Thursday, March 21, 2024


President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has commended the educated people for improving the quality of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF). 


“We value the educated young people, and we want them for our institutions, especially the scientists. The educated people including the social scientists have improved the quality of our army,” he said. 

Gen. Museveni made the remarks on Wednesday 20th March, 2024 at State House-Entebbe while delivering a lecture of opportunity to a group of 89 scientists who were taken through a two-month basic military training at Sera-Kasenyi Training School last year. 

The scientists included computer scientists, electrical engineers, Information Technology professionals, Software engineers, Telecom engineers, mechanical engineers, civil engineers, among others. 

Out of the 89 scientists, 32 expressed willingness to join the army and continue with the military training. 

President Museveni informed the scientists that in the past, the army was for the illiterate people, and it could not perform, citing it as one of the reasons why the armies of Idi Amin and Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA) failed. 

The President was also happy to note that the young scientists are coming out as change agents in Uganda. 

“This has been my work for the last more than 60 years to develop young people into priests of change. Your qualifications and disciplines are what we need to build a modern army and economy,” he emphasised. 

“Between 1976-1978, I trained in Mozambique 28 cadres, and these are the ones who built up our army. Only 3 of them are surviving; Gen. Saleh, Gen. Ivan Korea and another officer called Brig. Omule. You can imagine the 28 people are the ones who built this powerful army because I brought them and they trained others,” he added. 

President Museveni also congratulated the scientists who had chosen a path of serving the country through the army. He however advised them that they should not join the armed forces because he asked them to, but they should do so based on their personal decision. 

“I congratulate the ones who feared to join the army because you do what you like. Never do what you don't like, never do things because people want you to do them, not even your parents. You should tell them that this is what I want.  When I was doing what I was doing, none of my parents understood what I was doing. When I went to Mozambique, people thought I was mad and when we started fighting, they thought we were mad people but we were right and convinced and the majority were wrong, so you do what you like. I wanted you to join the army but don't join because I want you to join,” he explained. 

“At the same time of course, I want to congratulate those who want to join the army. They should join because they like, not because I told them to do so. This is not conscription where you make people join the army whether they like it or not. Our army is totally a volunteer army.”

On the other hand, President Museveni ordered the Deputy Commander of the Special Forces Command (SFC), Brig. Gen. Charity Bainababo to ensure that the scientists who are not joining the army are recruited into other science areas. 

“Then you can think of your own private enterprises which I can also support if it is a good project,” he assured the scientists. 

President Museveni also urged the scientists to be patriotic and understand the ideology of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) which aims at analysing the society and what should be done. 

“Wherever you are, like in the army, a department, or a private sector, you should know how the NRM thinks. You should know the four principles of NRM which include Patriotism- love Uganda. This was part of the problem in the past or even in the present in some parts of the world. If you see the chaos that is going on in some parts of the world is because people do what they are not supposed to do and don't do what they are supposed to do.  Even here it was like that. During colonialism and after colonialism, leaders were emphasising the issue of identity of tribe, religion and sex,” he stressed. 

“At independence, we had political parties based on that. DP was a party for catholics, UPC for protestants, Kabaka Yekka was a party for Baganda and protestants, but this was a false ideology. It was a misdiagnosis because identity was the problem of society.”

President Museveni further advised the scientists to always promote politics of interest because it is very crucial in promoting the prosperity of Ugandans. 

“These people who are preaching tribal solidarity, are they not misleading us? Why don't they talk about loving Uganda? Because we need Uganda for our prosperity. That is how our first principle becomes Patriotism,” he said. 

"But secondly, we found that when Ugandans wake up and start producing seriously; milk, beef, maize, bananas, cassava, the internal market will not be enough. That is where East Africa and Africa come in to give an external market for our products. We discovered that Africa can assist us in creating our prosperity. That is why we added principle number two: Pan-Africanism.”

The President however noted that in order for Ugandans to take advantage of the Ugandan market and the African market, they need to be modern people through socio-economic transformation, which is principle number three of the NRM. 

“You must stop being those who work for only the stomach and become wealth creators for the money economy with "ekibaro". What is the address of socio-economic transformation? They are four; number one is commercial agriculture with "ekibaro", number two is manufacturing and artisanship, then services and ICT,” he said. 

“The fourth principle of NRM is Democracy, that one is clear.”

Brig. Gen. Charity Bainababo informed the President that the scientists undertook training in military law, political education, physical training, skills at arms and basics in Kiswahili.

Brig. Gen. Bainababo also noted that the 32 scientists who expressed desire to continue with the military training shall be deployed in the army accordingly.

The lecture of opportunity was also attended by the Chief Transport Officer and Head of Engineering- State House, Eng. Sheeba Kusasira and the Commandant of Sera-Kasenyi Training School, Lt Col. Frank Mugume.