Museveni appoints his son Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba new Land Forces Commander

Muhoozi Kainerugaba is a Ugandan military officer. He is a lieutenant general in the Uganda People's Defence Force and is the commander of the Special Forces Command, a specialized component of the UPDF tasked with carrying out specialized missions or operations

Muhoozi Kainerugaba is a Ugandan military officer. He is a lieutenant general in the Uganda People’s Defence Force and is the new land Forces Commander (PHOTO /Courtesy)

Museveni appoints his son Muhoozi as new Land Forces chief

KAMPALA — President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday appointed his son, a lieutenant general in the military, to Command the Land Forces docket of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).

He replaces Gen Peter Elwelu who has been appointed Deputy Chief of Defence Forces while Gen Mbasu Mbadi is the new army Commander.

Gen. Kainerugaba had been in charge of the president’s security and the head of the Special Forces Command in a recent redeployment last year.

In 2017 Muhoozi, the son of president Museveni, was appointed Presidential Adviser, fueling speculations he was being prepared for the presidency.

He was reappointed as the Commander of the elite Special Forces Command (SFC) in December 2020, a position he had served in from 2008 to 2017.

Kainerugaba was born on 24 April 1974 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to Yoweri Museveni, who has been President of Uganda since 1986, and Janet Museveni, the Minister of Education and Sports since 6 June 2016.

As a child, Kainerugaba attended schools in Tanzania, Mount Kenya Academy in Nyeri Kenya and Sweden. After his father became President he attended Kampala Parents School, King’s College Budo for a while and St. Mary’s College Kisubi, a residential middle and high school, located approximately halfway between Kampala and Entebbe. He graduated in 1994.

He was later admitted to Egyptian Military Academy where he took both the company and battalion commanders courses.

He also attended the Kalama Armoured Warfare Training School, in Kabamba, Mubende District, Central Uganda.

In 2007, he was admitted to a one-year course at the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, graduating in June 2008.

Following that, he successfully completed the Executive National Security Programme at the South African National Defence College.

In 1994, Muhoozi initiated cadre development courses for numerous youth, especially at the university.

In 1995, together with others, he started encouraging young people to join the security services and serve their nation.

Many who joined at this time are serving with distinction throughout the security services. Therefore, he helped in popularizing service in Uganda’s security forces.

In 1999, Muhoozi joined the UPDF at the rank of officer cadet and graduated in 2000 from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the British Army’s officer training school.

In 2000, Muhoozi was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and deployed in the Presidential Protection Unit (PPU).

He began as Head of Combat Readiness, in the office of the PPU’s intelligence office.

Muhoozi held this position until he was promoted to the rank of Captain in late 2001. In 2002, he attended a Company Commander/Battalion Commander’s Course in Egypt.

In 2003 with the re-organization of the PPU into the Presidential Guards Brigade (PGB), Captain Muhoozi was promoted to the rank of Major and became the Commanding Officer (CO) of the fledgling Motorized Infantry Battalion, and a member of the Defence Forces Council.

He saw his first combat action in Soroti later that year. The Motorized Infantry Battalion (which Major Muhoozi commanded) played a pivotal role in the defeat of the LRA in Soroti.

In 2005 he took command and trained with an infantry company in advanced infantry skills at Kasenyi Training School. That company was later integrated into 1 Commando Battalion. In 2006 he supervised the training and organization of the newly formed 1 Commando Battalion in Barlege, Otuke County, Lira District.

In 2007 deployed with the newly formed 1 Commando Battalion to Bundibugyo to tackle the ADF. 1 Commando Battalion defeated the ADF at the battle of Semiliki National Park in March of 2007.

Later that year he enrolled at the Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth Kansas (USA). In 2008 he graduated from Fort Leavenworth, the US Army Command and General Staff College.

In July 2008 he became the UPDF’s first paratrooper after graduating from the US Army’s Airborne School in Fort Benning, Georgia.

That same year Muhoozi was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and appointed Commander of Special Forces in the UPDF. In 2010 he was appointed as the first Commander Special Forces Group (SFG).

The Special Forces are a highly trained unit of the UPDF that includes airborne troops, commandos and marines. The force is responsible for counter-terrorism, direct action, VIP protection and special reconnaissance among others.

In 2011 Muhoozi planned and supervised the entry of Special Forces into the UPDF campaign in Somalia, as part of the AMISOM mission. Within a few weeks of the entry of Special Forces into Somalia the UPDF successfully expelled Al Shabaab from Mogadishu. That was in August 2011.

In September 2011 Muhoozi was promoted to rank of Colonel.[20] In early 2012 Col. Muhoozi enrolled at the South African National Defence College for the Executive National Security Program.

He graduated from this program six months later in June. In August 2012 he was promoted to Brigadier General and appointed Commander Special Forces Command.

In 2013 and 2014 Muhoozi was one of the senior UPDF commanders who deployed to South Sudan to support the Government of South Sudan after fighting broke out in Juba between rival factions of the SPLA. The UPDF was able to stabilize the situation in Juba and Bor after smashing a rebel advance on the capital city in January 2014.

In 2017 Muhoozi was appointed Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Duties, a position he held till December of 2020.

The SFC has been criticised for the extrajudicial abductions, tortures, disappearances and killings on political opposition.

In his role as commander of the SFC, Kainerugaba has been named by the opposition National Unity Platform in a complaint to the ICC.

In 2004 he successfully coordinated and participated in a hostage rescue operation in which three staff in the office of Minister for Water, Lands and Environment, Miria Mutagamba, were taken hostage.

In 2007 he commanded the decisive defeat of the ADF in Bundibugyo, in an operation where 80 enemy forces and the ADF’s third in command were killed in action.

In 2008 he was deployed as Second-In-Command of “Operation Lightening Thunder” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This successful operation was organized to degrade the combat capacities of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army in Garamba, deep in the jungles of the DR Congo.

In 2009 he participated in training and commissioning the UPDF’s first paratrooper element. Uganda’s first paratroopers since 1976.

On 31 December 2020, three days after being re-appointed SFC commander, Muhoozi posted a number of tweets attacking Bobi Wine and considered by many Ugandans to promote tribalism. After many negative reactions he removed the tweets.

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