All-out war! Inside Nabbanja battle against state capture

Premier Nabbanja takes instructions from President Museveni recently

Premier Nabbanja takes instructions from President Museveni recently

By Pepper Intelligence Unit

The public spat between Premier Robinah Nabbanja and some government officials, technocrats, business community, security personnel and others should not be casually dismissed as a mere clash of egos, but mirrors NRM government’s mission in this kisanja(2021-2026), analysts have revealed. These opine that many Ugandans did not grasp it well when President Museveni decided to appoint Nabbanja (PM), Jessica Alupo (VP), Agnes Nandutu (Karamoja minister) and others into the nerve centre of the government: a section of Ugandans perceived them as not very experienced in statecraft. However, to the observers, this is an extension of an assault by the appointing authority against state capture orchestrated by senior government technocrats, snobbish politicians (in NRM and opposition), corrupt civil servants, business class among other groups. Museveni has always warned in his various public addresses that whether the saboteurs “want it or not we shall build our country with the right people”.


“Finance is a gun: Politics is knowing when to pull the trigger”. This is an old age Mafia creed. In the quest for ultimate power, the mafia first get the money; a lot of it. President Museveni spent the 70s and 80s trying to capture power using the gun. He captured power using most of the guns he captured from the government. Today, a new group of people is also trying to capture power using a completely different method—money. Museveni is aware that a very rich cabal of corrupt government players can be a dangerous enemy, if it went rogue. It can sabotage development; it can sponsor instability; it can pervert the course of justice; it can steal elections; and can also kill people to protect its interests.

By appointing the Nabbanjas’, observers now say the president is coming out now to act after intelligence reports concluded that in a move to protect and at the same time advance their interests, those behind state capture attempts are ready to bump off any one in their way.

They are ready to kill family members, friends who might expose them, individuals in investigative bodies who may try to poke nose into their dealings, and as well government officials’ in various departments blocking their interests.

Intelligence reports have also hinted on a possibility of those hell bent on state capture attempting to influence the course of politics in Uganda and as well erode NRM’s gains if they are not stopped now. These, given that they have money and power, may sponsor subversive activities aimed at regime change. They may also sponsor political violence which analysts say “distorts the electoral process, reducing the quality of the candidate pool and compromising officials.” They may also decide to sponsor political candidates who may in future advance their interests rather than those of their electorates. These if not well checked can also have influence on who occupies which government agency office and as well political appointees. According to intelligence reports, these seem to have a towering hand in the appointments—let it be ministers and heads of parastatals. If you go into these offices and turn against them, they still have a towering hand over justice and investigative bodies: They will bombard these bodies with whistleblower reports all targeting their victims. At the end of the day these victims step down from their jobs as investigations and court processes are underway—this is their end sometimes, and the mafia will have succeeded in removing them from office.

Sources close to the president and those who have interacted with him, disclosed to us that the president feels betrayed by this same group who have thrown spanners in every developmental project meant for the good being of the wananchi. No government’s project – however well intentioned – can succeed without this criminal gang’s [kawuukumi, parasites] nod of approval, analysts say. You must give them a kickback or else you will fail. Analysts say, this is why the president is acting now, not yesterday, not tomorrow.


It is on this basis that Museveni appointed the likes of Alupo, Nabbanja to break this attempted state capture. This is an extension of this war with Nabbanja on the frontline. To dismantle this cabal, a senior intelligence officer called Pepper digital news desk and told us that the NRM government has decided to deploy guerrilla war tactics akin to those of Luwero bush war that shoot NRA/NRM to power. These tactics are now slowly trapping one by one and soon the battle will be won. The rules of engagement have changed and they have been caught off-guard. Appearing on a local TV recently, Nabbanja vowed to crush ‘mafia’ who want to take advantage of taxpayers’ money. Nabbanja said that she is action oriented and no one will scare her or stand in her way as she leads government business in her tenure. She vowed to deal with anyone with a big appetite for public funds.

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