Officially promoted and retired last June, Maj Gen Wasswa Kasirye Gwanga has said he is not so happy with the Shs 600m sendoff paycheck.
He said Shs 600m is way too little for his rank and years of service. Speaking in a recent interview, Kasirye Gwanga said he will ask the president and commander-in-chief Yoweri Museveni for more cash.
“In normal circumstances our country’s economy is bad but when you hear other government officers who did not shed blood stealing billions of shillings and remain untouched, you cannot get content with just millions…I joined the army during Idi Amin’s time [in the 1970s] and for 46 years when you talk of Shs 600m as you claim, it is just peanuts, I will ask for more,” Kasirye Gwanga said.
According to a Daily Monitor report last month, the president ordered the army leadership to give every retiring general a house, gratuity and let them retain their official vehicles and three escorts. The retirees included six major generals and five brigadier generals.
The major generals include; Ali Kiiza (former chief presidential pilot); Joshua Masaba (presidential adviser on Air Force matters), Kasirye Gwanga (presidential adviser on Security in central region), Hussein Adda (former commandant of Army General Headquarters Bombo), James Ssebaggala and John Mateeka.
Brigadier generals are Jacob Musajjawaza, Yowasi Kiiza, Stephen Othieno, Olanya Ojara and Mark Kodili Ayiasi. At the State House Entebbe send-off of the generals last June, the president urged the army leadership to help the retiring officers lead a good life.
The army reportedly gave each general Shs 250m to build a house and Shs 400m as gratuity. Interviewed then, Maj Gen Gwanga, who was promoted on retirement, confirmed he had received his package.
“I received my package and I am using it very well. I am sure even if the president comes here and sees what I am using the package for, he will be very happy and will give me more,” he told Daily Monitor by telephone from his farm in Mukono district.
Maj Gen Gwanga, who retired after 46 years of military service, said he is using his package to grow organic crops because Ugandan crops are being denied entry into the European market for using herbicides.
Kasirye is an American-trained tank expert who says he joined the army in the early 1970s. He was once detained in Tanzania after the overthrow of Amin’s government in 1979. He said he joined the late Dr Andrew Kayiira and later joined President Museveni’s rebel NRA in 1983.
During a tour of his 200-acre country home and farm he fondly calls Camp David in Mukono (referencing the American presidents’ retreat in the USA), the general also revealed that he has spoken to Kyaddondo East MP Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine, a fast-rising probable challenger in 2021 to President Museveni’s firm grip on power.