Maj. Gen Kasirye gwanga who breathed his last at Nakasero Hospital this morning where he was admitted last month on 18th, is remembered for so many this he has done in his 68 years.
Kasirye Gwanga born 1st January 1952–9 June 2020 in Mubende has been highly respected for environmental protection.
Kasirye Gwanga joined the Uganda Army in 1972 aged 20 and has served in the army all his life.
Following the initial training, he 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 and the following year, he was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant.In 1978, the Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF) invaded Uganda. In April 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. And this forced him to go underground.
Lieutenant James Kasirye who was then the elder brother to Maj. General Kasirye Gwanga, 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. 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. When the NRA moved to take over 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.
In March 2018, Kasirye Ggwanga was promoted from the rank of Brigadier to that of Major General, in a promotions exercise involving 1,384 men and women of the UPDF. He was also officially retired from the Uganda military at the same time. Ever since his retirement Kasirye became an environmental activist. On many ocassions, He has been engaging top officials against the destruction of forests.
He is also remembered for burning a grader which he found at his daughter’s land in Lubowa on Entebbe Road.
Last year on 26 August, he shot two trucks which where carrying timber, in his words he said that he cannot allow anyone to play with the environment.
He is also remembered for shooting two bullets on singer Catherine Kusasira’s car on 30th January 2019
On 6th April 2020, at around 14:00 Kasirye was picked from his home and taken to Mbuya military barracks where he was detained, Kasirye himself said he was being unlawful held for refusing military escorts but the army spokesman Brigadier Richard Karemire denied that Kasirye was under arrest, he said Kasirye was in Mbuya for medical attention. His condition deteriorated while in Mbuya and he was transferred to Nakasero Hospital where he breathed his last today morning.
We at Fremer Media we celebrate Maj. General Kasirye Gwanga’s life. Rest in peace to you a strong hearted hero of Uganda.