Behind The Sword That Broke Gen Aronda’s Back

order capsule geneva;”>“Throughout Africa, pills violence, corruption, and extremism pose challenges to US interests in 2013. African countries are vulnerable to political crises, democratic backsliding, and natural disasters,” the US intelligence community worldwide threat assessment statement read in part.

“The region endures the chronic pressures of weak governance, ethnic cleavages, and active rebel groups. US Government-sponsored modeling suggests that Burundi, Congo (Kinshasa), and Uganda are all at risk of violent instability during the next year.”

Knowledgeable officials say unlike other sources of information, intelligence from Israel, United States and UK is always given first priority in containing national threats.

The report, which came against the backdrop of an attack at Mbuya Military Garrison by army deserters, was pointing to a possible internal rebellion in Uganda in 2014.

The Mbuya attack exposed total collapse of military intelligence and also confirmed the presence of desperate and undetected armed militants in the Kampala – the country’s city.

You will recall that following the Mbuya attack, several suspected rebels were picked from neighbouring areas of Kinawataka, Kireka and Nakawa where it is believed the ADF and army deserters had formed cells.

Interestingly, all these suburbs surround the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence facility, Mbuya Barracks and Ministry of Defence and other strategic installations.

While the army contends that the attack flopped, with the assailants being taken down before laying their hands on the tightly-guarded armory, the incident did not only embarrass Aronda but further marked the beginning of the end of his reign.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that while Museveni could have dropped Aronda due to poor leadership that has resulted in embarrassing military incidents; his appointment at the Ministry of Internal Affairs should be taken seriously. Why?

This means that unlike in the past when the ministry was in the hands of civilians such as Hilary Onek and Ruhakana Rugunda, this way round, it’s a full military General in charge.

Aronda now joins Police Chief Lt Gen Kale Kayihura to crackdown on internal dissent and block any plans by anti-government forces to overrun the country.

The Police Force falls directly under the Internal Affairs docket.


Born in 1959, in Rukungiri District, Aronda will also use his docket to run intelligence operations against thousands of army deserters who left during his reign as CDF.

The army recently publicized the names of 400 army deserters who had fled UPDF. It is widely believed some of the deserters are behind the string of recent gun-related murders in the country.

Security fears the deserters could be easily mobilized into a rebellion against government.

All these incidents piled insurmountable pressure on Aronda.


Sources further said Aronda’s reign was also negatively impacted by the crashing of UPDF military choppers in Mt Kenya last year.

Aronda was photographed waving at pilots of the helicopters at Entebbe Military base as they rolled for a dangerous military operation in Somalia.

The function was open to the media, which many believe jeopardized the security of the mission.

Tinyefuza Saga

This investigative website understands that Aronda’s days as army commander were numbered when it emerged that controversial Coordinator of Intelligence Organs Gen David Sejusa (Tinyefuza) had fled the country before leaking a letter that hinted on planned assassinations of military officers.

Aronda was accused of not “taking note” of Sejusa’s intentions early enough. Sejusa even successfully facilitated the escape of his family to London. By not swinging into action to prevent Sejusa from being a thorn in government’s flesh, Aronda was suspected of being in the same boat or sympathetic to the renegade General’s plight.

After all, Sejusa’s leaked letter showed that Aronda was among those targeted for assassination for opposing the idea of Brig Kainerugaba Muhoozi succeeding his father, President Museveni.


While recent developments in security could have expedited Aronda’s fall, it goes without saying that Aronda was one of the most successful army commanders this country has ever seen.

Some of his successes include the pacification of Karamoja with the help of departed 2nd Division Commander, Brig Patrick Kankiriho thus creating a foundation for agricultural development, economic emancipation and transformation.

Aronda is also renowned for the combat operations against rebel LRA leader, Joseph Kony codenamed Operation Iron Fist. Kony and his bandits later fled to Garamba where they were pursued by UPDF and pushed to Central African Republic.

Aronda is also famous for the having coordinated operations that kicked ADF rebels and their commanders from western Uganda.

In this mission, Aronda was assisted by departed former army commander Maj Gen James Kazini (Alpine Brigade), Brig Geoffrey Muheesi (former Ambassador to India), Brig Kankiriho and former military intelligence bosses Col Noble Mayombo and Brig James Mugira.

The pacification of Somalia, especially Mogadishu is also a credit for Aronda considering he was influential in the drafting of war plans which were implemented by Land Forces and the Airforce.

The defeated Al Qaeda sponsored Al Shabaab elements have since been sent into disarray thus creating room for the new Somalia government under Sheikh Hassan Mohamud.


Nevertheless, Aronda will be haunted by allegations of human rights abuses during operation iron fist in Northern Uganda. The army denies any scorched earth policy in operations against Kony’s elements.

He was also accused of commanding military operations during the September 2009 Kayunga riots in which dozens of civilians were killed, with opposition threatening to drag him to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Aronda is also on record for having confirmed that the army had the ability and willingness to take over Parliament if the MPs continued exhibiting lack of seriousness.

Activists and politicians accused Aronda of masterminding a coup against democracy.

What Aronda will miss

Aronda will miss any future confrontations with ADF should they attack through western Uganda.

Intelligence reports show that the rebels have actually built enough capacity to destabilize western parts of Uganda. They have artillery pieces and have been recruiting heavily to strengthen their force though the army insists ADF is no longer a nation security threat.

Aronda failed to capture ADF leader Jamil Mukulu who has been travelling across East Africa.

Mukulu has also been training with his combatants in the DRC jungles and traveling from Nairobi to London using different passports. Recently, Kenyan forces stormed his house in Nairobi but the elusive rebel leader had already escaped.

He was trained by killed Al Qaeda boss Osama Bin Laden and tutored by Sheikhs with extremist ideas.


Aronda attended Kitgum High School in Kitgum District. He joined Makerere University in 1978, graduating in 1981, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in political science.

He attended the Basic Officers Course in 1989, after the NRA had captured power in Kampala, Uganda’s capital city.

Aronda later attended a course in Strategic Studies at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, USA. He also has further military qualifications from the Egyptian Military Academy in Cairo.

Military career

He joined the National Resistance Army in 1982, soon after leaving Makerere. After the NRA captured power, he worked as an intelligence officer in the Ugandan military.

He later was appointed Assistant Director in the Directorate of Military Intelligence in the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF). He was then transferred to the Presidential Protection Unit as an Intelligence Officer.

From there, he served as the Commanding Officer of the Armored Brigade before his appointment as Commander of the UPDF in 2003. He has represented the UPDF in the Ugandan Parliament since 1996.

In October 2010, General Aronda was inducted into the International Hall of Fame at the Lewis and Clark Centre at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, United States of America, for attaining the highest position in the military of his country.

Nyakairima, a 1993 graduate of Fort Leavenworth, was inducted together with General Eui Don Wang of South Korea, a 1986 graduate of the command college, and Major General Richard Rhys Jones of New Zealand, a 1992 graduate.


Header advertisement
To Top