If the National Resistance Movement were to be a pupil in school, security would be the subject they would pass highly without even stepping into class.
Security would be that subject they find themselves performing perfectly, that a tiny drop in grades would lead to a summoning to the staffroom.
From 1986, the NRM under Museveni has lived off security to salvage many victories in elections as well as achieve ground swelling support.
At one moment in the electoral period, people ticked the bus because the NRM brought “sleep”, while others went to vote to apparently avoid war since they had lived under the dominance of peace and stability.
The NRM started its security wars battling the Holy Spirit Movement in 1987, a rebel group led by Alice Auma, a spirit medium apparently possessed by the deadly spirits of a deceased soldier identified as Lakwena.
Lwakwena literally translated from Acholi to “messenger” in English and she claimed the dead spirit had sent her to restrict the NRA from taking power.
Lakwena and her spirits were defeated as she approached Kampala (around Jinja), she fled to her ancestral land in Gulu and until 2006, claimed the spirits had vanished.
She died shortly a year later, defeated, disillusioned and deserted.
Lakwena’s Holy Spirit Movement would later mould into what would be called the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) under Joseph Kony who claimed was cousins with Alice Auma Lakwena and also possessed by spirits.
Kony would later succeed in convincing a few people that he indeed was possessed by spirits and a better spiritual medium than Auma, but he was only helped by Museveni’s soldiers who defeated Auma at the right time.
With Auma defeated and en route Kenya for exile, Kony moved for her remnants and assimilated them, hence the birth of the LRA and the two-decade war from Northern Uganda.
The LRA war was most devastating of all, leaving 1.7m people in camps and the displacement of 95% Acholi. Scores were maimed and killed while at least 30,000 children were abducted.
The LRA used the geography to their disadvantage, sneaking into DR Congo when pursued here and vice versa.
Kony was later defeated with the help of foreign forces and pushed back until the Central African Republic where he was apparently left weak and irrelevant.
Around 1996, one David Steven Mukulu converted to Islam and formed an extremist rebel group known as the Alliance Democratic Forces (ADF), recruiting a conglomerate of deserted rebel groups from Iganga, Masaka and the likes.
He started an ADF camp in North Kivu DRC where he was based to launch attacks in Uganda, but he was later snatched from Tanzania in 2015 and has been speaking behind bars since then.
While armed rebel groups were terrorising the country in intervals on one end, the NRM government was stuck with the question of settling pastoralists in the Karamoja sub-region minus generating a crisis as the previous governments had been doing.
The history of Karamajong’s problems started with the decision by different governments to drive them off their land. Idi Amin for instance took a big chunk to construct the government armoury which would later appear to be a blessing in disguise.
The Karamajong in the days were moving from place to place but their misfortunes expanded when the Turkan obtained modern weapons, terrorising the Karamajong and raiding their cattle.
The fall of Idi Amin left so many guns in the hands of the Karamajong and this would in turn cause a revenge assault. The Karamojong were now using the guns to raid other cattle keepers around them.
In 1986, the Karamajong got relief from the NRM government that came with a proper plan to help their pastoral ways.
In June 1993, the government set up a Karamoja Pacification Committee which used concerted efforts to reduce gun presence in Karamoja.
The disarmament exercise did not conclude until the early 2000s when the different clans were persuaded to hand over guns and other ammunition to the government bringing the area to complete peace.
However, at the beginning of 2021, the government started a new journey of security problems, with the presence of bijambiya attackers in central Buganda and the resumption of cattle rustlers in Karamoja.
As of today, a group of people wielding machetes has claimed 35 lives in the Greater Masaka sub-region, their victims being the elderly and ‘lonely’ citizens.
President Museveni has called for a swing to action from security forces, reiterating that the “pigs” will be apprehended since they are leaving behind a multitude of amateurish clues.
To this effect, legislators Muhammad Ssegirinya (Kawempe North) and Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West) have been arraigned before court and remanded to Kitalya Prison on the same case.
While machete wielding goons continued to spread letters to other areas announcing their deadly sojourns, they have not been able to proceed with the activity, bringing a suspicious end to the murders and an abrupt stop to their courier services.
While it is too early to spell victory for the NRM, it is easily acceptable that Museveni and government have the confidence of turning around situations of insecurity using an invisible knob.
The situation is Karamoja is starting to boil with youth alliances raiding kraals and selling cattle in exchange for guns, which they use to waylay travellers on highways and expand their raiding trade.
This time round, the president has camped in the area for two days, meeting leaders and deploying the army in a bigger capacity.
According to Museveni , informers will be recruited for every kraal and equipped with mobile phones to coordinate with army personnel who will be able to repulse raids and bring the culprits out of their action.
Drones are also deployed to ensure raiders are spotted early. You should not be surprised when this entire scenario turns around for the better.