Internalise tenets of the UPDF -Museveni

Thursday 4th April 2019

President Yoweri Museveni, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Uganda Armed Forces, has reiterated his call to Officers and men of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) to internalize the principles of the Liberation Army that include, among others, patriotism and Pan- Africanism, which will not only guarantee the survival and prosperity of the people of Uganda but also of the entire black race on the African continent.

“NRA gained an upper hand because it prioritized patriotism as opposed to sectarianism. Think of patriotism in Uganda and outside Uganda, think of Pan Africanism to guarantee our prosperity and survival,” he said.

He pointed out that Uganda alone will not provide enough market for our products hence the need to think of Africa for a bigger market.

The President was  interfacing with Officers and Men of the 4thInfantry Brigade Headquarters in Gulu Municipality in Northern Uganda. He cited the example of the current production of 2.7 billion litres of milk per annum in Uganda and yet our consumption is only 800 million litres leaving a glut of 1.9 billion litres that need regional markets.

“Even maize, we produced 5 million tones and Ugandans consumed only one million. So, the 4 million tones need a regional market. We now produce 10,000 motorcycle tyres per day and we only use 3,000 leaving a surplus of 7,000 tyres. So thinking of Pan Africanism gives us a bigger market,” he said.

Gen. Museveni, who told the Gulu-based soldiers of the systems of the Armies since the traditional days, explained that those Armies were only serving the interest of the traditional Kings who were later defeated by the colonial Army, like the Kings African Rifles except for Ethiopia and only served the security and economic interests of colonialists, among others. 

He added that after the attainment of independence, African leaders, who by then were very young, defied the meaning of independence.

“All came to power when they were young without knowing their aims. You want to lead when you don’t know what to do. This is very dangerous,” he observed.

Gen. Museveni said that the NRA then, which is now UPDF, gained an upper hand because it prioritized patriotism as opposed to sectarianism that was the order of the day. He said that the other principles of the Liberation Army were Pan Africanism, modernization through education and business to guarantee our survival and prosperity as well as democracy.

“Therefore, you as Officers of the UPDF, are the priests to understand these principles and explain the ideology to your juniors,” he advised. 

He told them that to implement these principles, the NRM government is putting in place all the necessary infrastructure such as electricity, roads and will, later, work on the Standard Gauge Railway, that will eventually lower the cost of doing business in the country.

On education and health, Gen. Museveni pledged to address the sector in the Army to enable children of soldiers to benefit and access good health facilities. He, however, reminded soldiers to be guards of their own lives as regards health by living responsibly.

“Don’t become reckless and squander your life by engaging in promiscuity, alcoholism, smoking and all dangerous situations that will put your health at risk,” he counseled.

President Museveni also encouraged wives of soldiers to supplement the salaries of their husbands by engaging in income generating activities. He pledged to support their Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization (SACCO) with Shs. 100 million. 

Gen. Museveni was accompanied by the Chief of Defense Forces, Gen. David Muhoozi, the Commander of Land Forces Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu and the Joint Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Joseph Musanyufu,

Others included the Chief of Medical Services, Maj. Gen. Dr. Ambrose Musinguzi, the Commander of the Special Forces Command, Maj. Gen. Don Nabaasa and the Commander of the UPDF’s Engineering Brigade, Maj. Gen. Timothy Sabiiti Mutebile. 

Others were UPDF Spokesperson, Brig. Richard Karemire, UPDF Political Commissar, Brig. James Matsiko and 4thInfantry Division Commander, Brig. Bonny Bamwiseki 

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