- East Africa
President Museveni has today retired 14 Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) generals and 590 other officers.
The most senior by rank of those retired is Gen Ivan Koreta. The 65-year-old four-star Koreta joined armed forces in 1981 when Museveni and group picked up guns to fight Dr Milton Obote’s government.
Koreta trained as a soldier in Mozambique as a member of Front for National Salvation which was then a rebel group formed to topple off the leadership of President Idi Amin after accusing him of being a dictator.
While fighting Dr Obote’s government, Museveni and the group formed a rebel group christened National Resistance Army (NRA) where Koreta was the battalion commander. After capturing power in 1986, Koreta’s group was in charge of providing security along the Kampala-Gulu highway.
When NRA transformed into UPDF, Koreta held various positions that show him rise through the ranks. In his over 40 years’ military career, Koreta served as First Division commander, deputy director of Internal Security Organisation (ISO), the first commandant of senior command and Staff College at Kimaka, chairman General Court Martial and deputy chief of defence forces.
The second-highest-ranking retired UPDF generals include three stars generals; Lt Gen Pecos Onesmus Kuteesa and Lt Gen Jim Beesigye Owoyesigyire. Kuteesa’s military service stretches way back to 1976 when he became a member of FRONASA which was another group formed to fight Amin.
Kuteesa joined FRONASA after completing S.6 and was trained at Munduli military academy in Tanzania. After Amin was overthrown, Kuteesa was deployed to command Nakasongola military schools which he later deserted to join the NRA of Museveni to fight Obote's government. Kuteesa once served as Museveni’s ADC and a member of parliament representing the army.
Kuteesa was in 1994 voted to a member of the Constituent Assembly representing Kabula and the group was responsible for the establishment of the current Uganda Constitution 1995 even though it has severally been amended.
Beesigye Owoyesigyire was commander of AMISOM a peacekeeping force in Somalia. Owoyesigyire also joined the armed forces in 1979 and his 42 years’ career has seen him serve in key military positions such as commander Air Force between 2005 and 2012, he had earlier served as a division commander for field artillery and was served as chairperson of a committee that shows the establishment of National Defence College, in addition, to represent army in parliament between 2011 and 2016.
The retirees also include two-star Generals, Maj Gen Christopher Kazoora Murema, Maj Gen Moses Wadimba Ssentongo, Maj Gen Robert Rusoke and Maj Gen Innocent George Oula. Rusoke is the current overall supervisor of the Covid-19 joint security task force.
The one-star generals who have also been retired include Brig Gen Moses Kigongo, Brig Gen Jacob Asiimwe, Brig Gen Moses Shaban Lukyamuzi, Brig Gen Muhammed Abiriga, Brig Gen John Araali Kasaija and Brig Gen Frank Kanyarutokye.
However, former Inspector General of Police, Gen Edward Kale Kayihura, Gen David Sejusa who had earlier been rumoured to be on the list were not included. It is not clear whether the two applied for retirement or not. - URN/The Observer