Museveni: How Gen Oketta Left UNLA to Join NRA

President Museveni has paid a special tribute to departed Maj Gen Julius Oketta, pill describing him as one of the finest battlefield commanders Uganda has had in recent decades.

An emotional Museveni visited Oketta’s home in Kungu, Wakiso to pay his respects and console the bereaved family.

“I will miss his burial in Gulu because I have a conference in Ethiopia but I couldn’t leave the country without paying my respects,” said Museveni before narrating his experience with the deceased.

“Oketta was among the few young men whom we got from UNLA and was part of the group fighting with us in Mbarara. I met them and I persuaded them to stop fighting and come out peacefully,” said the head of state.

At the time, Museveni was commanding the National Resistance Army which had waged a war against the regime of President Milton Obote.

“I formed them into 25th Battalion but Oketta was in the 23rd and that’s the team that fought well at Corner Kilak against the other confused woman Lakwena. He was a very brave fighter,” he added.

Museveni consoles Oketta's family
Museveni consoles Oketta’s family

The head of Operation Wealth Creation passed away last week at Kadic Hospital in Kampala.

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said Oketta succumbed to a blood clot.


Museveni called for routine medical checks of army officers.

“Internally in the army we have to discuss the issue of health checks because you remember we had a similar problem of Aronda, David Karuhanga, Maj. Gen. Bamuze and Kategaya,” said the commander-in-chief.

Museveni promised government support to the deceased's family
Museveni promised government support to the deceased’s family

“It is the problem of sitting down on desks. These desks are poison. The body is not supposed to sit; it is supposed to be in the garden digging and other such rigorous activities,” he added.

“When God made us, there were no cars, lifts and chairs. But now that we have this modern life, we must know how to live in it. Of course even with care people die but it should be unavoidable deaths,” assured the president.

“I must also commend Oketta for his role in fighting the Ebola epidemic in Uganda and West Africa. Government will take care of the widow and children.”

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