“We’ll fight any foreign contamination in UPDF” – Museveni

Museveni inspecting a guard of honor during the Tarehe Sita celebrations in Nakaseke district yesterday. PPU photo

President Yoweri Museveni has cautioned the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) against allowing any contamination of the army, warning that “nobody will destabilize” peace and stability in the country.

“UPDF is a clean force, but it must guard against contamination. All good things can be contaminated. However, because of the goodness, we have been able to maintain peace. Nobody will disturb our peace. We are going to continue guarding this peace,” he said.

Museveni was addressing hundreds during the Tarehe Sita Day celebrations in Butalangu, Nakaseke district headquarters yesterday, under the theme, Consolidating the UPDF strategic partnership with the people to guard gains of liberation.

According to Museveni, the 39 years of the National Resistance Army (NRA)/UPDF is just another phase, which signifies a successful transformation of the army that has been built from various attempts in the past.

“These 39 years is just another phase that had success in building an army that is from the people and for the people,” he said.

Underscoring that since pre-colonial periods of kings to the colonial era, Uganda has had armies, which he said, had problems.

Urging the UPDF leadership to stretch the transformation phase of the army, the President, who is also the Commander-in-Chief, said new efforts to build a new army for the country started with the anti-Idi Amin struggles in 1971-79.

“But as usual, if you put milk in a container, flies fall in it. It can be contaminated if not well-covered. The UPDF must always fight against contamination,” he stressed in an address occasionally interrupted by applause from the crowds.

Museveni said the Tarehe Sita celebrations signified the process of getting the country out of what he called “bad leadership”.

“We are not new people here. We have, for millions of years, been here, but for much of that time, we had bad leadership. Leaders who were against the people,” he said, imploring the UPDF to maintain discipline.

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Patrick Luwagga is the editorial director of cross-platform content for UGANDANZ. He works across the newsroom and with business partners to drive and develop ambitious editorial projects that include digital journalism, video, data research, polling, live events, and thought-leadership series that are supported by outside underwriting. As executive director, he is responsible for the creation of Political news section, prior to joining UGANDANZ, Patrick was the chief editor for the national weekly news magazine of Kasese Times. In that role, he covered several presidential elections, wrote and produced two television documentaries, and was a regular commentator on television and radio news programs. Patrick was born in Masaka and grew up in Kasese. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Makerere University where he was a Knight Foundation journalism fellow.