President Museveni has commended the fallen Deputy Inspector General Police Lt. Gen. Paul Lokech for breaking the back of the Al-Shabab in Somalia.
Lokech, who died on August 21 due to a blood clot was laid to rest at his ancestral home in Pader yesterday.
In his letter read by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafire, the president said it was because of Lokech that Al-Shabab was defeated.
The president said that the UPDF, under his command, made a historic contribution to peace in Africa when they defeated Al-Shabaab in Mogadishu.
“Remember that we had gone to Mogadishu not to fight but simply do peace-keeping by guarding the Sea-Port, Air-port and State House,” he said.
“It is the bankruptcy of Al-Shabaab that forced us to go on the offensive and flush out the terrorists out of the areas of: Wanaha Road, Red Mosque, Bakara market, Mogadishu stadium, Mogadishu University, etc.”
He explained that Lokech and his colleagues were ready for the job and that is how he apparently got the praise name of the “Lion of Mogadishu”.
“I was not aware of that [his nickname] until after his death. However, what I was aware of was that Lokech was one of the good commanders that had performed well in the battles against Al-Shabaab in Somalia,” he noted.
Museveni also posthumously promoted Lokech to the rank of Lieutenant-General.
“I have heard some civilians getting out of their Lubimbi (Katara- area of responsibility) proposing that he be promoted to full General. I would like to educate our citizens that the army is like the church which the civilians know more about. You cannot appoint a reverend a bishop unless there is a diocese that needs a bishop, even if the reverend is very good,” he said .
Museveni stated that the ranks in the army go with the levels of training and performance.
“Having been, lately, Deputy Inspector General of Police, the rank of Lieutenant -General is the appropriate one,” he noted.
He further said some of the criminals that have been attacking people in Masaka with machetes have been arrested.