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Uganda’s President appoints son as Chief of Defence Forces

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Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has appointed his son General Muhoozi Kainerugaba as the new Chief of Defence Forces (CDF).

He replaces Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi who was appointed Minister of State for Trade in the new cabinet reshuffle announced Thursday evening.

Gen Muhoozi has been serving as his father’s senior presidential advisor in charge of special operations.

This comes days after President Museveni on February 17 presented the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) Establishment 2021, an instrument of delegated Command, Control, and Administration, to then CDF Gen Mbadi, to command all elements of the army.

“By virtue of the powers enshrined under Article 98(1) of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, and Section 8(1) and (2)(a) of the UPDF Act, 2005, yesterday, on February 17, 2024, at the Defence Council meeting, I presented the UPDF Establishment 2021, an instrument of delegated Command, Control, and Administration, to General Wilson Mbasu Mbadi, the Chief of Defence Forces of the UPDF, to command all elements of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces,” Museveni said in a February 18 statement.

In the new appointments announced Thursday evening, Gen Museveni named Lt Gen Samuel Okiding as the deputy CDF. He replaces Gen Peter Elwelu whom the President named as one of his senior advisors.

Maj Gen Jackson Bakasumba replaces Maj Gen Leopold Eric Kyanda as the new Joint Chief of Staff. Maj Gen Kyanda has been appointed Defence attaché while the commander of the Special Forces Command (SFC), Brig Gen David Mugisha has been promoted to Major General, according to Defence spokesperson, Brig Gen Felix Kulayigye.

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Commando Brigade commander, Asaph Nyakyikuru has been promoted from Colonel to the rank of Brigadier General.

Museveni, who seized power through force in 1986 and has since been elected six times, has not announced plans to retire.

He has a number of close family members in government positions, including his wife who is the minister of education, a brother who is his adviser and runs a state agency distributing inputs to farmers.

Within the ruling National Resistance Movement party, he faces no strong opposition, leading many to speculate that the military will play a crucial role in selecting his successor.


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