Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba has started work as the new Commandant of the Special Forces Command.
Muhoozi took over from Maj Gen James Birungi this December 21 at a ceremony held at SFC headquarters in Entebbe.
Muhoozi urged his soldiers to jealously guard the ideals of the SFC without fear.
The Mission of SFC is to develop and operate a powerful and versatile special operations force that is situated within the unique Ugandan way of war and is responsive to the requirements of the UPDF and the nation.
What was originally the National Resistance Army (NRA’s) High Command Unit escort force, then later, Presidential Protection Unit, Presidential Guard Brigade and now the Special Forces Command has, over the course of many years, graduated from a V.I.P. Protection Force into a crucial component of the strategic defence structure of the country alongside the Reserve Forces Command.
Gen Kainerugaba who also retains his role as the Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations was recently redeployed in the recent changes announced by President Yoweri Museveni who is also the Commander-in-Chief (CiC) of the Ugandan armed forces.
In his acceptance speech, Gen Kainerugaba thanked the president for entrusting him with another opportunity to lead the SFC which he said he has been close to for about 35 years.
The new SFC commander also thanked the Chief of Defense Forces (CDF) Gen David Muhoozi for making time to preside over the Hand Over-Take Over (HOTO) ceremony that happened at the newly commissioned SFC Headquarters in Entebbe.
Gen Kainerugaba congratulated the outgoing SFC commander Maj Gen James Birungi for a job well done.
He noted that Maj Gen Birungi executed his tasks with distinction, urging him to keep it up in all his future assignments.
Gen Kainerugaba receives the instruments of power from Maj Gen Birungi
Gen Kainerugaba told the senior UPDF officers present that the SFC has grown and continues to achieve great things with distinction.
“I want to tell you all officers today that we are going to continue achieving great things. We are not going to let down our great predecessors and the great name of SFC,” said Gen Muhoozi.
He used the platform to assure the CDF that during this “electioneering season, the SFC will play its full role in providing security for our people. We have done it in the past and we are going to do it again.”
Commenting about the Covid-19 situation in the country, Gen Muhoozi said that “it is not the first time we are dealing with diseases, it won’t stop us from doing our work. The security forces working together will perform their historical responsibility and ensure our citizens vote peacefully and go about their day to day lives without any disturbances.”
Speaking at the HOTO, the Chief of Defense Forces congratulated Gen Kainerugaba for catching the eye of the president who reappointed him.
CDF Gen David Muhoozi commended the new SFC commander for establishing a strong foundation for the elite force, saying that Gen Kainerugaba midwifed the SFC, left it to do other things and the formation continued to grow.
“The test of his investment in this is that he left and it stood on its own. That is the test of the durability of an idea. He started it, he grew it and then other people took it up and here we are—it’s one of the exemplar of how well public institutions should be managed,” the CDF noted.
The CDF, Gen David Muhoozi acknowledges the SFC commander’s salute.
During his initial seven-year tour of duty as the SFC commander, Gen Kainerugaba was hailed for championing a number of training initiatives aimed at equipping soldiers with skills as well as establishing infrastructural projects for the welfare of his soldiers among others.
One of the projects started by Gen Kainerugaba is the new headquarters of the Special Forces Command.
During its commissioning recently, the president commended the SFC leadership for frugal spending. The new magnificent building is named the General Yoweri Museveni House.
Lt Gen Kainerugaba replaces Maj Gen James Birungi who has been SFC commander since June 2019 when he was appointed to replace Maj Gen Don Nabasa. Maj Gen Nabasa had, in 2017, taken over from Lt Gen Kainerugaba.
As the CiC, the President has the power to appoint or designate any military officer to any command positions any time without giving reasons for the choices.
However, the president’s radio message in which he announced the changes carried a warning.
“I congratulate the UPDF for defeating the insurrection that the traitors, with their foreign backers, attempted to stage a few weeks ago,” he said, in reference to the November 18 and 19 protests over the arrest of presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine.
The President added: “The police force must be made to do its duty of defending Ugandans from lawlessness, threat to life and property. Any police person that does not do this must leave the police. There are thousands ready to replace them.”