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EXCLUSIVE: Why Museveni dropped Gen Mbadi as CDF, sent him to Trade Ministry

Kampala, (UG):- The recent mini-cabinet reshuffle announced Thursday evening saw President Museveni appoint Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi as the new State Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (in charge of trade).

Gen Mbadi, until the time of his ministerial appointment was Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), the highest position in Uganda’s military force, a position which has since been assigned to First Son Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba.

In his previous roles as a military officer, Gen Mbadi had served in different positions in the UPDF, including as aide de camp to the president, Fourth Infantry Division commander, Joint Chief of Staff (JCOS) and Deputy Chief of Defence Forces (DCDF). 

Mbadi’s departure from the CDF position came just weeks after the President on February 17 presented the UPDF Establishment 2021, delegated to him the responsibility to Command, Control, and Administration and all other elements of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).
“By virtue of the powers enshrined under Article 98(1) of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, and Section 8(1) and (2)(a) of the UPDF Act, 2005, yesterday, on the 17th of February 2024, at the Defence Council meeting, I presented the UPDF Establishment 2021, an instrument of delegated Command, Control, and Administration, to General Wilson Mbasu Mbadi, the Chief of Defence Forces of the UPDF, to command all elements of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces,” Mr Museveni who is also the Commander in Chief said in a February 18 statement. 

Gen Museveni (L) handing all elements of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) to then CDF, Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi (R)

READ HERE: Museveni speaks tough against corruption in the UPDF

However, other sources from within the army claim his abrupt reshuffle is premised on corruption within the UPDF which saw Gen Museveni vow to deal with the corrupt officers as he addressed the army recently during the special Tarehe Sita prayers at Kololo

Sources with the UPDF say Gen Mbadi could have failed to convince President Museveni that he is committed to addressing corruption in the army, and thus being shown the exit.

Profile: Who is Gen Wilson Mbadi

Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi, now Minister of State for Trade (Photo/File)

Early Life and Education

Born 6th June 1962 in southwestern Uganda’s Kasese District, Gen Wilson Mbadi joined the Uganda military in 1986 and was commissioned in 1991 after completing a one-year Officer Cadet course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom, where he graduated at the top of his class. 

In 1992, he attended the Platoon Commander’s Course at the Uganda School of Infantry, then located in Jinja, and in 1994, he attended the Uganda Junior Staff College, also in Jinja.

He continued his education in 1998 by attending the Mobile International Defence Management Course in Lusaka, Zambia, and the Company Command Course in Tanzania. 

In 2001, he attended the Combat Group Command Course at the Armored Corps Center and School in Ahmadnagar, India, performing exceptionally well. 

In 2004, he attended the Senior Command and Staff Course at the National Defence College, Kenya (NDCK), and also completed the Peace Support Operations Course (PSTC) at Karen, Kenya.

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In 2005, he successfully completed a Diploma course in Strategic Studies at the University of Nairobi, and in 2007, he graduated with a master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, United States of America.


Between 1987 and 1989, he worked as a Junior Non-commissioned Instructor at Kaweweta and Kabamba Recruit Training Schools. In 1991, he served as the Officer in charge of Career Planning. He later served as the Director of Supplies in 1997/8 and held the positions of Armoured Brigade Logistics Officer and Brigade Administrative Officer in 1999 and 2000, respectively.

In 2001, he became the Directing Staff at the Uganda Junior Staff College in Jinja before being appointed as the 503 Infantry Brigade Operations and Training officer in 2001/2002. He served as the Armoured Brigade Operations and Training Officer between 2002 and 2003 before commanding the Armoured Brigade in an acting capacity. He took full command of the 507 Brigade in 2005 before becoming the Principal Air Staff Officer (Personnel and Administration) at Uganda Peoples Defence Air Force HQs in 2006.

In 2007, he was appointed as the Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the President of Uganda and served in that capacity until December 2012 when he was appointed as the Commander of the 4th Infantry Division of UPDF, based in Gulu. He was appointed as the Joint Chief of Staff of the UPDF in May 2013.


In addition to being the Chief of Defense Forces, Lieutenant General Wilson Mbadi held other important positions within the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF). 

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He has been the Inspector General of UPDF and also served as the Chairman of several committees, including the UPDF Medals Committee, UPDF Dress Committee, Defence Forces Duty-Free Shop Board of Directors, Senior Command and Staff College Control Board, Uganda National Defence College Steering Committee, and MoDVA Projects Preparation Committee. He has also been a member of the Kyoga Dynamics Board of Directors.

Previously, Lt. Gen. Mbadi served as the Chairman of Uganda Military Engineering College and as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Enterprise Corporation Limited from 2013 to 2016. He was also a member of the Standard Gauge Railway Board of Directors from 2015 to 2018.

He was appointed to that position on 24 June 2021, replacing General David Muhoozi, who was appointed State Minister of Internal Affairs.

Prior to the CDF position, Gen Mbadi served as the Deputy Chief of Defense Forces from January 2017 to June 2021, holding the rank of Lieutenant General.

From May 2013 to January 2017, he served as the Joint Chief of Staff of the UPDF, before being replaced by Major General Joseph Musanyufu.

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