Museveni promotes ‘body guard’ to full general,makes him chief of defense forces

Friday, June 25th, 2021 09:38 | By
Gen Wilson Mbadi (R) with Peter Elwelu at Entebbe. Photo/courtesy.

President Museveni has appointed promoted Wilson Mbadi to full General and appointed him Chief of Defence Forces (CDF). Gen Mbadi replaces Gen. David Muhoozi who was appointed state minister for Internal Affairs.

Mbadi will be deputized by Lt. Gen Peter Elwelu, who was has been the commander of Land Forces. Museveni's son, Lt. Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba replaces Elwelu as commander of Land Forces.

Kainerugba who has been the elite presidential guards, Special Forces Commander (SFC) will be replaced by Brig. Peter Chandia.

Museveni has also appointed Maj Gen Leopold Kyanda who has been the chief of staff Land Forces, as the new Joint Chief of Staff. Kyanda replaces Lt. Gen Joseph Musanyufu who has been sent to civil service for redeployment.

Maj. Gen Sam Kavuma has been appointed the deputy coordinator of the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) whereas Maj Gen Sam Okiding is the new deputy commander of Land Forces.

In 2017, Elwelu commanded the army attack on the Rwenzururu Palace at the climax of long-standing tension, between the government and the Rwenzururu kingdom. The attack led to the death of more than 100 people.

Last month, Elwelu, who is also the newly elected army representative in parliament, said that he is unremorseful about the palace attack. He said that the royal guards and other royalists who were killed during the Kasese clashes were criminals "who deserved to die"

In the other appointments, Brig. Bob Ogik has been appointed chief of staff of the Land Forces, Brigadier Daniel Kakono is the commander of Filed Artillery Division.

Lt. Gen Charles Angina, who has been the deputy coordinator OWC, has been posted to the ministry of Foreign Affairs for redeployment.

Maj. Gen Kasura Kyomukama has been deployed to the civil service while Brigadier Gen Charles Kisembo has been appointed commandant Kyankwanzi Political School.

Who is General Wilson Mbasu Mbadi?  

The rise of General Wilson Mbasu Mbadi to the top of the military leadership in Uganda has been a long and patient journey for an officer many call a gentleman.

Those who have worked with him, or under him, describe him as quiet, patient and farsighted. They say he cares about the welfare of every man and woman in uniform. He has served in different positions in the UPDF, including as aide de camp to the president, Fourth Infantry Division commander, Joint Chief of Staff (JCOS) and deputy Chief of Defence Forces (DCDF). He now moves to the very top of the UPDF ranks.

Born on June 6, 1962, in Kasese district, Mbadi joined the army in 1986. This makes him the first CDF of the UPDF who was not directly involved in the Luwero/Rwenzori bush war. One would say that Museveni is finally, weaning the UPDF of the bush-war veterans.

Mbadi is one of the most trained military officers in UPDF, and one of the very few to have attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, in the United Kingdom. It was at Sandhurst in 1991 that Mbadi was commissioned as a cadet officer after successfully completing a one-year course and coming on top of his class.

He also holds a Master's degree in Strategic Studies which he attained in 2007 at the Air War College in Alabama, United States of America.

In 1992, he attended the Platoon Commander's course at the Uganda School of Infantry, at that time located in Jinja (before it was relocated to Kabamba in Mubende district). In 1994, he attended the Uganda Junior Staff College, also at Jinja.

Mbadi would attend more courses in his stellar military career, including the Mobile International Defence Management course in Zambia in 1998; the Company Commanders’ course in Tanzania in 1998; the Combat Group Command course at Armored Corps Center and School, in Ahmadnagar, India in 2001; the Senior Command and Staff course at National Defence College, Kenya in 2004; and the Peace Support Operations Course at Karen, Kenya in 2004. In 2005, Mbadi went to the University of Nairobi for a Diploma course in Strategic Studies.

His has been a long journey, taking him 35 years to move from a non-commissioned officer to a four-star General, but having played a part in training, planning and managing in different departments of the army he will now head. Between 1987 and 1989, Mbadi served as a junior instructor at Kaweweta and Kabamba Recruit Training schools.

In 1991, he served briefly as the officer in charge of career planning in the UPDF. From here, Mbadi moved to the directorate of supplies which he headed from 1997 to 1998. From 1999 to 2000, Mbadi served as a logistics officer and brigade administrative officer for the armoured brigade based in Masaka.

In 2001, Mbadi served briefly as the directing staff at the Uganda Junior Staff College in Jinja before becoming 503 Infantry brigade operations and training officer from 2001 to 2002. Mbadi spent the next one year as the armoured brigade operations and training officer before commanding the Armoured Brigade, in an acting capacity.

In 2005, he commanded the 507 brigade before moving on the following year to become the principal air staff officer in charge of personnel and administration at Uganda Peoples Defence Air Force based in Entebbe.

In 2007, at the rank of Colonel, Mbadi became aide-de-camp to President Museveni, a position he held for five years. In 2012 he was promoted to brigadier and appointed commander of the 4th Infantry Division, based in Gulu. It was from here, in May 2013 that moved back to Kampala to take on a new assignment as Joint Chief of Staff of the UPDF, at the rank of Major General.

In January 2017, Mbadi was promoted to Lieutenant-General and appointed deputy Chief of Defence Forces. It is from here that he now takes over as Chief of Defence Forces, replacing General David Muhoozi who was appointed minister of state for Internal Affairs.

Perhaps a sign that he makes things done, Mbadi has also been sitting on many committees including the UPDF Medals committee, UPDF Dress committee, Defence Forces Duty-free Shop Board of Directors, Senior Command and Staff College Control Board, Uganda National Defence College Steering committee and ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs Projects Preparation Committee among others.

Between 2015 and 2018, Mbadi was a member of the Standard Gauge Railway Board of Directors. Before this, he headed the Uganda Military Engineering College and was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC), a business arm of the UPDF. 

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