It took just 12 months and studies at the National Defence College – India for a probe into the botched arms deal involving Brig Leopold Kyanda and a Polish firm to be swept under the carpet and have the Commander-in-Chief of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), President Yoweri Museveni reappoint ‘favourite son’ Kyanda as Chief of Staff Land Forces.
Brig Kyanda had on December, 20, 2016 replaced by an officer of the same rank, Brig Geoffrey Katsigazi who has been in the position as a caretaker.
Brig. Kyanda was seen as a rising star in Uganda’s army and has been close to the first family.
But the 2016 change came amid a probe into a shady procurement deal of military hardware in which Brigadier Kyanda was named. But the UPDF has dismissed any connection of Brigadier Kyanda’s replacement with the deal.
Sources in security circles had intimated that Gen. Museveni was very angry after Kyanda was named in a probe into the botched arms deal involving a Polish firm. The arms dealers accused a private businessman and army officers of defrauding them of Shs2 billion. The findings were not made public and no arrests were effected within the army.
However, this was not the first time that Brigadier Kyanda was accused of facilitating a crime. In 2008, he was implicated in an illicit drugs scandal.
Imminent mission to execute in DR Congo?
Brig. Kyanda’s reappointment has been announced on the same afternoon when Uganda forces attacked camps of the Islamist rebel group known as Allied democratic forces in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to the UPDF spokesperson Brigadier Richard Karemire ”shared intelligence between Uganda and the DRC, confirmed that the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) terrorists who recently carried out attack on UN peacekeepers under MONUSCO, were planning to conduct hostile activities against Uganda”
Brig. Kyanda now returns to his post as CIC Gen. Museveni and Army Commander Gen. David Muhoozi’s the principal military adviser and will typically be the highest-ranking officer on active-duty especially on the new ADF onslaught in the Congo jungles.
Also in the appointments released by the UPDF on Thursday which take immediate effect, Brig Kayanja Muhanga has been posted to the Western Uganda axis as Second Division Commander, previously posted in Somalia where he was Commander of Uganda’s AMISOM Contingent.
He now leads the division, which according to afdevinfo.com, includes the divisional headquarters at Mbarara; the 17th, 69th, 73rd, and 77th battalions; the Rwenzori Mountain Alpine Brigade; possibly another Alpine brigade; and the 3rd Tank Battalion. The division has been heavily involved with border operations since the Congo Civil War began in the 1990s.