Do you remember the rift between President Dr. Apollo Milton Obote (RIP) and the Chief of Defence Staff Brig. General David Oyite Ojok?
The then NRA rebels had taken over the Western Region and Southern Buganda and were on the move towards Kampala. The national defence forces UNLA had failed to defeat the rebels. The President refused to talk to the rebel leaders, as he continued to call them ”Bandits”. The Chief of Defence Staff, Brig. General David Oyite Ojok urged the President to talk to the rebel leadership, but the President refused. At one point the Chief of Defence Staff threatened that the army would take over power. Well, we remember how the good Brig. General Oyite Ojok died, don’t we?
After the death of Brig. General David Oyite Ojok, the President deliberately sidelined the senior Acholi Officers to replace David Oyite Ojok as the new Chief of Defence Staff. He promoted Colonel Opon Acak to replace D. Oyite Ojok. The rebels continued to gain ground, as the UNLA began to split. The Acholi Officers were not happy and so they opted to take over power from Dr. A.M.Obote.
By dishonouring the ”Peace Agreement” signed in Nairobi, the NRA/M rebels might have noticed the disunity of the government with whom they were supposed to share power. They decided to dislodge the entire shaky government and assumed power themselves.
About Olara Otunnu serving the government that removed Dr. A.M.Obote from power, I don’t see anything wrong with it. I can’t speak on Olara Otunnu’s behalf, but I think he might have hoped for a democratic shift that would have emerged from the new government negotiations with the NRA/M rebels. I believe that Dr. Olara Otunnu should be welcomed warmly to any party of his choice without any blame for serving in the government that removed Dr. A.M.Obote from power.
Byaruhanga Jonny. Rubin