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Profile: Major General James Kazini

By Will Ross
BBC News, Kampala

Major General James Kazini
General Kazini denies any wrongdoing

Following the allegations by the United Nations that Maj Gen James Kazini had been benefiting from the exploitation of resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he was called to answer a few questions by the government-appointed Porter Commission.

General Kazini wasn't overly keen to attend and on several occasions failed to turn up.

When he finally appeared, it was entertaining to say the least.

'Flexible'

The chair of the commission, Justice David Porter, accused General Kazini of telling repeated lies.

When asked why he had disobeyed President Yoweri Museveni's orders forbidding him from helping Congolese businesses there, General Kazini replied politely: "I did not contradict the president, I was only being flexible, your Lordship."

In the 1980s, General Kazini was one of the early members of the guerrilla movement that brought Mr Museveni to power and he had a reputation as a fearless fighter.

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda
President Museveni took action after UN accusations

General Kazini was in charge of the operation against the rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces, ADF, in the west of Uganda.

The success of that task lead to him being put in charge of the Ugandan army's Operation Safe Haven in DR Congo.

During that period, the Ugandan army's activities there were widely condemned when its forces clashed with Rwandan troops in the north-eastern city of Kisangani in 1999.

Following the accusations of gaining personal wealth from the resources in DR Congo, he was sent home to Uganda.

But then, far from being ticked off for alleged bad behaviour, he was promoted to commander of the army - militarily second only to the president himself.

Footie mad

Away from the military arena and the probes of plundering, General Kazini had a couple of well documented passions in Kampala.

One was Uganda's top musical group the Afrigo Band.

If he was not dancing at one of their live shows at Club Obligato, he may have been living it up at Ange Mystique night club.

From the west of Uganda, General Kazini's other passion was football and specifically Sports Club Villa.

He even dipped into his pocket to help the team out - $2,500 to buy jerseys for the team. There's a dedicated fan for you.

He was also well known for his personal business activities - hotels in particular.

He used to have a moustache that was kept under control unlike some of his military colleagues and, well, let's just say he doesn't look as though he skipped his meals.



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SEE ALSO
Q&A: DR Congo's ethnic flashpoint
13 May 03 |  Africa
Congo promises dirty money crackdown
22 Apr 03 |  Business
Rwanda denies DRC plundering
18 Feb 03 |  Business
Timeline: Democratic Republic of Congo
17 May 11 |  Country profiles
Q&A: Plunder in Congo
21 Oct 02 |  Business
Top Ugandan army officer sacked
06 Jun 03 |  Africa

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