By Najibu Mulema
A former teacher and guerrilla fighter with the NRA, Brig. Nalweyiso is not only the highest-ranking female officer in the UPDF; she is also one of President Yoweri Museveni’s most-trusted aides and a quiet State House power broker. During the campaigns she is one of the few aides who were entrusted with access to the cash.
In the ongoing army reshuffles, Brig. Nalweyiso on Friday morning was promoted to Major General.
Born in June 1954 in Mpigi, Nalweyiso grew up in a large family with 20 children.
By 1979, she had started working as a junior teacher and a typist at a church near Gombe, Mpigi district. It was at that same time that the political animal was stirred up.
During that time she joined the Democratic Party and was named the sub-county publicity secretary and in 1980 during the elections, the Uganda People’s Congress rigged elections and the late Apollo Milton Obote was set to become President again.
After rigging, UPC members started terrorizing DP members and that propelled Nalweyiso into an armed rebellion.
She joined the National Resistance Army (NRA) in 1982 after realizing that it was her only way out to go fight for her country.
In 1983, a new unit, the Women’s wing was carved out of the NRA. Nalweyiso was named as its first commandant. In 1984, most of the women were ordered by the NRA high command to move to western Uganda from their base in Luweero.
When the NRA captured power, Nalweyiso was given the rank of Captain and deployed as Commandant of the Women’s Wing in the Army. She was soon promoted to Major and Lt. Colonel by the turn of the year 2000.
For more than 15 years, Nalweyiso has been based at State House as a Senior Advisor on Defense issues and according to sources, one of the most trusted by the President because of her resoluteness.
She was married to an army officer in 1974, while still a civilian, but separated with her husband and she is a mother of four.