By Spy Uganda
President Yoweri Museveni has told Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldiers that they are tasked to defend the legitimate interests of their country nothing else. H.E Gen. Museveni made the comments at the Uganda Military Academy – Kabamba in Mubende District during the commissioning of professional officer cadets intake 4 of the year 2022 (4c22) and 01/19-22.
In 2019, the Uganda Military Academy was affiliated to Makerere University to start running the three-year Officer Cadet Training Programme, leading to the award of Bachelor of Defence Studies Degree as per the East African Community Sectoral Council Protocol on Cooperation in Defence Affairs.
The President, who is also the Commander in Chief (C-I-C) of the UPDF, presented awards to the best performing students. The award of the best overall among the Cadet Officers was scooped by Lt. Mark Nuwagaba. The one of the best in class was taken by 2nd Lt. Prima Tukamushaba while that of the best in the field was taken by 2nd Lt. Mohammed Lumunya.
On the side of the Bachelors Degree in Defence Studies, Lt. Joshua Byarugaba emerged the best in class. The second best overall was Lt. Bunungu Mugisha Isaac. The best in the field was Lt. Peter Kerotich. The one for discipline was scooped by Lt. Patricia Mpiirwa. The officers, thereafter, took the oath of secrecy and that of allegiance.
President Museveni told them: “You are here to defend the legitimate interests of your country. You must know why you are defending your country. The NRM has managed to perform well because it has followed the set priorities.
This enabled the Government to build UPDF. All we needed was food. From 1971 to 1986, we were building an army that worked without pay. In 1987, we had low pay. Three years ago, a private was given the same salary as a grade three teacher,” he reiterated that all the time the Government focused on providing training, food and other essentials.
He said that the time was ripe for the Government to pay officers from the rank of Brigadier upwards well. He added that officers from the rank of Major to Colonel would be given a 50% increment. He revealed that the privates would soon earn between Shs1 million and Shs1.5 million
Gen. Museveni said he was pleased to commission the cadets into service in the UPDF. He was impressed with the Bachelors Degree of Defence Studies. He commended the Makerere lecturers for the job well done. He further congratulated the specialist students and the Air Force personnel that he commissioned.
President Museveni asked the cadets to take care of their health by avoiding alcohol, promiscuity and drugs. He reminded them to maintain discipline. He informed them that UPDF was able to win its struggles because it cooperated with Wananchi.
The Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), Gen. Wilson Mbadi, saluted President Museveni for blessing the commissioning ceremony. He said that the UPDF applauds the President’s wise leadership that has promoted national patriotism and cooperation of the African people.
The CDF reported that the training has achieved the intended purpose. He called on the students to make use of the old cadres as a reference purpose. He reminded them that they have been trained to be better defendants of peace and security. He observed that a soldier without ideological training is a potential criminal.
Gen. Mbadi revealed that UPDF has identified 60 Swahili language instructors. He reported that the army has started on providing decent accommodation for its soldiers.