President Yoweri Museveni and Commanderin-Chief of the Uganda armed forces has advised soldiers of the Uganda People’s Defence Air Force (UPDAF) to master the use of their equipment, co-operate in their squads and always train so that they are confident in using technology.
During a tour of the Entebbe Air Base in Entebbe on Saturday, the President also called upon army officers to learn, understand and apply the principles of the National Resistance Army (NRA) wherever they are deployed, bearing in mind that they are a liberation force that is committed to serving the interests of Uganda.
Several senior UPDF officers joined the President during the tour, including the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. David Muhoozi; the Commander of Air Forces, Maj. Gen. Charles Lutaaya; the Deputy Commander of Air Forces, Maj. Gen. Gavas Mugyenyi; the Commander of the Engineering Brigade, Maj. Gen. Timothy Sabiiti Mutebile; the Chief of Medical Services, Maj. Gen. Dr Musinguzi; the Chief Political Commissar, Brig. Henry Matsiko and the Deputy Chief of Military Intelligence, Brig. Rusoke.
On Friday, President Museveni embarked on a nationwide on-spot working visits to UPDF barracks, beginning with the First Infantry Division in Kakiri, Wakiso district. During the tours, the President is expected to inspect the housing and health facilities at stations. According to State House, he will also interact with officers and men over their welfare, their children’s education and get updates on the income-generating activities for their wives.
While at the UPDAF base, the President reiterated the importance of always focusing on the interests of the country in order to cement further the foundation of bringing about prosperity as opposed to identity along tribal chauvinism and feudalism as had been the case in nascent years of Uganda’s independence.
“Identity has value, but it should never eclipse the interests of the people. Banyankole cannot buy milk and bananas from each other because they already have them. What they need now is money to build houses and take their children to school. They can only do this through selling to other Ugandans. We, therefore, found out in our student movement that Uganda was more important than Ankole,” he said, according to press release.
Museveni said just as officers are engaged in serving the country in the security sector, every other adult in the country must engage in the production of goods and services to serve society and create wealth for themselves.
He urged army officers and men to embrace the principles of patriotism and Pan Africanism, adding that the prosperity of Africa as a whole lies in the love of one’s country and continent, as well as working for unity. The President also called on the army to note that socio-economic transformation agenda was another principle that they must study, adding that Ugandans must wake up and abandon the old ways of doing things.
“You can now see that social media is more used than radios and televisions. Very soon, this old media will phase out because people read the news online and will no longer see the need for newspapers. When you lag behind in science and technology, you disappear,” he remarked.
Museveni noted that socio-economic transformation was possible through education and that it is why the National Resistance Movement government operationalized free education.