On Monday night, President Yoweri Museveni reshuffled top UPDF commanders including Gen Katumba Wamala who was dropped from the post of Chief of Defence Forces and appointed as state minister for works.
Some analysts have interpreted the move as a demotion for a man who has previously served as Commander of Land Forces, and was the first active UPDF officer to be appointed Inspector General of Police.
However, UPDF Spokesperson, Lt.Col. Paddy Ankunda ha described Wamala’s secondment to government as a big promotion because his new posting as government minister widens his scope of responsibilities beyond the army.
In the reshuffle, the President also appointed the Commander of Land Forces Maj Gen David Muhoozi to replace Katumba Wamala, Major Gen Wilson Mbadi who has been the UPDF Joint Chief of Staff to deputise David Muhoozi.
Some analysts have suggested the new breed of military officers have been favoured in promotions over the old. But Ankunda says its a good mix that is going to do a good job.
The President’s son Maj Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba who has been a commander of Special Forces was also give a new post of Senior Presidential adviser for Special operations.
However its not clear whether General Katumba Wamala will resign from the army before being approved by the Parliamentary Appointments committee as minister. Article 208 sub section 2 bars serving army officers from participating in partisan politics.
In the 9th Parliament, the late Gen Aronda Nyakairima did not resign when appointed to Internal Affairs ministry despite MPs’ demands for him to do so.