NAIROBI —Maj. General Pecos Kutesa is battling for life in Nairobi Hospital, few days after he was sent home by the army.
The retired Maj. Gen. Kutesa is said to be suffering from complications related to internal body organs.
“Gen. Kuteesa isn’t well but we are sure his recovery. He was flown in bad shape but is steadily improving” a close family said.
Pecos Kutesa began his military career in 1976 when he joined FRONASA, one of the military groups formed to fight Id Amin Dada.
Like other FRONASA recruits, he was trained at Munduli Military Academy in Tanzania.
After the fall of President Idi Amin, Kutesa was deployed in Nakasongola Military Training School.
It was from here that he deserted the army in March 1981, aged 25, to join Museveni’s NRA rebels fighting to remove Milton Obote.
In an interview with the Observer in 2009, Kutesa said he joined FRONASA after completing S.6 at Masaka Secondary School.
After the NRA captured power, he joined Makerere University and graduated with a social sciences degree.
He claimed at the time that he ran away from Nakasongola, where he was a serving UNLA soldier, because an order for his arrest had been issued after his colleagues declared a rebellion and in fact attacked Kabamba Barracks on February 6, 1981.
Before joining the main group under Museveni in Luwero, Kutesa operated briefly under Brig. Matayo Kyaligonza who was in charge of urban terrorism.
In his book, Kutesa recounts how, together with Matayo Kyaligonza and Benjamin Dampa (RIP), they unsuccessfully attempted to set Kampala City ablaze when they hit the Agip fuel depot in the Industrial Area.
They also planned to set ablaze other neighbouring fuel depots belonging to Shell, Caltex and Total, hoping to trigger a huge fireball that would engulf the entire city.
Fortunately, or unfortunately for them, the Agip fuel tanks were empty at the time they struck with an anti-tank gun.
After the botched operation, they withdrew to Nkrumah Road, opposite Uganda House, which was their base at the time.
Their next target was the Kampala water reservoir in Muyenga. Museveni reportedly restrained them before they could launch the attack.
After a stint in terrorism, Kutesa joined the main rebel group in Luwero on March 30, 1981.
He says that at the time of joining the rebellion, fighters under Museveni were less than 50, and some of them were unarmed.
One of the soldiers Kutesa commanded in his section was Paul Kagame, currently President of Rwanda.