President Museveni, please professionalize the armed forces

Joint security forces camped at NUP party Headquarters in Kamwokya - Kampala on Wednesday. Courtesy photo.

Op-ed by James William Mugeni

United States of America—15 October 2020: When my instructor of the public managers’ class introduced himself before us the students, I tried to look for the soldier in him and I could hardly find any.

His military achievements are the least things that define him. He is a professor of public administration, something that you cannot assign any UPDF or Uganda Police Force PhD holder.

Get a UPDF General and you have a bag of transfixed brain. R.I.P Kasirye Gwaanga. No wonder you were trained in USA. In Kasirye Gwanga, you almost get what I am describing below by my instructor of public administration. Kasirye Gwanga took the army as a vocation that people even suspect his open mind killed him.

The Kampala scenes yesterday after the Kamwokya incidents had the police spokesperson and the army spokesperson to explain to the world what was happening. To me, they both lied to the world and their statements were purely mendacities and it has not impressed the entire world.

I took time to look at Dr. C. Kenneth Meyer, BA, MA, MAPA, Ph.D., is Thomas F. Sheehan Distinguished Professor of Public Administration, Department of Public Administration, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa. Previously, he held teaching, research, and administration positions at The University of Oklahoma, Winona State University, State University of New York, and the University of South Dakota. His research covers the areas of violence and the police, social indicator and quality of life measurement and evaluation, voting behavior, human resource management, and public and private management–areas in which he has over 280 publications. In addition, he has done extensive consulting in the areas of public policy analysis and administrative organization and development at the state and regional levels of government. He previously served on the Executive Council of the National Association of the School of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), and presently serves on several national committees with the American Society for Public Administration.

His most recent publications include “Violence Against Authority: An Analysis of Violence at the Street Level”, “Norms of Professional Behavior in Highly Specialized Organizations,” “An Organizational Perspective on Training and Development in the Public Sector,” “Situational Effects in Police Officer Assaults: The Case of Patrol Unit Size,” “Sports, Politics and Other Gold Rush Games: Why the Bad guys are Increasingly Winning,” and “Violence at the Street Level: An Analysis of Police Officer Casualties and Fatalities,” Practicing Public Management and numerous cases studies that were co-authored with Professor Lance Noe, such as: “Aids in the Public Workplace;” “Creating a “New” Olin County Metroplex;”

 “The Loophole That Works 24-7 Without Benefit;” “The Dress Code;” “Throwing the First e-stone;” “Competition from Behind Bars;” “The Healthcare Dilemma;” “New Direction for the Department of Personnel,” “Security and the Street Level Bureaucrat,” “Bad Rules, Bad Employees or Is that a Motel 24  I see up There.” “To Separate with or Without Voice is the Question or A Collision of Bureaucratic and Professional Norms,” “Between a Rock and a Bolder,” “Long Distance Management,” “Goats, Guns and Gas

In addition, he co-authored these cases: “Bureaucracy and Babyfication,” “Chartering New Ground,” “This land is Your Land,” “Contagious Neighborhoods,” “When the Funding Stops,” “An Ethical Dilemma or a Matter of Judgment” and, “E-Government;” “Jane’s Jam,” “Rules for Survival,” “Paradise Lost for Some,” “Saving Grace?” “Equal or Preferential Treatment?” “Leadership and Sustainability,” “Is This Really Happening?” “All in the Family,” “Freda is Sick Again,” “Waiting for “Jim Crow” “Jimmy’s 49 Questions: Team Interviewing,” “Defining the Boundaries of Harassment,”

“When the Disease Hits Home,” “Friendships on the Job,” “Conflicting Values,” “A Hard Pill to Swallow,” “What is Right with Rights?” Long Distance Management,” “When the Funding Stops,” and “E-Government,” “Jimmy’s 49 Questions: Team Interviewing,” “Jane’s Jam,” “Leadership and Sustainability,” “What Color is Your Coded Message,” “Rules for Survival,” “Employee Health Benefits,” “All in the Family,” “Eminent Domain,” “Meet Me at the Elysium,” “When the Disease Hits Home,” “The Many Faces of Discrimination,” “What Goes on Here, Doesn’t Stay Here,” “Check-out for the Old Library,” “When the Disease Hits Home,” “Saving Grace,” “No Welcome Wagon Here,” “A Question of Contamination,” “Retreat at lake Clearwater,” “Leadership and Sustainability,” Bad Feng Shui,”

“All in the Family,” “Equal or Preferential Treatment,” “What Color is Your Coded Message,” “Rules for Survival,” “Eminent Domain or Dominium Eminens,” “Paradise Lost for Some,” and “Employee Health Benefits, “Meeting the Press, “ “Jimmy’s 54 Questions: Team Interviewing,” “Employee health Benefits,” “Coproduction for Marshville?” “Going Bare,” “Conflicting Values,” “An Illegal Order,” “Jane’s Jam,” “Is This Really Happening?” “Leadership and Sustainability,” “When the Disease Hits Home,” “Straddling Both Sides of the Fence,” “Defining the Boundaries of Harassment,” “A Hard Pill to Swallow,” “Best Friends on the Job,” “Union Negotiation: Not a Science,” “It’s Simply Putting ‘Asses’ in Seats,” “Workplace Prank or Crime?” “Sustaining Ergonomics in the workplace,” “How High is the Water?” “Return of the Iron Horse,” “A Picture is Worth a Million Words,” “Uniform Policies for All,” “Managerial Succession,” “The Expectant Mother,” “Lingering 9-11 Concerns,” “Was her Privacy Violated?” “City Collective Bargaining,” “A Taxing Situation,” and “Dynamic Co-Creation: Building a Competitive Economy,” and many other cases written in the area of decision making, leadership style, administration discretion and health law, union contract negotiation, and cutback management.

Professor Meyer has written over 280 case studies during his academic career. I got confused after going through what a soldier can be, thought of any UPDF officer in Uganda, and tried to run through their ranks and professionalism and found none.

Soldiers who can be a center of learning! Their CVs will include burning people in train wagons, breaking into NUP offices in Kamwokya, beating of Bobi Wine and Francis Zaake in Arua, destroying King Rwenzururu’s palace in Kasese and so on.

Some clandestine operations that you may want to associate our forces can include torching of Makerere, demolition of Ndeeba Church besides escapades in Congo, Sudan, Somali, etc.

I am at pains writing this article thinking of what a professional army is. In USA, we buy military paraphernalia, and no one ever creates a scene because they have seen a military attire on the streets. Gun markets sell guns; automatic and semi-automatic weapons, which are a domain of the forces in Uganda.

I am sure my name will join “the wanted list” and I hope many media outlets might be closed for allowing opinion like this get through it.

What can turn the forces into a professional force more than trying to integrate into public life? Sounds like rocket science but the army into academia, research would greatly change the image of a marauding force that only creates and looks for war.

The army has created war conditions in Uganda just because of tunnel vision. If a soldier can have an introduction like for my instructor, I do not think hunting for someone putting on a beret becomes an occupation. An idle and ill trained nonprofessional army remains partisan and only has hope in one man.

The rowdiness of our armies or forces is because we only run a war vocabulary, not a multi-disciplinary army that can always be relied on.

The author is a Medical Clinical Officer/Certified Public Manager Email: wmungadi@gmail.comPhone: +1 515-346-5317

Disclaimer: The above views expressed by the author are solely his. The publication takes no responsibility.

Previous Why voters want MP Okot Ogong disqualified from race
Next ‘SAGE is just a grant to the elderly’ - says Ewany