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PROFILE: Who Was The Late Maj. General Kasirye Ggwanga?

The Late Gen. Kasirye Ggwanga

Major General Kasirye Ggwanga died on Tuesday morning 9th June 2020 at Nakasero Hospital after being admitted for close to a full month.

An operation was reportedly conducted on one of the veins in his head and has been in intensive care since admission at Nakasero Hospital.

Before this, he however had penned down a will, among other directions, directing that his body must be cremated and his ashes taken to Uganda Museum.

Who was Major General Kasirye Ggwanga?

Born in January, 1970 in Mubende District, Major General Kasirye Ggwanga was a senior military service man in Uganda People’s Defense Forces. He has been the Presidential adviser on Buganda Kingdom and was well respected for his criticism of People’s disrespect for the environment.

Following his training, he was posted to Arua in the West Nile sub-region, as a map reader, serving in that capacity until 1977.

He was promoted to the position of artillery officer in 1978. The following year, Ggwanga was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant.

In 1978, the Tanzania People's Defence Force (TPDF) invaded Uganda. In April they captured Kampala and deposed Idi Amin. Kasirye was captured and taken to Tanzania, as a prisoner of war number 1734.

President Godfrey Binaisa in 1980 managed to negotiate the return of political prisoners to Uganda. Kasirye Ggwanga was in the first batch to be released.

Three months after Kasirye Ggwanga's release, the Uganda Freedom Army (UFA) rebels led by Andrew Kayiira attacked the army barracks at Mengo in Kampala.

Milton Obote’s government of the Uganda People's Congress (UPC) mistakenly thought that the recently released prisoners (former Idi Amin soldiers) were involved in the attack. Kasirye Ggwanga was placed on the "wanted list".This forced him to go underground.

His elder brother, Lieutenant James Kasirye, a military pilot based at Nakasongola Military Air Base was arrested and tortured, then killed when he refused to disclose the whereabouts of his brother.

In retaliation, Kasirye Ggwanga joined the UFA rebels.. In 1985however, he left UFA and joined Yoweri Museveni's National Resistance Army, which captured power in January 1986.

During the drive to capture Kampala, Kasirye Ggwanga commanded a 120mm artillery unit.

Between 1986 and 2005, he served in several roles including as the LC5 chairman for Mubende District and as the director of stores in the UPDF.

On 31 January 2005, he retired from the UPDF at the rank of brigadier. He however bounced back and demanded reinstatement. Museveni allowed this on a renewable contract of five years.

In 2018, Kasirye Ggwanga was promoted to the rank of Major General. He was then officially retired from the Uganda military, in 2018.

Kasirye Ggwanga has been a married man with one wife and several concubines.

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