The Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) has come out to refute the information that has been circulating on social media platforms insinuating that the ongoing political debate is likely to distabilize the security of the country. UPDF has described this political propaganda as baseless, reaffirming commitment to its constitutional mandate.
The purported message alleged that the Chief of Defense Forces (CDF), Gen David Muhoozi privately confided to a group of senior army commanders that “the steam” occasioned by campaigns opposed to the Age Limit Bill, particularly the recent protests was cause for Ugandans to worry.
Based on the tone applied, the architects of the message may have intended to circulate it widely on social media platforms to create an impression that anti-Age Limit removal protests are overpowering the state machinery including the army.
However, UPDF Spokesperson Brig Richard Karemire has described the allegations as false.
“There is an absolutely false information being spread on social media in regard to the Age Limit debate and the recent unfortunate incident in Rukungiri District,” he told SoftPower on Sunday.
“Please be advised that it is all untrue and seek to dent the good image of the UPDF,” Brig. Karemire added.
A similar falsification attributed to former Minister of Information Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi had been making rounds on social media in which he allegedly condemned the force used by police officers in Rukungiri during an opposition rally where one person was killed.
But Muhwezi who is also is a member of the Defence Council has since come out to deny having made the statements.
Brig Karemire has urged the public to treat the falsifications with contempt, clarifying that “the people’s force is fully aware of its obligations under the constitution.”
“This misinformation is drawing in the names of the UPDF Chief of Defence Forces Gen David Muhoozi. A similar fake one had circulated drawing in Hon Maj Gen (Rtd) Jim Muhwezi. Gen Muhoozi has never been involved in such talk.”
There have been cases in Africa and beyond in which ill intentioned elements have misused the internet spread of fake news, to incite the public into violence. In electoral processes, some governments have been forced to shut down social media to prevent political turmoil resulting from such propaganda.