The Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations and Commander UPDF Land Forces Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba has described Maj Gen Paul Lokech as a great warrior who fought a good fight for his country.
"Today the country has lost an indomitable warrior and patriot. Rest well my brother Maj. General Paul Lokech. You fought a very good fight for the motherland. We will always remember you and miss you," Gen Kainerugaba said in a tweet.
Gen Lokech died Saturday morning ahead of his scheduled visit to the hospital, according to reports.
A highly placed source told this reporter that Lokech had a blood clot that was supposed to be removed from his leg through a surgical operation. The Kampala Post could not, however, independently verify this information.
The IGP has ordered the police director of medical services to conduct a post mortem examination to ascertain the cause of the sudden death of Gen Lokech.
Together with Gen Kainerugaba, Maj Gen Paul Lokech commanded battles that flushed the Alshabaab out of Somalia Capital, Mogadishu, among other security operations.
Many have described Gen Lokech as a fearless fighter who came face to face with death in various battles.
He participated in Operation Safe Haven in DR Congo and later in Operation Iron Fist in Sudan.
Several leaders have eulogized the former Deputy Inspector General of Police.
Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah tweeted.
"Gen. P.Lokech was a leader willing to put his soul into any job to get it“Done”. He was dependable, committed and brought valor, patriotism,& poise to all his tasks. He always stepped in the gap; raising against formidable challenges. Such a huge loss to the nation. May his soul RIP."
Democratic Party President Norbert Mao said in a tweet: "Sad! Shocked! Maj. Gen. Paul Lokech is another fruit fallen unripe! My condolences to his family, the armed forces and all Ugandans. Lokech embodied sterling qualities of a man and a soldier. He survived LRA and Al Shabab only to succumb to a blood clot! Blood clot, who born you?"
Veteran journalist Andrew Mwenda: "This morning, my friend and comrade, Maj. Gen. Paul Lokech, who has also been deputy Inspector General of Police, died suddenly and unexpectedly of a blood clot. I last talked to Lokech on Thursday at 8pm and he was very fine. Uganda has lost a true giant of a general!"
Mwenda added: Lokech was first and foremost a patriot and a great soldier. He has fought many battles and rubbed shoulders with death several times. He will be remembered for being straightforward, dedicated and efficient.
Who was Gen Lokech?
Before his appointment as DIGP, Maj Gen Lokech served in South Sudan where he was tasked to monitor on behalf of the guarantors: the South Sudan peace process, the assembling, screening, demobilization and integration of the armed forces of South Sudan.
Maj Gen Lokech Lokech is one of the commanders credited for breaking the back of Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia when he was one of the commanders of the UPDF contingent between 2011 and 2012.
The Lion Of Mogadishu
As a result of his relentless confrontation with Al-Shabaab insurgents and capturing key historical places like the Red Mosque in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, the then Brigadier Lokech was nicknamed the ‘Lion of Mogadishu.
Between 2017 to 2018, President Museveni redeployed Lokech to Somalia as UPDF contingent commander, and when he returned, he promoted him to the rank of Major General. He immediately posted him to Jinja to command the Uganda Rapid Deployment Capability Centre.
Gen Lokech also served as Chief of Staff of Uganda People’s Defence Air Force – UPDAF.
Maj Gen Lokech also commanded UPDF Second Division which is based in Mbarara at Makenke barracks. He as Uganda’s Defence Attaché to Russia.
At the time of his death, Gen Lokech was the deputy IGP and clearly on course to flush criminals out of Kampala and other urban centers.