UPDF’s Pioneer class graduates at the country’s National Defence College
Uganda Peoples Defence Force’s Pioneer class of officers on wednesday graduated at the country’s National Defence College, located in Buikwe district
The first cohort of officers who graduated at the newly opened National Defence College included nine brigadiers and nine colonels at a colorful event graced by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
While passing out the18 graduates, President Museveni explained that for a country to be peaceful, it needs to have a national army with capable leadership.
“Now part of the instability which Uganda had after Independence was due to that problem of having no capable army leaders. A fellow like Idi Amin didn’t know anything. He was totally ignorant. So, they didn’t know the idea of loyalty to the constitution; then they could not understand anything about running a country even when they took power. So that was part of the problem. Therefore, right from our student days, we resolved that we must build an army of a new type and that is what we started doing.”
The commander in chief of the UPDF said the National Defence College is a big achievement towards achieving security goals for the country. He however urged the officers to help in the fight against corruption.
He said the senior army officers should make sure that corruption which has been a problem in the civilian sector does not penetrate the armed forces.
“The army is moving well but I think you should emphasize the issue of corruption once you happen to be deployed. Make sure corruption which has been a problem in the civilian sector does not come to the army. We have had some cases of corruption. Corruption is very dangerous. If you steal fuel from the army, you steal supplies, you steal money, you are an enemy of the army. Corruption is not the future,” Museveni said.
He also urged the senior officers to train people under their command, pointing it out as a crucial area as far as capacity building is concerned.
The Minister of Defence , Vincent Ssempijja applauded President Museveni for his vision and unwavering zeal to continue developing Uganda by providing a secure and conducive environment for socio-economic transformation.
The UPDF Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Wilson Mbadi congratulated the senior officers for having concluded the journey they started a year ago.
He reiterated that the college comes now to cap the most top tier of the joint military education requirements with added advantages such as reduced cost of training outside the country, the ability to impart Uganda’s own historical experiences in the officers.
According to the commandant of the national defence college, Maj Gen Francis Okello, during the year’s course, the UPDF senior officers covered areas on national security, policy formulation, implementation and review, strategic management and research.
Some of the officers who graduated on Wednesday included the former head of the State House Anti-Corruption Unit, Col Edith Nakalema , former UPDF spokesperson, Brig Flavia Byekwaso and former SFC commander, Brig Peter Candia.
The college is located in Njeru, in Buikwe District. This is near the city of Jinja, approximately 81 kilometres (50 mi), by road, east of Kampala.
The Defence College was established to produce graduates in strategic leadership to government on national and international security matters. It is intended to be an institute of excellence on defence, security and national development, and it’s affiliated to Makerere University.