By Max Patrick Ocaido
President Yoweri Museveni says nobody can disturb the peace that Ugandans are enjoying due to a formidable, disciplined and professional national army.
Museveni however, warned the national army-Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) against “contamination”. This was during the 39th Tarehe Sita celebrations held in Nakaseke District on Thursday.
"I am glad that we have succeeded in building an army that is from the people but is also for the people. However, when you put milk and leave it in a container, it can be contaminated if not well covered. So UPDF must always fight against contamination. UPDF is a clean force but it must be guarded against contamination," the President emphasized.
"We are now able to guarantee peace for a long time and like CDF said we shall guard it. Nobody will disturb our peace. To consolidate this peace, the army must maintain the good discipline," he added.
Earlier, the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen David Muhoozi said that Uganda is peaceful, secure and will remain so due to the gallant sacrifice and commitment of the UPDF. The Army chief saluted President Yoweri Museveni as the founder of the UPDF which has exhibited high levels of discipline and professionalism. He listed 3 out of the 4 core mandate of the UPDF which the force has excellently achieved.
"We have done well in 3 of core functions of the national defence. Uganda is now peaceful and secure and it will remain so. The other area where we have succeeded is we have been supporting our neighbouring countries in emergencies. And lastly, the UPDF have kept an enduring relation with the civilians," he observed.
The UPDF has secured 100% territorial peace in Uganda for the first time in more than 50 years and has enhanced its capacity to defend that status. Gen. Muhoozi revealed that the fourth core objective of the UPDF which remains unachieved is taking part in production to improve on the welfare of citizens.
"We have only taken modest steps through revamping of industrial parks and the results have been spectacular. The other venture is through the Operation Wealth Creation which is geared towards lifting Ugandans from subsistence to commercial farming to fight household poverty," he said.
Currently, the UPDF has in Nakaseke District only distributed over 25tonnes of maize, 22tonnes of beans and 10million coffee seedlings to 30,000 beneficiaries among others. In order to create wealth, President Yoweri Museveni re-emphasized commercial agriculture among households, adding that it’s the reason he deployed the UPDF in 2013 after government programs like NAADs struggled to create a positive impact.
"As we celebrate peace brought by the UPDF, we must now change our society. Let us use the prevailing peace to make wealth. Those ones with land must engage in food agriculture and commercial agriculture. Those without land can involve in industry, services and ICT," he said.
The annual Tarehe Sita celebrations are marked in recognition of the heroic sacrifices that were gallantly exhibited by the 41 patriots (both combatants and non-combatants), who made the foundation upon which UPDF rests today as a Peoples’ Army.