By our reporter
General Salim Saleh real name Caleb Akandwanaho is the National Coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation-a program aimed at improving the household incomes for poverty eradication, wealth creation and overall prosperity of Ugandans through facilitation of sustainable commercial agricultural production.
We unveil the 10 things which we feel you don’t know about the highly decorated army serviceman.
1. Gen Saleh was born on 14 January, 1960 and he is a young brother to President Yoweri Museveni.
2. In 1976, aged 16, he left Kako Secondary School in Masaka to join the Front for National Salvation (Fronasa) based in Tanzania, a rebel group formed and led by Museveni to fight against the regime of Idi Amin.
3. He trained together with his friend Fred Rwigyema and his brother Museveni in Mozambique with Samora Machel’s Frelimo rebels. It was there that he adopted Salim Saleh as his nom de guerre .In 1978, Fronasa merged with other anti-Amin groups in Tanzania and formed the Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA), who together with Tanzanian forces captured Kampala on April 11, 1979, sending Idi Amin to exile.
4. Saleh was later made a platoon commander of a UNLA unit in Moroto district. Following the bitterly contested December 1980 elections Museveni declared an armed rebellion against the UNLA and the government of Milton Obote.
5. Saleh joined his brother’s National Resistance Army (NRA) and the guerilla war known as the “Busy War” that would last until 1986.
6. In January 1986, Salim Saleh commanded NRA’s assault on Kampala which eventually led to the demise of Gen. Tito Okello regime, with Museveni becoming President.
7. NRA became the national army, with Salim Saleh as commander. Saleh was the first Commander of the new army of Uganda. Saleh proceeded to command the army against rebel groups that were remnants of the UNLA, including Uganda People’s Defence Army (UPDA), in northern Uganda.
8. He was instrumental in working out a peace deal with the UPDA. In 1989, following accusations of corruption, he was sacked from the army by his brother. He later became the senior presidential advisor on defence and security (1996 – 1998).
9. In 2005, Saleh, then a Lt. Gen., was one of the pioneer classes to graduate from the new Uganda Senior Command and Staff College at Kimaka in Jinja. Following that course, he was promoted to the rank of General in the UPDF.
10. Prior to the 2006 general elections , Saleh went back to school and obtained an A –level certificate , the minimum requirement to become a member of parliament in Uganda or President of Uganda Following the elections, he was appointed Minister of State for Microfinance and then subsequently Senior Presidential Adviser on security and defence matters a position he holds up to date.