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Lt general muhoozi Kainerugaba

Gen Kainerugaba's Dual Appointment is Unequivocally Legitimate

posted onMarch 11, 2022
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By Matthew Ikondere

Yesterday evening, I tuned in to watch “The Frontline”, a popular political program that airs on NBS Television every Thursday, hosted by seasoned journalist, Mr. Charles Mwanguhya. The Panelists for the day included, Hon. Nobert Mao, President of the Democratic Party, Ofwono Opondo, the Executive Director Uganda Media Centre/ Government Spokesperson, Veteran Journalist Andrew Mwenda, Dr. Miria Matembe, Lord Mayor of Kampala City, Erias Lukwago and MP Joel Ssenyonyi.

The discussion was premised on three topics that made headlines over the past week. I will however focus on the first topic, which in my view was the major one.

The moderator, Mwanguhya put it to the panelists, to present their opinions on “Whether Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba had exhausted his potential in the army and what would be next if he exited the UPDF.”

 I’ll not go into details in regards to what the panelists views were on the subject, but rather focus on the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago’s ignorant view, where he claims that “in the UPDF Act of 2005, one cannot be a military officer and Presidential Advisor.” This is factually, and legally incorrect.

According to Section 8 (2) of the UPDF Act 2005, (c), “the Commander-in-Chief may appoint an officer of the Defence Forces to be known as the Commander Land Forces who shall be responsible for the command, control and administration of the Land Forces.”

With this provision, Gen Kainerugaba without a doubt qualifies to be the current Commander of the Land Forces owing to his requisite military qualifications and training, as well as his over two decades' service in the army, taking on a number of command and staff appointments.

On Gen Kainerugaba’s concurrent appointment as the Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations, subsection (k), of the aforementioned Section of the UPDF Act, stipulates that “the Commander-in-Chief may appoint such advisors and assistants or any other officer in the office of the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence forces as he or she deems necessary to assist him or her in the exercise of the duties of that office.

From this background, it is evident that the President and Commander-in-Chief congruously exercises the executive authority of Uganda, as provided in clause (1) of Article 98 of the Constitution by appointing Gen Kainerugaba, both as the Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations and Commander Land Forces, taking into account the significant qualifications he holds to serve in this capacity.

It is also prudent to note, this is not exceptional as some elements like Erias Lukwago might think, because the C-I-C has appointed several military officers to serve as Presidential Advisors on special assignments, for instance Lt Gen Proscovia Nalweyiso who serves as a Presidential Advisor on Defence/military Affairs.

Therefore, with the legal provisions set out in the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces Act 2005, there is clearly no law that bars General Kainerugaba or any other officer the President deems fit to take on an advisory role.

On the question of what Gen Kainerugaba’s responsibilities, as the Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations entail; in this capacity, he advises the President on matters related to National security, defence and military affairs, majorly on enhancing the capabilities of Uganda’s special operation forces in the military, the police and other areas.

It is salient to take into account that, Gen Kainerugaba’s assignments are not limited to only the military but also on matters diplomacy and to some extent civil operations, given to him by the President and Commander in Chief and it is within his right as a senior citizen of Uganda to take on any office and tasks given to him in the advancement of the country’s National interest.

For God and my Country

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

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