The newly appointed Deputy Chief of Defence Forces, Lt Gen Peter Elwelu has applauded President Museveni for having faith in him and his abilities to execute the various tasks given to him.
President Museveni, who is also the commander in chief of the armed forces last week made sweeping changes in the UPDF in which he appointed Gen Elwelu as the new Deputy Chief of Defence Forces to replace Gen Wilson Mbadi who was elevated to the top position of the Chief of Defence Forces.
Speaking at the function to assume his new office at the Ministry of Defence headquarters in Mbuya on Tuesday, Elwelu was full of praises to Museveni.
“I want to give thanks to my president and commander in chief for the trust he has always put in me. Even when the world has rejected me, he has never. He has always stayed on the path of truth. For he has nothing in him but the spirit of truth,”Elwelu said on Tuesday.
Gen Elwelu’s name has on several occasions made headlines not for just his statements but also the assignments he has handled.
As the second division commander, in November 2016, Elwelu commanded the UPDF troops that overran Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere’s palace in Kasese, leaving more than 100 people dead.
He has since been criticized over the attack and the comments he made following the incident.
The attack saw opposition politicians start a movement to petition the International Criminal Court over crimes against humanity committed during the attack.
Consequently, President Museveni and Lt Gen Elwelu were dragged to the ICC but the court said the clashes in Kasese didn’t amount to crimes against humanity or genocide and subsequently declined to prefer charges against the duo.
Elwelu is among the security commanders recently sanctioned by the US over their alleged involvement in human rights abuses in Uganda.
However, despite being in the spotlight, Elwelu has on several occasions insisted that he is not bothered by what is said of him.
The UPDF general recently said he is unapologetic for the Kasese attack, adding that “the criminals” deserved what they got.
“Those were criminals, I didn’t kill anybody else. They deserved to die because I was on the ground and you were not on the ground, that’s the problem. Even ICC set me free and said you have no case to answer, so what are you talking about? I know I’m a judge of my own during my work, I understand and that is what I do, I know what I do that’s why I have no problems here,” Gen Elwelu told journalists at parliament last month.
He insisted that Kasese is now peaceful because of his judgment.
Speaking about sanctions by the US, Gen Elwelu said he is not dying to go to Europe, adding that he will enjoy Uganda.
Since the 2016 Kasese incident, Elwelu has twice been promoted from the rank for Brigadier to rise to Lieutenant General, the second-highest rank in the Ugandan army.
He has also been elevated from being a division commander to the commander Land Forces in the UPDF and now the Deputy Chief of Defence Forces, the second-highest office in the Ugandan military set up.
These deployments show the trust that President Museveni has in Lt Gen Peter Elwelu.