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Who is Gen. Katumba Wamala? Full profile and biography of Works Minister and UPDF General

Works Minister and UPDF General Katumba Wamala survived death in assassination attempt on June 1, 2021 (File Photo)

Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala, more commonly known as Katumba Wamala, is a four-star general in the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) who serves as Minister of Works and Transport in the Ugandan cabinet, since 14 December 2019.

Before that, from 17 January 2017 until 14 December 2019, Katumba Wamala served as Minister of State for Works in the Ugandan cabinet. He also previously served as the chief of defense forces of Uganda, the highest military rank in the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF), from 2013 until 2017.

Wamala was the commander of land forces in the UPDF from 2005 to 2013. He also served as the inspector general of police (IGP) of the Uganda Police Force (UPF), the highest rank in that branch of Uganda’s government, from 2001 until 2005. He was the first active UPDF soldier to serve as the head of the UPF.

Background & Education

Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala was born on 19 November 1956 in Bweeza, Kalangala District, Ssese Islands. Katumba holds a certificate in agriculture. In 2007, he graduated from Nkumba University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations and diplomacy.

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He also holds a Master’s degree of Science degree in strategic leadership from the United States Army War College. He has military qualifications from the following military schools: Uganda Military Academy, Tanzania Military Academy, a military academy in the Soviet Union, Nigerian Command and Staff College, United States Army Command and General Staff College, and United States Army War College.


Gen. Katumba Wamala was an officer in the Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA) when the National Resistance Army (NRA) defeated the UNLA in 1986. He transitioned into the NRA without incident.

Between 1999 and 2000, he was a student at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Between 2000 and 2001, at the rank of major general, he commanded the UPDF forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was appointed IGP in 2001, serving in that capacity until 2005. He was then promoted to lieutenant general and given the title of commander of land forces, based at Bombo Military Barracks, making him one of the highest senior officers in the Ugandan military. In his role as commander of the land forces, he was closely engaged in the peace-keeping mission that the UPDF performs in Somalia, commonly referred to as AMISOM. On 23 May 2013, he was promoted to the rank of four-star general and appointed chief of defence forces.

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Wamala survived an assassination attempt near his home on 1stJune 2021. His driver and daughter were reported dead in the aftermath of the attack. Watch the Video below

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