President Yoweri Museveni has expressed his pride at belonging to the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF), Uganda’s national army.
Museveni made the remarks on Monday while officiating the retirement of 19 generals from the army at a function held at State House Entebbe.
“When it comes to NRA/UPDF I tell people to “put off their shoes”, to go slow because of the sacrifice of these people. 𝐈’𝐦 𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧. 𝐍𝐨 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐬𝐚𝐲,” Museveni said.
Below is his statement posted on his Facebook page
I hosted retiring UPDF Generals to dinner at State House Entebbe yesterday. This event was somewhat a recapitulation of the stories I captured in the Mustered Seed about the army. Where we started small, galvanized and determined, but later ‘hatched’ into something big.
The NRA grew into something bigger because of its foundation on Unity and Sacrifice. We neither had food nor clothes, but bullets and ideology.
While in the bush, there was no pay and when we had just captured power, the pay was so low but these gallant men and women accepted to provide their services. These officers suppressed some of their interests to work for no or low pay to defend the country.
Immediately after the bush war, the country had no money and many people didn’t want to serve in the army, yet there was a need for the provision of security.
If your country is still poor or disorganized, who do you ask to provide security when everyone does not want? We were, however, able to provide security under personal discomfort, for businesses to grow and civilians to become rich.
𝐈 𝐡𝐨𝐩𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐲 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐠𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐨𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐬𝐚𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐬𝐨 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐔𝐠𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐧𝐬.
I remember Gen. Joram (Mugume), when we wanted to attack Kabamba but had no food, he got his uncle to give us a cow to eat and we came back to life. Then the Lt Col Walter Ochora (RIP), who was one of the young soldiers sent to fight us when we were in the Bush, however, he later switched sides and joined us. Some of these individual stories should be recorded. These stories are good to inspire others.
Just like the story of the burning bush in the bible where God told Moses to take his shoes off because it was holy ground. When it comes to NRA/UPDF I tell people to “put off their shoes”, to go slow because of the sacrifice of these people. 𝐈’𝐦 𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧. 𝐍𝐨 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐬𝐚𝐲.