The Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, Gen Yoweri Museveni has promoted Col Octavius Butuuro to the rank of Brigadier and appointed him the General Manager of Luwero Industries Ltd, Chimp Corps report.
Considered among the finest military intelligence experts in Uganda, Col Butuuro replaces Major General James Mugira who in 2015 after revamping Luwero Industries was given extra responsibility and appointed Managing Director National Enterprises Corporation (NEC), the business arm of the Ministry of Defence/UPDF under which Luwero Industries falls.
Army spokesperson Brigadier Richard Karemire told ChimpReports on Thursday afternoon that “Gen Mugira could therefore not hold two positions as MD for both the holding company and its subsidiary.”
Brigadier Butuuro has in the past served in senior positions as Deputy Chief Military Intelligence, Uganda Defence Advisor in Rwanda and lately Defence Attaché in the Republic of the Sudan in Khartoum.
In Kigali, Butuuro worked closely with Amb Richard Kabonero to boost Uganda’s military ties with Rwanda.
In 2012, Museveni decided to revamp the Luwero Industries involved in manufacture of classified defence equipment.
Like any defence industries worldwide, Museveni told his military advisors that this was a strategic facility.
From a national security perspective and to ensure appropriate sovereignty each country needs such capacity for self reliance, officials told ChimpReports, research and development into new weapon systems to address emerging threats and to guard against threats.
These include sanctions, arms embargoes against the regime or even effects of instability from neighbours such as Kenya considering that Uganda is a land locked country.
Military officials told us the geopolitical position of the country is an essential point considering that in case war broke out leading to the destruction of infrastructure along Jinja highway, Uganda would pay through the nose to receive military supplies by air.
Museveni found it paramount to appoint trusted military chiefs to oversee manufacture of modern weapons at the Luwero industries.
The military facility has since been selected by the East African Community under the Defence Cooperation as one of the facilities to be shared by the region hence the need to be upgraded to modern standards.
Brig Karemire said the appointment of Col Butuuro “now provides Gen Mugira with time to deal with strategic planning and also supervise six subsidiaries and joint ventures that fall under NEC.”
It may be recalled that Gen Mugira took over from Ms Jacqueline Mbabazi in January 2012 after a 3-year tenure as CMI boss.
“Gen Mugira moved Luwero Industries to a high level of being chosen as one of the centres of excellence for the EAC Defence Industries and also initiated the construction of the only strategic industry in the region for production of civil explosives,” said Karemire.
Luwero Industries is the only manufacturer of commercial emulsion explosives in the East and Central African region.
The products are expected to improve the financial base of Luwero Industries and reduce or stop its reliance on the National treasury.
The installation produces small ammunitions for use by Uganda security agencies, tools and spare parts for weapons and does metal fabrication production.
It also repairs, fabricates and upgrades Infantry fighting vehicles, upgrades AK 47 riffles and repairs weapons of all calibers.