From selling puppies to raise tuition, Maj Gen Gwanga rose to military & political fame.


By Patricia Turyahebwa

It is a strange but true morning after the country was wrecked by the sudden sad news of the death of one Major Gen Kasirye Gwanga at Nakasero hospital where he was under the intensive care unit.

In April 2020, Maj Gen Kasirye Gwanga’s health became complicated and was hospitalized at Mbuya which caused public attentions alleging that he was under military detention.

Brig. Richard Karemire, the UPDF spokesperson, refuted the allegations stressing that  Gen Gwanga was admitted to the UPDF Senior Officers Diagnostic Centre at army headquarters in Mbuya, Kampala.

Gen Ggwanga was re-admitted at Nakaseero Hospital late May after developing more complications with his life. Its here that he has met his death today June 9th, 2020.

Who is Gen Kasirye Gwanga?

Kasirye wanga is a retired UPDF Major General and was born in 1952, in Mubende District, to a father who was a hunter and farmer. He also known as William Wasswa Kasirye Gwanga a twin to deceased to Nakato Kasirye.

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 H.E Godfrey L 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.

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.

About his health.

In April

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