Gen. James Kazini murdered
Daily Monitor Reporter
Maj. Gen. James Kazini, the former army commander, died Tuesday morning after his girlfriend, Lydia Draru, allegedly hit him with an iron bar. Family and security sources say General Kazini was killed at his girlfriend's home in Namuwongo, a Kampala suburb near this newspaper’s offices on 8th Street, Industrial
Area. The girlfriend has been arrested and taken for questioning at Kampala Central Police Station. Mourners, among them military officers and relatives,
trickled in to the Namuwongo residence as the shocking news spreads.
The country was preparing for the burial later Tuesday of vice President, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya’s son, Bryan, who died at the weekend after suffering serious head
injuries in a motor crash. By 8:00 a.m. his body had not yet been moved. Senior Police detectives arrived shortly after to take notes and examine the crime
scene. Later, at about 10 a.m, his body was taken to Mulago Hospital mortuary.
SUSPECT: Ms Draru in a police pick-up truck after she was arrested. PHOTOS BY JOSEPH KIGGUNDU
A small crowd of neighbours gathered outside the home, many of them fearful of talking to journalists about what they might have seen or heard prior to General
Further details regarding the incident have not been released by security. Lt. Col. Felix Kulayigye, the army Spokesman, says the former army commander, who was
facing trial for various alleged offences, was a “victim of domestic violence”.
Kazini's wife, Phoebe (L) arrives at the scene of the accident in Namuwongo with a relative.
He had, among others, been accused of creating the 409 brigade in West Nile allegedly to topple President Museveni’s government.
He is reputed for fighting the Allied Democratic Forces rebel group in western Uganda as well as the Lord’s Resistance Army in northern part of the
The UN later named him as one of the Ugandan military officers that pillaged DR Congo resources during 1997-2003 invasion.
The Ugandan military have toned down the exit of Major General James Kazini from the top job by saying he has been sent to study at war college.
But most will say it was the accusations of plundering the resources in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo that knocked General Kazini off the army's top
Following the allegations by the United Nations that General Kazini had been benefiting from the exploitation of resources in Congo, he was called to answer a few
questions by the government-appointed Porter Commission.
General Kazini wasn't overly keen to attend and on several occasions failed to turn up.
When he finally appeared, it was entertaining to say the least.
The chair of the commission, Justice David Porter, accused General Kazini of telling repeated lies.
When asked why he had disobeyed President Yoweri Museveni's orders forbidding him from helping Congolese businesses there, General Kazini replied politely, "I did
not contradict the president, I was only being flexible your Lordship."
In the 1980s, General Kazini was one of the early members of the guerrilla movement that brought Mr Museveni to power and he had a reputation as a fearless
The success of that task lead to him being put in charge of the Ugandan army's Operation Safe Haven in DR Congo. During that period, the Ugandan army's activities
there were widely condemned when its forces clashed with Rwandan troops in the north-eastern city of Kisangani in 1999. Following the accusations of gaining personal wealth from the resources in
Congo, he was sent home to Uganda. But then, far from being ticked off for alleged bad behaviour, he was promoted to commander of the army - militarily second only to the president
Away from the military arena and the probes of plundering, General Kazini has a couple of well documented passions in Kampala. One is Uganda's top musical group the
Afrigo Band. If he is not dancing at one of their live shows at Club Obligato, he may be living it up at Ange Mystique night club. From the west of Uganda, General Kazini's other passion is
football and specifically Sports Club Villa the current Ugandan league champions. He has even dipped into his pocket to help the team out - $2,500 to buy jerseys for the team. There's a dedicated
fan for you. He is also well known for his personal business activities - and has recently been busy building hotels.
And if you are wondering what he looks like - he has a moustache that is kept under control unlike some of his military colleagues and, well, let's just say he
doesn't look as though he skips his meals.