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Gen Muhoozi takes over as CDF, vows to fight corruption and mismanagement of resources in UPDF

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General Muhoozi Kainerugaba fondly known as “MK” has taken over the office of the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) and vowed to improve welfare of soldiers by fighting the evil of corruption and mismanagement of resources.

The Hand over which took place in Gulu 4th Division Headquarters was presided over by uncle and Special Presidential Advisor on Defence and Security and also Chief Coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) Gen Caleb Akandwanabo, commonly known as Salim Saleh. 

Gen Saleh congratulated both the Incoming and Outgoing CDFs upon their tour of duty and implored them to continue preserving their health.

 He also urged them to cautiously uphold the first pillar of “Musevenomics”, that’s security of life and property for social economic transformation.

Gen Muhoozi replaces Gen Wilson Mbadi now appointed State Minister for Trade.

Gen Muhoozi promised that the UPDF under his charge would continue being professional, moral and tackle comprehensive national security. 

The 49-year-old, who most recently served as Senior Presidential Advisor in charge of Special Operations (SPA/SO), is on a pivotal post on the path to the top spot. Gen MK current task among others is to continue battling Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) terrorists, cattle rustling in Karamoja Sub region, cyber terrorism among others. 

Gen Muhoozi in his acceptance speech, expressed his profound gratitude to the President and Commander in Chief of the UPDF Gen Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for his wise stewardship that has grown UPDF to what it is today.

“UPDF continues to be the principal pillar of the Ugandan state that all Ugandans respect. UPDF is the central institution of Uganda’s nationhood because entry into it is open to all Ugandans.” He said. He added that Ugandans can disagree on anything but respect and support UPDF works. 

He lauded the Outgoing CDF for a job well done in building a modern professional force and implored soldiers to avoid the spirit of “arrivism”, thinking that you have achieved all.

Gen Muhoozi further emphasized that having the best equipment, best uniforms, best education, best welfare and best accommodation, among others; can only be done by fighting corruption and mismanagement of resources.

He promised to work with every soldier to achieve what is expected of the forces.

 “Continue with our role in securing the non-military aspects of security like environmental, cyber, and political security,” Gen Muhoozi cautioned troops.

The new CDF, also called upon troops to maintain their position as defenders of African interests by defending emerging technologies.

Speaking at the ceremony, the former CDF and now Minister of State for Trade and Industry Gen Mbadi congratulated the Incoming CDF Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba upon his new appointment as CDF. 

“I congratulate you for catching the eye of the appointing authority, ” Gen Mbadi said.

He further sincerely commended the President and Commander in Chief of the UPDF H.E Gen Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for giving him the great opportunity to serve at the helm of the country’s military. ” It has been an exciting 33 months serving at the helm of the Peoples’ Force and it gives me a strong sense of pride,” he emphasised, adding that” UPDF is a family of great people that bound together to serve our great country.”

He further promised his willingness to sacrifice in order to maintain our freedom, our security and our very existence as a Pearl of Africa.

He underscored the ongoing threats posed by inadequate defence budget where defence continues to get only 47% of its required budget, extremist organizations (terrorists), sabotage, cross border tensions, cybercrimes and livestock theft, among others; and henceforth highlighted the need for vigilance, frugality, effective anti-corruption measures and improvisation; in countering their actions.

Gen Mbadi concluded by noting that the country is calm and peaceful despite the infiltration of negative elements and negative political activism, environmental challenges and cross border tensions from Eastern DR Congo, South Sudan and Somalia.

Some of the achievements of UPDF so far include: increased defence diplomacy, legal reforms, created new institutions (like National Defence College), protection of military land, In-house fuel storage, partial salary enhancement, ideological refocus, environmental refocus, mobility capability and budget increment, among others.

The instruments of power that were handed over to the Incoming CDF included but not limited to the: Uganda Constitution, UPDF Act 2005, UPDF Doctrine, UPDF Defence Policy, UPDF Establishment 2020/21, MOD Policy Statement 2024/25 and National Defence Policy 

Gen Muhoozi comes in as the top army chief of the NRA/UPDF after Gen Mbadi, Gen David Rubakuba Muhoozi, Gen Edward Katumba Wamala, Late Gen Aronda Nyakairima, Late Maj Gen James Kazini, Gen Abubaker Jeje Odongo, Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu, Gen Caleb Akandwanabo, Late Gen Elly Tumwine .

The function was also attended by the Permanent Secretary MODVA Mrs Rosettie Byengoma, UPDAF Under Secretary Finance and Administration Mr James Mutabazi, Director General of External Security Organisation (ESO) Amb. Joseph Ocwet, former Director General of ESO David Pulkol, and former ISO boss and Chief Advisor OWC Ambassador Philip Idro.

Other Attendees were: Commander of the African Transition Mission in Somalia Lt Gen Sam Kavuma, Managing Director National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) Lt Gen James Mugira, Special Presidential Advisor (designate) Lt Gen Peter Elwelu, Commander Reserve Force Lt Gen Charles Otema Awanyi, Commander Land Force Lt Gen Kayanja Muhanga, former Joint Chief of Staff (JCOS) Maj Gen Leopold Kyanda, Commander Special Forces Command (SFC) Maj Gen David Mugisha, Deputy  Commander Air Force Brig Gen Stephen Kiggundu, among other invited UPDF Generals, Service Commanders, Chiefs and Directors.

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