Major General Benon Biraaro on Friday picked presidential nomination forms from the Electoral Commission headquarters along Jinja road.
So far, 26 aspirants have picked forms for the presidential race from EC offices.
Addressing press, Biraaro asked Ugandans to choose well in 2016 general elections.
He said if elected president, he will restructure state institutions and make sure they become trustworthy.
“At the moment state institutions are structured in such away that they serve the interests of one man, the president.”
“That needs to change,” Biraaro emphasized.
He also took off some time to respond to Maj Roland Kakooza Mutale’s threats to use militia to eliminate President Yoweri Museveni’s opponents saying Ugandans want a non-violent election.
Talking to press recently, Mutale said the youth he is training in Luweero jungles currently, will target army Generals who turned away from Museveni.
He cited Maj Biraaro, Gen David Sejusa and Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu.
Biraaro says the time of violence is long gone and that’s why Ugandans want to choose democratically in 2016.
“Ugandans don’t want that violence. They want a peace election environment.”
Biraaro’s road to presidency
In 2013, Biraaro announced that he had begun mobilizing and recruiting people into a political party he founded ahead of 2016.
Biraaro’s party is called the Peace and National Unity (PNU) Party.
He joined former army officers; Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu, Col Kizza Besigye and Gen David Sejusa, who were already active in politics.
Gen. Biraaro, is a very senior officer and a former close confidante of the former Chief of Defence Forces and minister of Internal Affairs, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima.
As early as 1984, in the bush war days; he was Secretary to High Command and National Resistance Council, commanded the Senior Staff College, Kimaka and was at some point the Deputy Chief of staff.
The Independent Magazine’s Haggai Matsiko, in his 2013 analysis, says Biraaro’s challenge to Museveni is “significant because it came at a time of the apparent division in the army that flared publicly with the flight to exile in the UK of erstwhile Museveni confidante and Coordinator of Intelligence Services; the maverick Gen. Tinyefuza”.
Gen. Biraaro, according to Matsiko, belongs to the crop of young intellectuals; including Nyakairima and Maj. John Kazoora, who joined Museveni’s bush fighters in 1982 from Makerere University.
At the time, Gen. Sejusa and Brig. Jim Muhwezi, were already in the bush.
Col. Besigye and Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura, joined much later in 1984.
Together, they formed the intellectual vanguard of the elite in Museveni’s military and were often at loggerheads with the semi-literate fringe of the late army commander, Brig. James Kazini.
Biraaro fell out with Museveni for being independent-mindedness upon which the president “shipped him off” to work as a diplomat at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2007.
Biraaro quit his post just one year into his two-year contract, returned to Uganda and started a project called Local Investment for Transformation (LIFT) to “transform Uganda from a Highly Indebted Poor Country”.
He also applied to retire from the army and run for the presidency.
Who is Benon Biraaro?
Born March 1, 1958
Studied Political Science at Makerere University
Joined Bush war from Makerere University on June 7, 1982
Served in several capacities until he became Secretary to High Command and National Resistance Council 1984
Deputy to Museveni’s Principle Private Secretary in 1986
Special District Administrator Kitgum 1986-87
Deputy Commandant Kyankwanzi Political School
Commanding Officer 97 Battalion in Eastern Uganda that ended insurgency in Samia, Teso
Commander Military Police
Military Representative in IGG’s office
Adhoc committee of Human Rights under Abu Mayanja
Director of Training
Led the Uganda contingent to DRC in 1998
Commander Infantry Division, Western Uganda
Assistant Chief of Staff, UPDF
Founded and commanded for two in-takes the Kimaka, the Senior Command and Staff College
Chief of Strategic Planning and Management Unit of Peace and Security Commission
Resigns November 30, 2008 to start LIF