President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) yesterday passed out 9,690 Local Defence Personnels and revealed that educated people can make good soldiers and cadres. The event took place at Kaweweta Recruit Training School.
“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,” the President said.
The President was happy to note that out of the over 9,000 recruits, 5,000 have A’ Level Certificates of Education and above. And out of these, five have master’s degrees and 700 have bachelor’s degrees.
“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,” he stated.
“I’m therefore very happy, this is very good for the army and for the country. Out of all these recruits, only 37 stopped at Primary Seven level,” he added.
Gen. Museveni further congratulated the graduates upon successfully completing their course. He strongly cautioned them to take good care of their health by avoiding reckless lifestyles, to remain disciplined and uphold professionalism in the army.
President Museveni also assured Ugandans that the country remains safe and secure despite the recent attack on UPDF soldiers in Somalia and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) attack in Kasese that left over 40 people killed.
“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. 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 asserted.
On the other hand, Gen. Museveni expressed concern over the Katugo marram road in Nakaseke which doesn’t have drainage channels. He tasked the responsible parties to work on the issue as soon as possible before he deals with them.
“Are these making a road or a swimming pool? Because when you make a road and you don’t put drainage channels, when it rains your road will become a swimming pool. If I come next time, I will have to deal with the one involved,” he warned.
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 Your Excellency for your usual guidance and for building a formidable force and today we have taken all your 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.
“Your Excellency, 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. Gen. 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.
“Allow me to thank the Ministry of Defence and the Army Leadership and all other stakeholders for the support that they have provided that have enabled us to reach this day successfully,” Brig Gen Wolimbwa added.
“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, work as a team; that’s when you will conquer,” he added.
During the same event, the best students were awarded for their exceptional performance. Wampagana Moses Wasike emerged as the best overall student, Chelangat Bashir and Agabirwe Natasha emerged as best in the field. Kongai Rachel emerged as best student in leadership, Nechemet Annet as best student in range and Chebet Mercy Faith emerged as best disciplined student.