Uganda: UPDF Summoned to Parliament to Explain Private Security Company Venture

The Speaker of Parliament Anita Annet Among has directed the Minister for Defense to provide an explanation for the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) establishing a private security company under its business arm the National Enterprises Cooperation (NEC).

The move comes after legislators raised concerns, labeling the venture as illegal and irregular.

The parliament session witnessed heated discussions as reports emerged about the NEC’s foray into private security services. Members of Parliament (MPs) demanded clarity on the legal basis for the UPDF or NEC to undertake such a business endeavor.

During the session, Lt. General James Mugira, the Chief Executive Officer of NEC and a parliamentary representative of the army, faced a challenging time trying to explain the situation to the legislators, who vehemently questioned the authority under which such a decision was made.

Even the Defense Minister, who rose to speak on the matter, failed to present a report to parliament, further intensifying dissatisfaction among MPs.

Consequently, the Speaker took action, directing the Defense Minister to return to parliament with a comprehensive report that elucidates the truth and legality behind the establishment of the private security firm.

One of the major concerns voiced by legislators is the apprehension that the privatization of security services could undermine their mandate, they argue that the UPDF, as enshrined in the constitution, is responsible for safeguarding the country and defending its borders.