UPDF Generals Split Over Uganda’s First Son Muhoozi’s Job
The First son returned to the country early last month after completing a 22 weeks ‘Executive National Security Programme’ run at the South African National Defence College, (SANDC). This course is specifically undertaken by senior army officers from the rank of colonel and above.
Some of the senior army officers in Uganda who have received similar training at the same college are Brig. Paul Lokech, the commander of Uganda’s contingent in Somalia, and Colonel Apollo Kasita Gowa, the commandant of Senior Command and Staff College Kimaka.
At the time he left for training, Muhoozi was the Commander of the Special Forces Group (SFG), the elite force charged with the protection and safety of the President, members of the First Family and key military installations around the country. It has since got an additional role of protecting the oil wells in Bunyoro sub region.
Speculation within military and Security circles over Muhoozi’s next deployment took course on 7th July when President Museveni, his wife, Janet returned from South Africa after attending their son’s graduation.
In fact, Museveni was late by 45 minutes for the State of Nation address in Kampala that was supposed to start at 2.00pm that very day. Even when the President was presenting his State of the Nation, he was in a jovial mood over his son’s graduation that’s why he ended up throwing several light moments against opposition politicians particularly Leader of Opposition, Hon. Nandala Mafabi.
It is over that background, that a number of Generals this writer has talked to pinpoint at different offices where Museveni is likely to deploy Muhoozi.
Retention At SFG
Given the threats President Museveni is faced with both internally and regionally especially over his war against terrorism in Somalia, a section of some Generals contend that Muhoozi may be retained as the Commandant of SFG taking back his job from Lt. Col. Sabiiti Magyenyi Muzeeyi who is still holding it in Acting capacity.
Actually, although still on holiday, Muhoozi has been receiving briefs from SFG commanders regarding this docket. From those briefings, he has been giving them some guidance of ensuring the safety of the Principal.
It should be recalled that Muhoozi has been deployed at SFG since he completed his Sandhurst training in 2000. Museveni assigned him to then Presidential Protection Unit (now SFG) as a Second Lieutenant.
In 2001, he was promoted to the rank of Major in the UPDF.As a Major; he became a brigade commander in the Presidential Guard Brigade. Following his graduation from Fort Leavenworth in 2008, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and appointed Commander of the Special Forces Group.
Kimaka College Leadership
The second possibility is that Museveni may deploy Muhoozi as the Commandant of Kimaka Senior Command and Staff College. This is said to be a strategic move owing to the fact that there is now a big group of officers that Muhoozi influenced to join the Army with him who must be tutored by him at Kimaka now that most of them have attained the ranks of senior officers.
These soldiers, most of them were fresh from Makerere University as graduates in 1990s that trained at Kaweweta and Kabamba and completed their cadet course at the Gaddafi School of Infantry. Prominent of these include Lt Col Sabiiti Magyenyi; Lt Col Dan Kakono, the commanding officer of the Artillery Division at Masindi, Maj Charity Bainababo, First Lady’s ADC and SFG Intelligence Chief, Maj. Herbert Nabimanya, among others.
It worthy noting that Kimaka College has progressed into a recognizable Senior Command and Staff College in Africa. It has attracted a number of key presenters and facilitators to its students. Prominent of them is Maj. Gen. William B. Garrett, III, commander, U.S. Army Africa, who some months back delivered a presentation at this College. Maj. Gen. Garrett is the U.S. Army’s senior land forces commander dedicated to Africa. He is stationed at his headquarters in Vicenza, Italy and makes frequent trips to Africa to consult, collaborate and partner with the various land forces on the continent.
Kimaka College was established in 2003 and had its first group of students admitted in 2004 to attend the Senior Command Course that lasted one year. The first officers to graduate from the college included General Elly Tumwine, General Salim Saleh, General David Sejusa, Brigadier Elly Kayanja and the late Brigadier Nobel Mayombo. Apart from local senior officers, the college has attracted senior military officers from other African countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Southern Sudan and Rwanda.
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