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Muhoozi Kainerugaba

Gen Kainerugaba Should be Celebrated, Honored for an illustrious life and Career

posted onApril 19, 2022
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By Matthew Ikondere

On the 24th of April 2022, Lt. Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba will be celebrating his 48th birthday, and for the last one month or so, a number of media platforms, particularly social media have been awash with celebratory gestures and event preparations for what most of his supporters, friends and well-wishers have referred to as the ‘big-day.’

I join the thousands of well-wishers and friends to celebrate a man who has for over four decades lived an illustrious life, and one worthy of jamboree and honour.

To start with, Gen Kainerugaba was born in 1974, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, at the time Uganda was experiencing extreme turmoil, and where his father, who is now the President of Uganda, H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was conducting a series of underground campaigns to oust Idi Amin. After the successful dislodgement of Idi Amin in 1979, Gen Kainerugaba, who was 5 years then, returned to Uganda briefly with his mother Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni and his siblings. This return however did not last as planned, and they had to again be forced into exile in 1981 as Uganda had been thrust into another episode of instability at the hands of the rogue Obote II regime and his UNLA henchmen. And as Gen Yoweri Museveni had made it clear from the onset that he would not rest until Uganda is liberated and free from dictatorship, he, together with like-minded revolutionaries of the National Resistance Army launched a peoples-protracted war  in 1981, in Luwero Triangle, which after five years of intense battles in the jungle defeated Dr. Milton Oboto’s forces and thereafter Gen Tito Okello Lutwa and his lot, that had briefly taken over on 29th July 1985 as a result of the divisions that had broken out within the UNLA ranks because of the heavy casualties that the UNLA were suffering at the hands of the NRA. They, however, never survived the wrath of the National Resistance Army (NRA), and indeed Gen Museveni and the NRA took over power on 26th January 1986, and liberated our great motherland, laid the foundation for peaceful State reconstruction and rehabilitation, and as the old saying goes, “the rest is history.”

For the man that Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba is, all these episodes of turbulence did not deter his pursuit to magnificence. This entailed pursuing his education at all levels (elementary, high school and University), and then later joining the mighty Uganda People’s Defence Force in 1999 as an Officer Cadet, attending and successfully completing a commissioning course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom, and subsequently in 2000, commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the UPDF.

This marked the beginning of an illustrious life and military career where indeed, Gen Kainerugaba has gone on to register credible achievements over his two decades of military service. This includes attending and auspiciously completing military courses at all levels, for instance the Command and General Staff Course at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, USA, an Airborne/Paratrooper course at the US Army’s Airborne School in Fort Benning, the Executive National Security Program in South Africa among others.

In as a far as command is concerned, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba has effectively taken on various command and staff tasks, most notably, Commanding Officer (CO) of the Motorized Infantry Battalion within the Presidential Guard Brigade, Commanding Officer of the Special Forces Group, Land Component Commander of Operation Lightning Thunder that succeeded in weakening Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the DRC and Central African Republic. He then went on to take over the reigns of command of the fully-fledged and formed elite service of UPDF, the Special Forces Command (SFC) that includes combat and specialized fighting components.

Gen Kainerugaba has also gone on to serve as the Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations, where owing to his level of experience and expertise in the military and security service, advises H.E the President on matters related to National Security, defence, military affairs, most critically on the enhancement of the capabilities of Uganda’s Special Operation Forces across the different security services of Uganda.

In June 2021, Gen Kainerugaba was appointed Commander of the Land Forces, one of UPDF’s major services, comprised of all Infantry divisions (1 DIV, 2 DIV, 3DIV, 4DIV, 5DIV), the Artillery division and the Armoured Brigade. This is the position he still holds up to this day, where he is actively commanding and supervising the joint UPDF-FARDC counter-insurgence operation code named “Operation Shujaa” that was launched on 30th November 2021 in DRC, in the Eastern Province of Ituri and North Kivu against the Allied Democratic Forces. He is as well supervising the Karamoja disarmament exercise which has registered a great deal of success; as well as the continued supervision and command of the Ugandan Battle Groups currently deployed in Somalia under the African Union Mission in Somalia which has transitioned into the African Union Transition Mission aimed at the total pacification of Somalia.

Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, because of his warrior mastery has been actively involved in a number of combat and counter-insurgence operations internally and across the borders, most notably the war in the North and Teso region at the height of the LRA insurgency. In 2007, he participated in the defeat of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in Bundibugyo, where this also included the formation and establishment of a Commando Battalion which has gone on to grow into a Brigade, currently involved in a number of combat operations both in Somalia and currently in DRC.

Clear to note, Gen Kainerugaba has not limited himself to only matters military and security. He has gone on to play an important diplomatic role which has seen the long-standing Uganda-Rwanda diplomatic row come to an end, enabling the free movement of people and goods between the two countries. This indeed further portrays his vast leadership credentials, and his desire to witness the political, social and economic integration of the East African Community.

Understandably, for any peace-loving Ugandan, the celebrations and merry-making all over almost all media platforms is justified to say the least, on account of the distinguished life and career that Gen Kainerugaba has had and continues to live, as well as his very likeable character that majority of his supporters and well-wishers across all social groups have grown so fond of.

As General Muhoozi Kainerugaba celebrates his birthday come 24th April 2022, I, and thousands of his well-wishers and friends pray that God grants him many more years on earth to serve our motherland Uganda, East Africa and Africa at large.

Matthew Ikondere

SO-CIMIC, Office of the Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations

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