Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Kasirye Gwanga has breathed his last today morning (Tuesday, 9th June, 2020) at Nakasero Hospital where he has been receiving intensive treatment for the past few weeks.
The decorated military officer passed on at Nakasero Hospital at 9 O’clock following a series of hospitalization and deteriorating health. And it is revealed that he has been hospitalised at Nakasero Hospital for over a fortnight.
Gen. Gwanga was admitted at the UPDF Senior Officers Diagnostic Centre based in Mbuya in early April 2020. After 47 years of serving the Ugandan army, in 2018 Maj Gen Kasirye Gwanga 67, officially retired to concentrate on commercial farming. He owned two farms, one in Mukono District and another in Mityana District which he often referred to as Camp David I and II respectively.
When not anywhere in the media, Gen Gwanga lived a quiet life at his Mityana farm where he has built a two-bedroom retirement.
Gen Kasirye Gwanga shared his days in the army with pride.
“My life is dangerous; I joined the army in 1972 when I was just 20-years-old. The then-president Idi Amin Dada posted me in the West Nile. I was with Brigadier Gen Mark Kodili Ayiasi and by far, we were the youngest. In 1979 I was arrested in Tanzania,” he shared in an interview with Uganda daily, Daily Monitor
According to Mr Joseph Luzige, the chairman LC5 Mityana District, the entire district is currently mourning the death of the General.
”He cared a lot about the common person, worked on our roads and led by example. As a district we have lost a strong person like Kasirye Ggwanga,” he said.
Luzige adds that Kasirye Ggwanga was born a hero and he lived a life of a hero.
Luzige reveals that the members of his family are very sad and are beginning to gather at his residence. At his farm in Manyi sub county, people are already gathering to pay their last respect to him.
After 47 years of serving the Ugandan army, in 2018 Maj Gen Kasirye Gwanga officially retired to concentrate on commercial farming and was commonly known for fighting against deforestation.
Here is what you need to know about Gen. Kasirye Gwanga.
Gwanga was born in 1952,in Mubende District, to a father who was a hunter and farmer. Kasirye Ggwanga learned both skills and is still good at both. He attended Katakala Primary School, then he studied at Kibuli Secondary School for his O-Level education. After finishing Senior 4, he joined the Uganda Army in 1972.
Following boot camp and initial training, kasirye Gwanga was posted to Arua in the West Nile sub-region, as a map reader, serving in that capacity until 1977. In 1978, he was promoted to the position of artillery officer.
In 1978, the Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF) invaded Uganda. In 1979 they captured Kampala and deposed Idi Amin. Kasirye Ggwanga surrendered and was taken to Tanga, Tanzania, as a prisoner of war number 17341.
In June 1980, president Godfrey Binaisa negotiated the return of the political prisoners to Uganda. They were first housed at Maluku Prison in Mbale District. Later, they were moved to Kirinya Prison, Jinja District. On 7 October 1981, Kasirye Ggwanga was in the first batch to be released.
Three months after Kasirye Ggwanga’s release, the Uganda Freedom Army (UFA) rebels led by Andrew Kayiira attacked the army barracks at Mengo Lubiri in Kampala.
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. Kasirye Ggwanga was placed on the “wanted list”. He went underground. His elder brother, Lieutenant James Kasirye, a military pilot then based at Nakasongola Military Air Base was arrested and tortured, then killed when he refused to identify where his brother Kasirye Gwanga was hiding.
To avenge the killing of his brother, Kasirye Ggwanga joined the UFA rebels, then about 650 in number. This group operated in the Mawokota and Mubende areas in Buganda. In 1985, he left UFA and joined Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Army, 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. On 31 January 2005, he was retired from the UPDF at the rank of brigadier. However, after three months on the outside he came back to the military and asked to be re-instated. The UPDF commander-in-chief allowed him to rejoin on a renewable contract of five years.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.