Two prominent Generals yesterday clashed over medals awarded to officers who fought in the 1981-86 Bush War.
According to sources, Major General (rtd) Matayo Kyaligonza reportedly accosted General Elly Tumwine, the chairperson of the National Presidential Awards Committee, demanding to know why he was not one of those recognized for his efforts during the war that brought President Yoweri Museveni and the National Resistance Movement/Army (NRM/A) government to power in 1986.
“Where did you fight that I didn’t fight? And can you even recite one incident where you fought, I am tired of being sidelined and you should stop this nonsense of under looking people’s contribution” Gen. Kyaligonza fumed as he went for Gen. Tumwine.
Kyaligonza said this in full view of the other recipients of the medal and the local leaders but as the charged Kyaligonza could reach him, other senior soldiers rushed to separate the two
The two Generals, Tumwine and Kyaligonza, Uganda’s Ambassador to Burundi, were in Luuka where the celebrations for the 54th Independence Day anniversary presided over by President Yoweri Museveni, where held. Among other Generals awarded yesterday were the Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura and the former Commander of the Airforce Lt. Gen. Jim Owoyesigire,and Security Minister, Lt.Gen.Henry Tumukunde.
By press time it was not possible to contact any of the two Generals, historicals whose contribution to the NRA Bush War is public knowledge.
Since 2012 when the award of medals was initiated, several men and officers of the NRA/UPDF have been awarded with medals that include Luwero Triangle, Katonga and Damu.
At the rank of Major General in 1987, Gen Tumwine was the first post-Bush War National Resistance Army (NRA) Army Commander, while at the time Kyaligonza aka Black Bomber, was a Brigadier, a rank lower and one of the seven topmost officers of the NRA.
By 1987 the eight topmost NRA officers were Lt Gen Yoweri Museveni, Maj Gen Elly Tumwine, Maj Gen Fred Rwigwema Gisa, Maj Gen Caleb Akandwanaho aka Salim Saleh Rufu, Brig Matayo Kyaligonza, Brig Tadeo Kanyankole, Brig David Sejusa aka Tinyefuza and Brig (Honorary) Eria Tukahirwa Kategaya (RIP).