Seventeen Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) top officers, ranging from one-star to four-star generals, are among over 4,000 soldiers set to retire.
While officiating at phase II of skills empowerment and preparation for the retirees at Gadaffi barracks in Jinja on Monday, the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), Maj. Gen. David Muhoozi, said among those to retire was Gen. Jerome Mugume he cautioned them on joining rogue politicians like Bobi wine and others aiming at destabilizing peace.
Earlier on a UPDF General known as Gen. Jim Owoyesigire, the former Africa Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) commander has warned youth around the country to stay away from Kyadondo East Member of Parliament, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine.
Gen Owoyesigire, says the youths that are rushing to join Bobi Wine’s People Power movement are wasting their time. “He has no vision and couldn’t by any means remove President Museveni from office.
At the moment, President Museveni and the National Resistance Movement (NRM) leaders are still organized and are not ready to hand over power to disorganized people,” he said
Muhoozi said Mugume has served in various positions under the UPDF, including as deputy CDF. Mugume is currently the chairperson of the board of directors of National Enterprises Corporation (NEC), the business arm of the UPDF, to which he was appointed last year by the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs.
He also once served the army as chairperson of the military land board, an organ of the UPDF. Other senior officers set to retire include colonels, majors, and captains, as well as lower-ranking officers who include warrant officers and privates. Other sources said the number of generals to retire could be as high as 19.
The retirement is due in August. During the ceremony, Muhoozi explained that retired officers automatically become part of the UPDF Reserve Force and can be recalled to service at any time.
Muhoozi noted that once recalled, this would not be the first time retired officers are called back, citing a situation where they were recalled to fight battles in Somalia.
“Internally, when you retire, you are under the reserve forces. If a matter arises, we may recall you because the last time we did it, we recalled officers to fight battles in Somalia,” he said. He, however, challenged them to seek job opportunities in communities since some of them acquired different skills during their stay in the institution.
“Many of you are retiring with various skills, my humble prayer is that you seek job opportunities to remain in a comfortable life,” he said. He said it will help them adjust to their new community, away from order and command in the army.