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Nalweyiso, Rwakitarate promoted to Brigadier

President Yoweri Museveni has promoted Col Prossy Nalweyiso to Brigadier, making her the first woman in the history of the Ugandan army to claim such an accolade.

According to a message to the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Aronda Nyakairima, Colonels Paul Lokech and Moses Rwakitarate have also been promoted to the rank of Brigadier. Lokech took over as the commandant of the AMISOM forces in May, while Rwakitarate is the Air Force Chief of Staff.

“This is to inform you that I have, with immediate effect, decided to promote the following commanders as indicated below,” said the message, according to a military source. Colonels John Mateeka and Jacob Musajjawaza have also been promoted to the rank of Brigadier. Mateeka remains chairman of the 1st Division Court Martial, while Musajjawaza has been appointed Chief of Production Chieftaincy.

The Acting Commandant of the Artillery Division, Col Okiding has also been promoted to Brigadier, as has been Col Sam Kavuma, the 5th Division Commander and Col Gowa, who has remained deputy commandant of the Jinja-based Senior Command and Staff College, Kimaka. Brig Robert Rusoke, the Joint Chief of Staff, has been promoted to Major General.

Who is Brig Nalweyiso?

By being promoted to Brigadier, Nalweyiso now becomes the highest decorated female army officer in the country. She has previously been a military assistant to Museveni and also commandant of the UPDF Women’s League. In 2004, she applied to retire from the Army, although the Army Promotions and Commissions’ Board rejected her application.

Her latest posting has been as head of the Special Forces Group’s disciplinary committee. In 2009, she made a stern brief to Museveni, calling for the arrest and detention of Kampala idlers and rioters for a long time, for them “to be taught a lesson they will never forget”; and for a delay in re-opening CBS radio because some of those putting Museveni under pressure were the “ringleaders” of the September 2009 Buganda riots.

Her brief was in the aftermath of the September riots in protest of government’s refusal of Kabaka Ronald Mutebi to visit Kayunga.

Who is Brig Rwakitarate?

In less than ten years of service, Brig Rwakitarate has risen from Captain in 2002 when he was appointed Joint Security Head, Entebbe International airport. Born to evangelist Godfrey and Jane Rwakitarate of Mbarara, the colonel has a Bachelor of Commerce from India.

He joined the guerilla NRA forces in Kasese in 1985. After the NRA captured power, he was deployed in the newly created Anti-Smuggling Unit (ASU). He had his military training in Ghana and Nigeria, acquiring qualifications that are equivalent to a Master’s programme in military science. The Rwanda genocide and the ethnic killings in Burundi were the other components that formed his research paper. He has twice been to the Kimaka Senior Command  and Staff College.

Brig Rwakitarate was an intelligence officer of the Presidential Guard Brigade (PGB). During his time at State House, he is remembered for having led the arrest of Maj Okwir Rabwoni from the VIP lounge at Entebbe airport. He has also been the commandant of the air base at Entebbe.

More recently, he was deputy to Brig Patrick Kankiriho during Operation Lightning Thunder that embarked on a joint military operation with Sudanese and DRC forces to capture the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army leader, Joseph Kony, in the Garamba forest.

hbogere@observer.ug

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