Former court martial boss, Rwehururu dies

Brigadier Bernard Rwehururu. File photo

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When the 1979 anti-Amin war broke out, he was heading a military tribunal against economic sabotage in Busoga and eastern provinces.

Kampala- The former chairman of the General Court Martial, Brigadier Bernard Rwehururu, has died. Brig Rwehururu passed away on Thursday evening at his home in Jinja municipality. Family members said the Brigadier died of heart and diabetic complications he had battled for a long time.

He will be laid to rest at his country home in Rugarama, Ntungamo District, tomorrow. He is survived by a widow, Rosemary Rwehururu, and eight children.
Rwehururu joined military service in 1965 under the then Uganda Army upon completion of training in India.
He served under the Idi Amin’s regime. Rwehururu later authored a book, Cross to the Gun, which gives an insight into the Idi Amin regime.

When the 1979 anti-Amin war broke out, he was heading a military tribunal against economic sabotage in Busoga and eastern provinces.
Rwehururu was one of the few non-West Nile officers who supported President Amin against Tanzanian forces fighting alongside Kikosi Maalum, an anti-Amin group of Ugandan exiles who were leading the liberation front in 1979.

He stopped the Tanzanian advance forces around Ssembabule, with his battalion until his troops were finally defeated and fled to West Nile, Sudan and Zaire (now DRC).

He returned home in the late 1980s when the military overthrew Milton Obote. Later, when the NRA guerrillas overthrew Tito Okello Lutwa, he joined the army.

He served as Commandant of the Uganda Military Academy in Kabamba and as a Defence Attaché at the Uganda High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya. He retired from the army in November 2013.

The fallen brigadier is described as a member of the elite class of professional soldiers who have authored books about their experiences in military service and at war, trying to decipher what went wrong with the country’s political and military class.

In his book book, Cross to the Gun, Brig Rwehururu gave an eye witness account that shed light on the factors that contributed to the collapse of Amin regime.

Brig Rwehururu listed international isolation, nepotism, internal divisions and weakness in the Uganda Army top brass, corruption, ignorance, trickery, and brutality as factors that contributed to the downfall of Idi Amin’s regime in April 1979.

“A review of what happened revealed that we had not been defeated due to lack of military skills. We recognised the fact that some of our units and departments had shown a lot of commitment and given the war effort their best,” he wrote.

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