President Yoweri Museveni has said despite some mistakes including the attack on UPDF soldiers in Somalia that left 54 dead and the attack by ADF rebels on a school in Kasese that left 44 dead, Uganda largely remains safe and secure.
“When we get a few mistakes like what happened in Somalia and Kasese, those who don’t know war start running around, panicking but I can tell you that the security of Uganda is very secure. There were some mistakes in Somalia, and I was talking to commanders here about them,” Museveni said.
“In Kasese, that part of the country has been peaceful for a long time and those people there were quite relaxed although there are still some gaps in intelligence, but all these are easily solvable. Anybody who disturbs us will pay a very big price.”
The president made the remarks on Thursday as he passed out 9690 Local Defence Unit Personnel at the at Kaweweta Recruit Training School in Nakaseke district.
The 9690 personnel were drawn from three training schools of Kaweweta Recruit Training School in Labwordwong Training School in Agago and Olilim Training School in Karamoja.
Museveni said he was happy that most of those who had been recruited as LDUs were educated with 5000 of these having completed senior six and above, 700 with bachelor’s degrees and five with master’s degrees.
He said that educated people can make good soldiers and cadres.
“When you hear that some armies do well like the Israeli army, it is because they are educated people. In the 1960s, when they were fighting with the people they were fighting with, you would get educated people fighting with peasants from the other countries and they could not manage because of technology, and quick learning. The only problem is that sometimes the educated become proud and look down upon manual work but otherwise educated people can make good soldiers and very good cadres in different areas,” Museveni said.
“With this level of education, it is easy to learn because modern warfare has a lot of science and Educated people plan very easily. The people they were giving prizes here, are all educated. One of the girls who got a prize here has got a degree in civil engineering and the other girls are midwives, you know how careful midwives are. If a midwife shoots you, you will not come back. I’m therefore very happy, this is very good for the army and for the country.”
The president however urged the new recruits to take good care of their health by avoiding reckless lifestyles, remain disciplined by also uphold professionalism of the army.
The Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi said the recruitment of these new soldiers fits very well in UPDF’s journey to build a modern, professional, effective and efficient force capable of securing Uganda.
“We therefore thank the president for his usual guidance and for building a formidable force and today we have taken all his observations during the demonstrations especially on the basics of training. We are going to continue to review our curriculum for basic training in order to enhance soldiers’ capacity to identify and use cover, marksmanship and team spirit so that they can improve continuously,” Gen Mbadi said.
“Despite our constrained budget, we will continue to enhance UPDF’s capabilities, capacity building, logistics support, the welfare and infrastructure development without forgetting all other collective solutions of solving our force’s welfare issues like education, medical, defence forces shop, WASACCO and others.”
Brig Bonny Wolimbwa, the commandant of the training school, said the recruits have been trained for 47 weeks and they have been equipped with all the necessary skills required to serve in the UPDF.
“To you, the recruits, this is your day. You have already proved from your demonstrations that you have acquired enough skills that will enable you to go and perform in your respective units. I urge you as you leave this place to go and be good ambassadors, said.
The event was attended by Ministers, Members of Parliament, top UPDF leadership among other dignitaries.