Saturday, August 2, 2008

Museveni appoints son as force commander

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni. Photo/FILE 

By GRACE MATSIKO, SUNDAY NATION Correspondent, Kampala

President Yoweri Museveni has promoted his first son, Maj Muhoozi Kainerugaba, to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and appointed him commander in charge of special forces.

In a mini army reshuffle announced on Friday afternoon, Col Leo Kyanda was relieved of his duties as the head of the military intelligence and posted to the US as a defence attaché.

The army and defence spokesman, Maj Paddy Ankunda, told the Saturday Monitor that Brig James Mugira would replace Col Kyanda. Mugira has been commandant of the armoured brigade in Masaka.

Maj Ankunda said Uganda’s defence attache in the US, Lt-Col James Kasaija, had been posted to South Africa in the same capacity.

“Col (David) Muhoozi who has been the chief of staff of the air force, is the new armoured brigade commander,” Maj Ankunda said, adding: “Lt-Col Moses Rwakitarate has been promoted to colonel and becomes the chief of staff of the air force.

“Maj Muhoozi was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and appointed the commander in charge of development of special forces.”

In the special forces, Museveni’s son is to oversee the paratroopers and the marines, among others, a senior military officer explained. Museveni also promoted Lt-Col J.A.

Bakasumba, formerly of the presidential guard brigade, to the rank of full colonel. He is to head the Ugandan peace keeping contingent, which has completed training and will be heading to Somalia.

The promotion and appointment of Lt-Col Muhoozi, a recent graduate of Fort Leavenworth — a US army command and general staff college in Kansas — is expected to raise eyebrows, especially those of the opposition, who accuse the President of grooming his son to succeed him.

Lt-Col Muhoozi was among 800 military officers who graduated at Fort Leavenworth.

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