Kampala – The nation woke to the sad news of the passing of the UPDF Reserve Force’s Deputy Commander, Maj. Gen. Stephen Tumusiime Rwabantu.
In a statement issued to the press, UPDF Spokesperson Brig Gen. Flavia Byekwaso revealed that Lt Gen. Rwabantu went to the Lord on Saturday night (August) after admission at Kampala Hospital.
The UPDF announces the passing of Maj. Gen. Stephen Rwabantu, the Deputy General officer Commanding – Reserve forces. Gen Rwabantu passed away on the night of Saturday, August 7 while on admission at Kampala Hospital,” read the statement.
However, the statement did not disclose the cause of Gen Rwabantu’s demise. He will be laid to rest on Wednesday
“A vigil & funeral service for the late Maj Gen Stephen Rwabantu is scheduled for tomorrow at 2 pm at his home in Ndejje Entebbe Road,” said Brig. Gen. Byekwaso in an official tweet.
She added: “The body will thereafter be taken to his ancestral home in Ruharo Mbarara. Burial to take place on Wednesday (August 11). MHSRIEP!”
The former National Resistance Army (NRA) historical and bush war hero joined the force in 1981 at the height of the liberation war.
His colleagues described him as one of the bravest soldiers to have graced combat and was nicknamed ‘Gonya’ (crocodile).
A section of senior army officers, comrades and top brass eulogised the jolly general for his distinguished service.
One of the notable was former Presidential candidate and NRA liberation war comrade, Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Henry Tumukunde. The soft-spoken general broke the news of his comrade’s passing describing the deceased as a gentleman.
“I have learnt with great sorrow of the passing of Gen. Stephen T. Rwabantu ‘Gonya’ (RO/0081), a war hero & comrade for many years. Always understanding & a true gentleman. He will be missed. My heartfelt condolences to the family, friends & the UPDF fraternity. #RIP Comrade. HT,” Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Tumukunde wrote on his official socials.
Rwabantu joined the bush war in 1981 after defecting from the UNLA barracks in Bugoloobi.
He was smuggled into the bush together with a group of fellow other defectors by now Maj Gen Matayo Kyaligonza and after the bush war, he has promoted to various ranks.
In 2018, Rwabantu was elevated to Major General.
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The bush war hero hails from Ruharo, Kamukuzi Mbarara city.