Early this week, different media houses reported the arrest and detention of Rtd Maj Gen Kasirye Gwanga at Mbuya military barracks over what some connected to his recent assault to the people of Mityana Municipality whom he accused of flaunting the presidential stay home directive in the fight against Coronavirus.
Although the army came out to strongly refute the reports of the arrest when army spokesperson Gen Richard Karemire said that the decorated ex combatant was indeed receiving treatment at the military facility, Gen Gwanga’s leaked phone account to the media gives birth to a version far different from that of the UPDF mouthpiece.
“They have detained me here in the military barracks in Mbuya. Tell the public that Kasirye Gwanga has been detained in Mbuya,” he said in a telephone conversation with Mr Dunstan Busulwa, a journalist with Top Radio on Tuesday night.
Gen Gwanga said his woes stemmed from his refusal to have military guards and misbehaviour of his son who has been misusing private guns.
“These people deployed a full pick up of soldiers from the military police and I told them I don’t want them because I am already retired from the army. These officers started misbehaving, roaming around the village and falling in love with married women which prompted me to return them back but I was then refused from leaving this place with my dog,” Gwanga said, while protesting his detention at Mbuya Military barracks.
Who is Gen Kasirye Gwanga?
Kasirye Gwanga is a retired UPDF Major General and was born in 1952, in Mubende District, to a father who was a hunter and farmer. He grew up in Mubende town which was dominated by Indians. He was a very clever young man who sold puppies to earn money for his education. However, also his parents helped him.
His Education journey begun at Katakala Primary School then went to Kibuli Secondary School for his O-Level education. When he finished Senior 4 in 1972, Gwanga joined the Uganda Army.
After finishing his initial training in the Uganda Army, he was posted to Arua in the West Nile sub-region to serve as a map reader up to 1977. He was later promoted to the position of artillery officer in 1978 and in the following year, he was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant.
When Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF) invaded Uganda in 1978, in April they captured Kampala and deposed Idi Amin. It’s that time that Kasirye Gwanga surrendered and was taken to Tanga, Tanzania, as a prisoner of war number 17341.
In June 1980, the President of that time Godfrey Binaisa negotiated with Tanzania and all Uganda’s political prisoners were returned, however upon their arrival, they were first housed at Maluku Prison in Mbale District.
Later, they were moved to Kirinya Prison, Jinja District, fortunately on 7 October 1981, the first batch was released and Kasirye Ggwanga was among those.
However, three months later after his release, Kasirye Gwanga was put on the wanted list following the attack of army barracks at Mengo Lubiri by the Uganda Freedom Army (UFA) rebels who were led by Andrew Kayiira. This was because the government in power at the time, led by Milton Obote of the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) mistakenly thought that the recently released prisoners (former Idi Amin soldiers) were involved in the attack.
As a way of attracting his attention, his elder brother, Lieutenant James Kasirye, who was a military pilot based at Nakasongola Military Air Base was arrested and tortured, then killed since he refused to identify where his brother Kasirye Gwanga was hiding.
While in hiding Kasirye Gwanga was working as a maize miller, however when his brother was killed, he vowed to avenge and came out from hiding. He joined the UFA rebels.
In 1985, Gwanga left UFA and joined National Resistance Army, (NRA) 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.
While at the rank of Brigadier, on 31 January 2005, Gwanga was retired from the UPDF, however, after three months he asked to be reinstated.
The UPDF top leadership allowed him to rejoin and renewable his contract for five years. In March 2018 he was promoted to Major General and it’s the same year he was retired.
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