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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mystery man breaches Museveni's security cordon

An unknown man on Saturday beat President Museveni's security and made it to several feet of the president. This bizzare incident occured as Museveni was presiding over the national celebrations to mark the 22nd NRA victory anniversary at Kololo Airstrip, Kampala.

As Museveni was informing the nation on how his Cabinet had reviewed the the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) programme to block the misuse of funds, an unidentified young man emerged from a tent of government supporters. Beating security in a scene reminiscent of a high school rugby match, he ran up to a few metres from the platform where the President was speaking from. Soldiers of the Presidential Guard Brigade dashed to the scene and struggled with the determined youngster who repeatedly shouted: “Mundeke” (Leave me alone). As the PGB soldiers wrestled the intruder to the ground, he kicked and shouted: “Pulezidenti kwata" (President, have this), as he brandished a piece of paper. One security operative grabbed the piece of paper as the young man was led away. The President, who watched the scene from the podium, remarked: “Temumufaako. Alina ensongaze" (Don’t mind him. He has his issues). PGB spokesperon Edison Kwesiga later said the man had been handed over to the Police. “We don’t interrogate. Check with the Police,” he said when asked who the man was and what he wanted. The officers at the Kololo Police post, however, were tight-lipped. “This matter is beyond us,” they said.

This is the sixth time Museveni’s security is being breached. On October 9, 1993 a man called John Mukwaya beat security to salute Museveni.

At the Independence Day celebrations in 2000, an unidentified man handed over a card to the President as he spoke at the podium. Two years later, Abdallah Bilal Twombayi, dressed in a dirty white tunic and slippers, tried to break through the tight security detail to give visiting Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo a letter during the 40th anniversary celebrations.

On January 26, 2005, Ann Namara tried to reach the President. As security personnel moved over to block her, Museveni reprimanded them: “Mumuwache!" (Let her be!) She was arrested a few months later in Hoima as she again tried to approach an army jeep from where Museveni addressed a rally.

The President wound up his speech by laughing at critics who continue to predict that some kind of whirlwind will sweep away his regime. “Where can a whirlwind take NRM? At what speed would that tornado be moving to sweep the Movement out of government? That’s a mere dream!” He urged the people to continue supporting the NRM, saying it was the only organisation that could guarantee peace and guard the achievements attained. “Your role is small: Support and leave the rest for the Movement to do.”

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