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Who is Brig Gen. Felix Kulaigye? Profile & Biography of new Defence Spokesperson

In 2005, Kulayigye, whose name means “grow up and learn”, was appointed deputy spokesman, before taking over as UPDF/ Ministry of Defence Spokesman in November the same year.

Brig. Gen Felix Kulaigye, the new UPDF Spokesperson (Photo/Juliet Kasirye/NewVision)

KAMPALA, UGANDA: Brig. Gen. Felix Kulaigye has been re-appointed the substantive defence and army spokesperson, the Chief of the Defence Forces announced.

Kulayigye who once served as Defence and Army Spokesperson between 2005 and 2013, replaces Brig Gen Flavia Byekwaso in the appointment that takes immediate effect.

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Byekwaso who has been the army spokesperson handed over office to Lt. Col Ronald Kakurungu her deputy to attend a one-year military training course at the newly established National Defence College in Jinja.

“Brig Gen Felix Kulayigye has been appointed Defence Spokesperson, replacing Brig Gen Flavia Byekwaso currently attending National Defence College Uganda. We welcome back Gen Kulayigye to the Office of Defence Spokesperson,” Lt Col Kakurungu said on Friday morning.

Profile & Biography of Brig. Gen Felix Kulayigye?

Born in 1964, to Fredrick Semichacha and Regina Abagirinka in Gayaza Village in Masaka, Felix Kulayigye is the last-born in a family of nine siblings.

Kulaigye sat his PLE at St. Herman Nkoni Boys’ Primary School in Masaka and later joined Kabalega Secondary School for O-Level and Kololo High School for A-Level.
He then joined Makerere University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Master of Arts in Economic Policy and Planning during his study times at Makerere hill.

He joined the army in 1989 after completing his first university degree and served as a commander in the war against Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army(LRA) rebel group in Northern Uganda.

In 2005, Kulayigye, whose name means “grow up and learn”, was appointed deputy spokesman, before taking over as UPDF/ Ministry of Defence Spokesman in November the same year.
“I had reservations, I actually feared it. It was a job I never wanted to do but in the military when you are deployed you have no choice,” he told this publcation in 2013 of how he felt leaving the jungles where he was hunting for Joseph Kony, to come and speak for the army.

Kulayigye has also in the past served under the Presidential Protection Unit which later metamorphosed to the Special Forces Command(SFC)  in the UPDF but also served as the army’s Chief Political Commissar. In 2016, he was elected to serve as a Member of Parliament representing the UPDF in the 10th Parliament (2016 to 2021).

In February 2019, he was promoted from the rank of Colonel to Brigadier, in a military promotions exercise that involved more than 2,000 UPDF men and women.

He rose through the ranks from serving at the Presidential Press Unit from where he was transferred on President Museveni’s orders for pushing away women forcing their way to the president. He once served as Aide de camp to then Col. Kahinda Otafiire and at the rank of captain where he commanded a hunt for LRA rebels in the Acholi region before being posted to public relations.

Felix Kulayigye is married to Justine Bagonza and together are the parents of three daughters and two sons.

This is Brig Kulayigye’s second stint as UPDF and Ministry of Defence spokesperson, having served in the same position between 2005 and 2013.

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