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“We have Built a Powerful Army, Brought Peace to Uganda by Working Together” – President

Thursday 5th July 2018
President Yoweri Museveni and Commander-in-Chief of the Uganda Armed Forces has said that the NRM Government has been able to build a powerful Army through working together as a strong team.
“By working together we have been able to create a powerful Army which has brought peace to Uganda for the first time in 500 years. I have come to send off our Generals in dignity. The Army leadership should ensure that these Generals lead a good and comfortable life,” he said.
The President made those remarks yesterday at State House, Entebbe when he presided over the retirement ceremony of 11 Generals of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF). The occasion was the first time for a big number of Generals to retire and also to be officiated by the President. 
The retirees are Commandant of the School of Air Force, Maj. Gen. Joshua Masaba, former Presidential Pilot Maj. Gen. Ali Kiiza, Presidential Advisor on Buganda Affairs, Maj. Gen. Kasirye Ggwanga, the Commandant of the Army Headquarters in Bombo, Maj. Gen. Hussein Adda, former Commandant of Nakasongola Army Barracks, Maj. Gen. James Ssebagala, former Chairman of the 1st Division Court Martial, Makindye Barracks, Maj. Gen. John Mateeka and the Chief of Welfare and Production, Brig. Jacob Musajjawaza. Others are Brigadiers Yowasi Kiiza, Stephen Othieno, Olanya Ojara and Mark Ayiasi Kodili.
He observed that for the past 11 years the whole country has had no conflicts. He added that the British colonized us from 1894 to 1962 while our people suffered from kingdoms.
The President was pleased to note that Uganda has had peace from corner to corner since 2007. He observed that this achievement has “enabled us to have these officers, who have served the country diligently, to be sent off in dignity”. He reiterated that peace has been the centre of all these achievements adding that the National Resistance Army (NRA/UPDF) fought for the people of Uganda to have their freedom. He noted that this was contrary to the stand of the former leader of the Uganda Freedom Movement (UFM), Andrew Kayiira, who said that they were fighting for Kabaka. He added that Kayiira’s stand would divide them during the protracted armed people’s struggle.
President Museveni observed that corruption had killed the idea of making Army Schools and health facilities competitive in order to help children of soldiers to access quality education. He, therefore, called on the serving UPDF personnel to work with patriotism in order to solve the various challenges they meet in the performance of their duties. 
He reiterated that the Army should have Primary and Secondary Schools to cater for the education of the children of soldiers. He stressed that our soldiers should not be under pressure taking their children to the schools where there is payment of fees. He said that if the Army Schools were well managed, they would attract children from civilians. 
He further advised the UPDF leadership to establish and promote Army clinics noting that such measures would eliminate the social pressures that the soldiers were experiencing today. He also advised wives of soldiers to cultivate in the barracks in order to create more income for their families. He warned soldiers against the vice of enrolling the children of their relatives in Army Schools as such practice would compromise the good intentions of Government.
President Museveni described Maj. Gen. James Ssebaggala as a person who was instrumental in the training of soldiers as Maj. Gen. Ali Kiiza, who served as Presidential Pilot, performed beyond a normal call of duty. He praised Maj. Gen. Joshua Masaba and Maj. Gen. Ali Kiiza for their outstanding contribution to the development of the UPDF Air Force and to Brig. Jacob Musajjawaza he said he is a very honest man who observed patriotism.
The President wished them all good health and dignity in retirement as well as good luck as he tasked them to write about their appreciations during service in the Army. He also presented certificates of discharge and mementos to the Generals whose service ranged between 37 and 55 years. The 11 Generals were treated to an honour of a street guard at the climax of their farewell ceremony.
The Minister of Defence, Mr. Adolf Mwesige, reported with pleasure that the Generals have rendered service to Uganda diligently through selflessness. He observed that UPDF is one of the most respected armies in the region and in Africa at large.
The Chief of the Defence Forces Gen. David Muhoozi saluted President Museveni for his firm stewardship of UPDF. He revealed that the ceremony witnessed the largest number of general service Officers to be seen off at the same time. 
Maj. Gen. Joshua Masaba, who spoke on behalf of the retirees, thanked God the Almighty for the gift of life and the perseverance of their families. He commended both the Government of Uganda and UPDF leadership for giving them the opportunity to make a contribution to Uganda. 
Maj. Gen. Masaba further said that they cherished with pride the privilege of being a soldier. He thanked President Museveni for leading the liberation war adding that the President’s liberation efforts have come to fruition. 
Later, President Museveni hosted the Generals and their families to a dinner. The ceremony was attended, among others, by the Minister of Security Gen. Elly Tumwine, State Minister for Transport Gen. Katumba Wamala, the Commissioner General of Prisons, Dr. Johnson Byabashaija and the Deputy IGP Brig. Sabiiti Muzeeyi. ENDS