General David Musuguri, Idi Amin’s nemesis turns 100

Saturday January 04 2020
msuguri pic

Retired Tanzania People’s Defence Forces General David Musuguri

Butiama. Retired Tanzania People’s Defence Forces General David Musuguri today reached a rare feat as he became one of the few  centurios in Tanzania with a ceremony held at this ancestral home in Butiama.

Even with frail health due to a battle with diabets the former Chief of Defence Forces still has command of reason and sense of humour at 100 years of age.

Surprisingly his elder sister Wambura Mukune who is above 100 is still alive and she jokes about the General being just ‘another little boy’.

Born in Butiama on January 4, 1920, Musuguri aka General Mutukula the man who is credited with the flushing out of dictator Idi Amin from Kagera and later Uganda as the commander of the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces looks back at that war with nostaligia.

On many occasions, just like at his birthday celebrations today January 4, 2020, he has insisted that he wanted to capture Idi Amin with his own bare hands.

 The two had met in kenya where they both served in the King African Riffles, a British colonial Army in East Africa.


“Idi Amin was disrespectful becasue I taught him at Kahawa Barracks in Nairobi  in 1947, at that time I was already a sergent in  the King African Riffles (the British colonial army),” the retired General told Azam TV.

Musugiri was enlisted in the King's African Rifles (KAR) in 1942 and later serving with them in Madagascar during the Second World War. 

On December 9,  1961, Tanganyika  attained self rule and several units of the KAR was transferred to the newly formed Tanganyika Rifles.

During the Tanganyika Rifles mutiny of January 1964 Musuguri was stationed in Tabora. Rebellious troops, attempting to remove and replace their British officers, declared him a major.

Musuguri eventually rose to the rank of brigadier. In 1979 he was promoted to Major General and given command of the Tanzanian People's Defence Force (TPDF)'s 20th Division, a force that had been assembled to fight Idi Amin’s invading forces following the outbreak of the Uganda–Tanzania War in 1978. 

During the war he garnered the nom de guerre ‘General Mutukula’, and successfully commanded his forces during the Battle of Simba Hills, Battles of Masaka and Lukaya.

 In 1980 Musuguri was appointed Chief of Defence Forces and on 30 December President Julius Nyerere promoted him to Lieutenant General. 

On 7 February 1981 Ugandan President Milton Obote gave Musuguri two spears in honor of "his gallant action in the Battle of Lukaya".  

He retired from the army on 31 August 1988 after distinguished service ending almost 50 years of service first in the King African Riffles, African Riffles and then the TPDF.