The army promotions that saw over 2,031 UPDF officers elevated in ranks have sparked off debate with critics questioning the legitimacy of the ranks that were ascribed to some officers.
This promotion has been described as one of the most powerful and influential promotion UPDF has seen under President Museveni.
Yet the continued rise of the young turks led by the First Son Muhoozi Kainerugaba, has attracted scrutiny.
Muhoozi was promoted to Lieutenant General, a rank below his father. Other young officers that were promoted are: Sabiiti Muzeeyi (to Maj Gen) and Don Nabaasa, the commander of SFC who was elevated to Maj. Gen.
The opposition Chief Whip Ssemujju Nganda said the elevation of some of the young turks in quick succession flouted the UPDF Act.
He said people like Nabaasa had risen through three ranks in a period of three years, which to him contradicts the UPDF Act.
“When Don Nabaasa came to beat us up in parliament, he was promoted from colonel to brigadier. After the beating in just slightly over a year he is a Major General. What is that? These ranks are illegal”, Ssemujju said.
Some of the considerations made while promoting an officer under the Act are: length of service and where applicable age, training or courses done , results of promotional exams by the defence forces council, character, discipline, performance and experience.
Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo disagreed with Ssemujju’s analysis.
“When I look at some of these politicians, I wonder why they do not read. Their job is just to criticise anything. For example look at [Lt Gen Peter] Elwelu whom they say he has gone through supersonic promotions. He has been in the army for 31 years. He joined during the first intake”, Opondo argued.
Ssemujju argued that the promotions are intended to prepare President Museveni’s long stay in power.
“His children, those who joined in the early 1990’s have now fully taken charge.You no longer have the old people in charge of anything. See Gen Joram Mugume in charge of land reporting to a director; a lower office, Gen Pecos Kutesa – in charge of nothing Gen Ivan Koreta – in charge of nothing, Lt Gen Nalweyiso – in charge of nothing”, Ssemujju said.
Ofwono said the army had not kept Museveni in power forcefully.
“President Museveni has kept in power because of the great infrastructure of the NRM party and the people who vote him back,” Opondo explained.