Kampala – On 27 August 2021, a day before the burial of Lt Gen Paul Lokech, SoftPower News broke the News that Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) had intercepted a suicide bomber targeting Lokech’s Funeral in Pader.
According to a source who was near the scene of the arrest at Mikicha Guest House along Canigula Road in Pader, the suicide bomber identified himself as Katumba Abdul alias Ben.
“He had explosives and a suicide jacket,” the source who spoke on condition of anonymity told this news website.
Gen Lokech had been instrumental in weakening Al-Shabaab in Somalia when he commanded the Ugandan AMISOM contingent on two occasions. When the suspected suicide bomber was arrested by CMI, it was not readily clear which terrorist group he belonged.
Now, President Museveni has revealed that the suicide bomber was assigned by the DR Congo based terrorist Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
The Commander-in-Chief made the revelation in a lengthy tribute to the fallen Deputy Inspector General of Police who succumbed to a blood clot in the lungs following a fracture on the leg.
Museveni said the ADF attempted to attack mourners at the funeral service as pay back to the deceased, who arrested their members involved in the attack on Gen Katumba Wamala.
The ADF elements in Kampala, Museveni said, were shocked by Gen Lokech’s swiftness in apprehending the attackers. “Although the criminals used their shallow tactics of covering their heads, on account of Lokech’s concentration, together with some of his colleagues like Ddamulira, some of the criminals were clearly identified, and they went for them, Museveni wrote.
“Arresting some, led to the identification of the others. This was a shock to the ADF because they had got used to the uncaring actors that would not dig deep even when the clues were abundant. That is why, apparently, the ADF were not targeting Lokech as a person. Why was he a serious patriot and an effective actor? They prefer non effective actors.”
He added, “The ADF had, apparently, sent a suicide bomber in Pader to kill mourners. Fortunately, the main actor was arrested with his materials for making Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). The plans and orders to kill our people are coming from the terrorists in Eastern DR Congo.”
In the tribute, Museveni confirmed that he had posthumously promoted the late Lokech to the rank of Lieutenant General from Major General.
“Given his exemplary contribution for the last 30 years and given the fact that he had done all the Leadership Courses up to NDC ( National Defence College – South Africa) in 2010 and given that I have never had reports of corruption about him, I hereby, using the authority given to the President by articles 98 and 99 of the 1995 constitution of Uganda, promote Major General Paul Lokech, posthumously, to the rank of Lieutenant General.”
And while some of Lt Gen Lokech’s family and clan members called for Lokech to be elevated to the rank of full General, Museveni said this was not possible.
“I would like to educate our citizens that the Army is like the church which the civilians know more about. You cannot appoint a Reverend as a Bishop unless there is a diocese that needs a Bishop, even if the Reverend is very good,” Museveni said.
The ranks go with the levels of training which Lokech had achieved; performance where Lokech had excelled; and also size of responsibility. Having been, lately, Deputy Inspector General of Police, the rank of Lieutenant – General is the appropriate one.”