A number of retired Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) officers under veterans and local leaders from Kiruhura district have endorsed President Yoweri Museveni as the sole candidate for the 2026 presidential elections.
They included rtd Maj. Gen. Steven Kashaka, Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Burundi, Brig. Charles Rutarago, Brig. Sam Bishuba, and Brig. Sam Mwesigwa.
Others were Col Charles Barijja, Brig. Francis Kashaka and other UPDF veterans who served in the 1986 guerrilla war.
The move to endorse President Museveni as the sole candidate for 2026 polls was raised by Philip Kamugungunu, the founding LCV chairman for Kirihura district, at a ceremony that was organised by Kiruhura Young Revolutionary Cadres where they were awarding individuals that have contributed to the growth and development of the district.
Friday’s function at Canon Buningiire Guest House in Rushere Town Council, Kiruhura district, was presided over by Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, the Minister of Internal Affairs.
“Uganda is lucky that we got a visionary leader who had made this country stabilise. I don’t think we can get any other leaders that can steward good leadership like Museveni, so I want us to leave this place when we have made a decision of endorsing him for the 2026 general elections as our presidential candidate,” Kamugungunu proposed.
Brig. Sam Bishuba signing the portrait. Photo by Adolf Ayoreka
This was unanimously supported by retired generals, veterans, local leaders and the youth but Otafiire further tasked them to append their signatures on a portrait of the President as a sign of committing themselves to the call.
“Kamugungunu moved a motion and I want you to append your signatures on this portrait (Museveni) so that when I talk to him, I inform him (Museveni) about your decision with evidence,” stated Otafiire.
After appending their signatures, Otafiire said when the NRA launched the guerrilla war, they did not go there to fight for juicy positions in government but rather to secure the country.
“Stop mixing leadership with securing the country. There is a line-up of things that we agreed to work on for the betterment of this country but the problem is some of you are becoming like stumbling blocks, you have the excitement that you want to be president, how?” asked Otafiire.
Adding that a good leader provides good leadership that tackles people’s problems and transforms their lives from where they are to another level.
“Tell those children of mine, that the road they want to drive through at high speed has so many corners and they will knock. What has made this country reach this far is because we have been slow but sure,” he added.
“The problem is that when these children take over now with this excitement, they will roll us down and the country might go back where we found it. Leading a country is not about jokes because you have much following on social media. I want to tell you people of Kiruhura that we still have Museveni, don’t be excited over new faces,” he said.
Otafiire said he is pretty sure that he can no longer pick up a gun and fight, but that he can speak and people listen.
“We also know them but we know you don’t know them. Be careful, whatever you have gone through, we know, but you don’t know what we have gone through. Wait for your time please,” he added.
Maj. Gen. Steven Kashaka described President Museveni as a parent who forgives whoever tries to stray off the main track.
“If it was not for President Museveni, we would not be here because we were big-headed, including Otafiire, right away from FRONASA to PRA before NRA but, Museveni has proved to us that he is a uniting leader and we shall give him support,” he said.
Jovanice Rwenduuru, the woman MP for Kiruhura district, said any good leader that has contributed positively to the development of their community at whatever level, should be recognised and awarded.
“We are in leadership but there are those people that started leadership in Kiruhura and they gave us a good foundation including President Museveni so we cannot forget you. That is why we have decided to endorse President Museveni to keep the steering of our bus tight,” said Rwenduuru.