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President Museveni Elevates Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba to Chief of Defence Forces

Kampala, Uganda – In a pivotal move, President Yoweri Museveni appointed his son, Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, as Uganda’s Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), marking him the top military officer in the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF). This appointment also sees Gen. Muhoozi retaining his role as a Presidential advisor, particularly for special operations, succeeding Gen. Wilson Mbadi, who transitions to a governmental role in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives.

Speculation had been rife about Gen. Muhoozi’s appointment, viewed by some as a strategic pivot from political ambitions with his Patriotic League of Uganda (PLU) movement. This follows President Museveni’s outspoken concerns about corruption within military ranks, emphasizing a commitment to integrity and reform.

A Lifelong Journey to Leadership

Born on April 24, 1974, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Janet Kataha, Muhoozi Kainerugaba’s life has been steeped in resilience, patriotism, and a commitment to service. A testament to his upbringing, he embraced evangelical Christianity early in life, which has guided his personal and professional ethos.

The Kainerugaba family returned to Uganda in 1979 following Idi Amin’s ousting, only to face further turmoil leading to temporary exile in Kenya and Sweden due to political instability. Their eventual return to Uganda in 1986 marked the beginning of a new chapter.

Educational and Military Fortitude

Muhoozi’s educational journey spanned prestigious institutions, culminating in a BA in Political Science from Nottingham University, UK. His commitment to Uganda’s future was evident early on, engaging in youth and community development projects and encouraging young Ugandans to join the security services.

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Joining the UPDF in 1999, Muhoozi’s training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst set the stage for a distinguished military career. His rise through the ranks is a story of dedication, strategic acumen, and leadership, embodying the ethos of the institutions that shaped him, including the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.

Muhoozi with comrades from his platoon after completing the final exercise at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (UK), 20 years ago. Just before they were commissioned as officers (Photo: Muhoozi Kainerugaba)

Command and Conquer: Military Highlights

Gen. Muhoozi’s operational experience is extensive, from defeating the Lord’s Resistance Army in Soroti to commanding pivotal operations against the ADF and Al-Shabaab. His leadership of the Special Forces Command (SFC) underscores a commitment to excellence and innovation, significantly contributing to peacekeeping efforts in Somalia and stability operations in South Sudan.

Beyond the Battlefield

Gen. Muhoozi is not just a military tactician but a devoted family man, author, and advocate for welfare and sports within the military. His book, ‘Battles of the Ugandan Resistance: A Tradition of Maneuver’, and his support for the Uganda Cranes highlight his multifaceted contributions to Ugandan society and culture.

His philosophy of self-reliance and motivation has propelled significant infrastructure and welfare improvements within the SFC and the broader UPDF, fostering a legacy of growth and professional development.

The Road Ahead

As Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba steps into his role as CDF, his journey reflects a life dedicated to his country’s service, embodying resilience, strategic insight, and a commitment to the welfare of his fellow soldiers and citizens. His leadership comes at a crucial time, promising a new chapter for the UPDF under his guidance.

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