General Salim Saleh (born Caleb Akandwanaho, 14 January 1960), is an adviser to the President of Uganda on military matters. Formerly, he was the Ugandan Minister of State for Microfinance. He is a high-ranking Military Officer in the UPDF, the armed forces of Uganda. He is a brother of the current President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni. Salim Saleh has featured in controversies regarding corruption, including being implicated by the UN Security Council for plundering natural resources in Congo (DRC).
In 1976, aged 16, he left Kako Secondary School in Masaka to join the Front for National Salvation (FRONASA), a Tanzania-based rebel group formed and led by his brother Yoweri Museveni to fight against the regime of Idi Amin. Together with his friend Fred Rwigyema and his brother Museveni, he trained 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 armed forces captured Kampala in April 1979 – sending Idi Amin into exile. 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.
Salim Saleh joined his brother's National Resistance Army (NRA) and the guerilla war known as "the bush war", that would last until 1986. In January 1986, Salim Saleh commanded NRA's assault on Kampala, which eventually led to the demise of Tito Okello's regime, with Museveni becoming president. NRA became the national army, with Salim Saleh as a commanding officer, General Elly Tumwine as the Army Commander, and Museveni as the Commander-in-chief.
Saleh proceeded to command an army division against rebel groups that were remnants of the UNLA, including Uganda People's Democratic Army (UPDA), in northern parts of the country. He was instrumental in working out a peace deal with the UPDA.
Saleh succeeded Elly Tumwine as Army Commander in 1987, and held the post until 1989 when, 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), and the commander of the army's Reserve Force (1990 – 2001), involved in resettling army veterans of the bush war.
While still in the army, Salim Saleh ventured into private business and philanthropy, setting up a string of businesses ranging from real estate to aviation, and becoming one of Uganda's wealthiest businessmen, but also getting involved in several corruption scandals.
Uganda Commercial Bank
In 1998, Salim Saleh resigned from his post as presidential advisor, following allegations that Greenland Investments, a company in which he was a major stakeholder, had used the Malaysian company, Westmont, to illegally purchase shares in Uganda's largest bank, the now defunct Uganda Commercial Bank (UCB). His brother, President Museveni, later said he'd sacked Salim Saleh, not for his involvement in the scandal, but for "indiscipline and drunkenness" in the army.
In 1998, Salim Saleh's company purchased helicopters for the army, for which he received a commission of $800,000. The helicopters turned out to be junk.
Involvement in Congo (DRC)
Salim Saleh was specifically implicated in a UN Security Council report for being involved in the illegal exploitation of natural resources from Congo (DRC) during the Second Congo War . The government of Uganda dismissed the report, and no punitive actions were taken against those involved.
In 2005, Salim Saleh, then a Lieutenant General, was one of the pioneer class to graduate from the Uganda Senior Command and Staff College at Kimaka in Jinja. Following that course, he was promoted to the rank of General in the UPDF. Prior to the 2006 General Elections, Salim Saleh went back to school and obtained an A-level certificate, the minimum requirement to become a member of parliament in Uganda. Following the elections, he was appointed Minister of State for Microfinance.
General Elly Tumwine
|Commander of the National Resistance Army
Major General Mugisha Muntu
|Commander of the Reserve Forces
1990 - 2001
Lieutenant General Ivan Koreta
|Minister of State for Microfinance
- "Uganda: Our Politicians: Gen. Caleb Akandwanaho", New Vision (published online by AllAfrica), June 5, 2006
- "The role of the International Community", Human Rights Watch
- "UPDF Regional Issues", Horn of Africa: The Monthly Review, 11-12/98
- "Uganda: Museveni's New-Look Cabinet Shows He's in Charge", The East African (published online by AllAfrica), May 30, 2006
- "Final Report of the Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo", UN Security Council - S/2002/1146 (excerpts), October 16, 2002
- "Museveni to blame for DR Congo scandal", Daily Monitor, December 25, 2005
- Salim Saleh Promoted to General
- "Keep out of trouble, Museveni warns Saleh", New Vision, June 9, 2006