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Sseggona, Kayemba clash over Buganda’s stake in UPDF

Kabaka’s chief guard laid to rest

As Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi’s chief guard, Capt Steven Kisitu Mivule, was laid to rest at Naluvule in Wakiso district, yesterday, the member of Parliament for Busiro East, Medard Sseggona and a senior UPDF officer, Maj Gen Silver Musa Kayemba, disagreed over Buganda’s stake in the army.

Capt Mivule, who has been the head of the Buganda Royal Guard, died at Nakasero hospital on October 14 from injuries he sustained in a fire that gutted the security office at Bulange, Mengo, last Wednesday, October 10. The inferno has so far claimed two others. While eulogising Mivule, Sseggona lamented that Buganda has very few generals in the UDPF, despite the numerous highly qualified Baganda in the army.

However, Maj Gen Kayemba, a former chief of training and operations, who represented the Army Chief, Lt Gen Aronda Nyakairima, vehemently challenged Sseggona’s claim. Kayemba told the mourners, who braved the heavy downpour, that there are many senior officers in the national army who hail from Buganda, including himself.

Kayemba, who joined the army in 1979 and was at one time commander in chief of the land forces, is currently the Liaison Officer to the Uganda Permanent Representative in New York, USA.

“I’m a two-star general and only left with two steps to reach the highest rank in the UPDF,” Kayemba said.

To further prove his point, he pointed out several senior army officers from Buganda at the funeral, including the deputy chief of policy and planning, Col Emmy Mulindwa, who sat next to Col Charles Tusiime, the overall in-charge of the Royal Guard of all cultural institutions in the country.

Kayemba said in addition to financial assistance to cover funeral expenses, the army would support the bereaved family henceforth.

“Currently, our records show that Mivule had only one child and no widow, but we request his registered next of kin, Vincent Ssenoga, to provide the UPDF with approved details of the deceased’s family members,” Kayemba said.

The Katikkiro of Buganda, J.B Walusimbi, asked the UPDF command to replace Mivule with an equally dedicated, Buganda-loving and disciplined officer, a request Col Mulindwa said would be granted. In his message read by the Katikkiro, Kabaka Mutebi hailed Mivule for having changed the Royal Guard at Bulange for the better during the nine months he has served there.

Mivule was born on January 29, 1973 to the late Dr Benedict Kisitu. He went to Nansana primary school, Ndejje Secondary School and Makerere University, where he graduated with a bachelors degree in Social Work and Social Administration in 1998, before obtaining a diploma in Law from the Law Development Centre. At the time of his death, he was pursuing a Bachelor of Laws at Makerere University, having only enrolled this year.

He joined the army in 1998 and attended the military school in Jinja. He served in the UPDF 2nd Division in Mbarara and, later, the 1st Division in Kakiri, before he was sent to Somalia in 2009. He joined the Kabaka’s protection unit in 2011.

slubwama@observer.ug

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