Commander Of Land Forces Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Threatens To Resign

Commander Of Land Forces Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Threatens To Resign

The Commander of Land Forces, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, has threatened to resign his position in the military if the funds he is requesting to improve the welfare of soldiers is not given to Land Forces.

Our News desk has exclusively learnt that Gen Muhoozi, who has been stationed at the General Military headquarters in Bombo since early July, recently asked for Shs 20bn to improve the soldiersโ€™ accommodation facilities and boost security at various military bases but the Ministry of Defence turned a blind eye.

โ€œ๐–๐ž (๐‹๐š๐ง๐ ๐…๐จ๐ซ๐œ๐ž๐ฌ) ๐š๐ฌ๐ค๐ž๐ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐’๐ก๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐›๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐š๐œ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐จ๐๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง, ๐ฐ๐ž๐ฅ๐Ÿ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฌ๐ž๐œ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐š๐ญ ๐๐จ๐ฆ๐›๐จ (๐†๐ž๐ง๐ž๐ซ๐š๐ฅ ๐Œ๐ข๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐š๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ก๐ž๐š๐๐ช๐ฎ๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ), ๐Œ๐š๐ค๐ข๐ง๐๐ฒ๐ž ๐›๐š๐ซ๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ค๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Œ๐จ๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐ฌ๐ž๐ ๐๐ซ๐ข๐ ๐š๐๐ž ๐ข๐ง ๐๐š๐ค๐š๐ฌ๐จ๐ง๐ ๐จ๐ฅ๐š ๐›๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐œ๐ซ๐ข๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐œ๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐ž๐ฅ ๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Œ๐ข๐ง๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฒ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ƒ๐ž๐Ÿ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐จ๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐จ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ข๐œ๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐,โ€ Gen Muhoozi confided in his closest friends this week.

โ€œ๐ˆ๐Ÿ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฅ๐๐ข๐ž๐ซ๐ฌโ€™ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐›๐ฅ๐ž๐ฆ๐ฌ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ž๐, ๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ซ๐ž๐ญ๐ข๐ซ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐›๐ฒ ๐ง๐ž๐ฑ๐ญ ๐ฒ๐ž๐š๐ซ,โ€ ๐ฌ๐š๐ข๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐†๐ž๐ง๐ž๐ซ๐š๐ฅ, ๐š๐๐๐ข๐ง๐ , โ€œ๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ž๐ซ๐ฏ๐ž๐ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ– ๐ฒ๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ฌ.โ€

We understand that Muhoozi, who previously commanded the elite Special Forces Command (SFC) with headquarters in Entebbe, was shocked to find Bombo in a sorry state with dilapidated structures for offices and soldiersโ€™ accommodation.

โ€œ๐„๐ฏ๐ž๐ง ๐ƒ๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐‚๐จ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐š๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฅ๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐ฉ๐š๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ,โ€ he told his close associates. .

He also discovered that the general military headquarters, which in other countries, are the most heavily fortified compounds, lacks a security wall fence.

Muhoozi reportedly said he could not continue serving as a Commander of the Land Forces โ€œ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐œ๐ž๐ฌ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฅ๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ฏ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ง,โ€ ๐ž๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ก๐š๐ฌ๐ข๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐ , โ€œ๐๐จ๐ฆ๐›๐จ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฅ ๐๐ฎ๐ง๐ ๐ž๐จ๐ง. ๐ˆ๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฅ ๐๐ข๐ฌ๐š๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ.โ€

Corruption in the army

An investigation has established that UPDF Divisional Commanders are not receiving adequate operational funds.

Quite often, these commanders have to request Gen Muhooziโ€™s office for โ€œsome little airtimeโ€ to run their operations..

Commanding officers lack vehicles while fuel, lubricants and oils remain in short supply despite the Ministry of Defence taking a huge chunk of the national budget.

In the 2019/20 financial year, the allocation to the security department grew by more than 50% from the previous financial year.

The budget was increased to a record Shs 3.6 Trillion from Shs 1.5Trillion.

The increased spending on defence generated debate among members of parliament and other stakeholders with many questioning the motive.

โ€œWe are concerned with the unexplained sharp increase of the countryโ€™s security and defence expenditure,โ€ said FDC spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda in 2020.

โ€œSignificantly to note is the fact that, classified expenditure has also correspondingly increased from Shs 347 billion in 2017, to Shs 640 billion in 2018 and to2.1 trillion in the new budget of 2019/2020,โ€ he added.

Defence Minister Adolf Mwesige said the money would be โ€œspent on items that are crucial for the Uganda Peopleโ€™s Defence Forces and national securityโ€.

He further said some of the equipment procured or refurbished are helicopters, marine boats, infantry fighting vehicles and artillery guns.

Poor clothing

In July, 2021, Gen. Muhoozi visited the UPDF detach in Zombo district which had been attacked by rebels from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

The CLF, who arrived in a helicopter, was welcomed by soldiers in unfitting and tattered uniforms.

Many of the soldiers wore jungle boots and lacked warm and waterproof clothing โ€“ not to mention gloves and tents.

We will be building an efficient, modern, and accountable force that can defend the sovereignty of our country at all times,โ€ said Gen Muhoozi in July 2021.

While assuming office, Muhoozi, who now commands the infantry and artillery divisions; and the armoured and motorised brigades, said soldiersโ€™ welfare included modern accommodation facilities, improved salaries and better clothing.

Corruption at Mbuya

But his move to change the conditions of the Land Forces has since met stiff resistance from the Defence Ministry.

Muhoozi this week told close associates that he was โ€œappointed as CLF to transform the Land Forces and if this Defence Ministry does not give our office the money we need to cause a qualitative change in the Land Forces, I will retire next year.โ€

Muhoozi also wondered in a meeting why money is โ€œcentralised at Mbuyaโ€, saying, โ€œThese people (defence ministry) know that if they give us the money we need, they are gone because soldiers will know who has been stealing from them all these years.โ€

He emphasised to associates that the โ€œbiggest criminal cartel in Uganda is at the Ministry of Defenceโ€

Muhoozi warned: โ€œI either do something or I get out. Either I improve the soldiersโ€™ welfare or I get out.โ€

The development will send shockwaves at the Defence Ministry where funds are centralised.

Sources said Muhoozi remains concerned that while military officials including generals based at Mbuya have amassed a lot of wealth through โ€œunprecedentedโ€ and โ€œ historicโ€ corruption, the foot soldiers continue to wallow in destitution.

Perspectives

Our desk was yet to receive a response from the Defence Ministry when we posted this article this Saturday morning.

However, dozens of military officials who talked to us on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, said Muhoozi could have hit the right button in addressing soldiersโ€™ welfare.

โ€œThe Defence Ministry officials are obsessed with primitive accumulation of wealth at the expense of soldiersโ€™ welfare,โ€ said one of the army officers we talked to.

Another source said, โ€œprevious Chiefs of Land Forces were either toothless or feared to take on the cartel at the Defence Ministry where funds are centralized.โ€

โ€œBut now, as CLF, Muhoozi is well-placed to make the much-needed changes in the army by fighting corruption and addressing the soldiersโ€™ concerns. He has access to the Commander-in-chief; he is well protected to be intimidated and is not interested in bribes.โ€

At SFC, Muhoozi oversaw the construction of modern accommodation facilities and the equipping and training of the elite force using an annual budget of less than Shs 10bn.

Muhoozi, who doubles as Special Presidential advisor in charge of special operations, commands the infantry division

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