Kayanja Muhanga, who was born around 1964 in Fort Portal, Kabarole District, Western Uganda, is an army officer in Uganda. He currently holds the position of Commander of Land Forces in the UPDF, appointed in October 2022 by the President of Uganda and Commander in Chief of the UPDF, Yoweri Museveni. Previously, he served as the commander of the Uganda People’s Defence Force contingent in Eastern DRC under the operation code named Operation Shujja, a position he was appointed to in January 2021 by General Yoweri Museveni.
Maj. General Muhanga previously held the position of Commandant of the Military Police within the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF). He has a sister named Margaret Muhanga, who is a staffer in the Office of the President of Uganda, and an older brother, journalist Andrew Mwenda, who is the publisher and editor of The Independent (Uganda) newsmagazine. Their father is Mzee Phillip Muhanga of Fort Portal.
In 1988, he attended the Cadet Officers Course at the Uganda Military Academy, which was then located at Quaddafi Barracks in Jinja, Eastern Uganda. Later, the school was relocated to Kabamba in Mubende District. He joined the NRA as a Private and served in that rank until the NRA took power in 1986. Initially, he served in the military police unit based in Kasese and later in the Presidential Protection Unit as a Private from 1986 to 1988.
After completing the Junior Cadet Officer Course, he served in the office of the Chief of Combat Operations as a Second Lieutenant. In 1990, he was transferred to the Directorate of Military Intelligence, where he served until 1993. Then, from 1993 to 1997, he served as the Intelligence Officer, attached to the UPDF barracks in Mubende.
Later, he was assigned to the Joint Anti-Terrorism Taskforce at the rank of Captain. He was promoted to Major, Lieutenant Colonel, and Colonel, respectively. In Somalia, he commanded Uganda’s “Battle Group Eight” and concurrently served as the Deputy Commander for the Ugandan contingent in Somalia.
After his duty in Somalia, he served as the Chief of Military Police in the UPDF until January 2014. In January 2014, he was appointed as the Commander of UPDF Operations in South Sudan with the rank of Colonel. A month later, he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier.