagement with peasants. This presents a significant challenge to the NRM Government.
President Museveni is credited with creating and maintaining a secure, peaceful, and stable environment. The Ministry of Defense has continuously engaged in various activities to combat security threats. However, the trend is changing as ISO becomes weaker day by day. While security agents in ISO, ESO, and CMI have improved their intelligence capabilities through efficient information collection measures, it’s essential to recognize that ISO and ESO lack adequate funding to perform their jobs competitively.
During the early days of the NRM Government and up to 2011, President Museveni strengthened Uganda’s internal and external security by enhancing information collection and analysis capabilities. He introduced measures, including advanced detection techniques and appropriate technologies, to deter and combat terrorists and other hostile activities. In the effort to create and maintain a secure, peaceful, and stable environment, the sector has continuously engaged in various activities to counter security threats. However, ISO now faces a resource shortage that hampers its effectiveness, and politicians are pleased because they know that a weakened Museveni is susceptible to manipulation, leading to financial benefits for them. President Museveni must take action and empower intelligence agencies to enhance their capability and capacity through efficient information collection measures.
The rise of a strong opposition force against President Museveni in the diaspora can be attributed to the underfunded External Security Organization (ESO), which lacks the capacity to engage with Ugandans abroad for the purpose of demobilizing them. ESO agents in the diaspora are the least supported officials, yet they are responsible for protecting our country. However, a weak and vulnerable ESO benefits NRM politicians, as they earn substantial sums from President Museveni to travel abroad regularly to engage with opposition figures.
In conclusion, I call upon politicians, especially members of Parliament, to reconsider and strengthen the capacity of the Internal Security Organization (ISO) and External Security Organization (ESO). Above all, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and President of Uganda, General Museveni, should bridge the widening gap between him and his civilian-based intelligence agencies.
For God and my country,
Buyinza Adam Luzindana
Team Leader Public Opinions