President Museveni has praised the Uganda People’s Defence Forces for liberating the country even when they neither had food nor clothes, but bullets and ideology.
The President made the remarks at a function to send off 19 retiring army Generals on Monday at State House, Entebbe.
Monday’s retirees form the second bunch of top-ranking UPDF generals to retire within 12 months.
These include Gen. Joram Mugume, Maj. Gen. Nathan Mugisha, Maj. Gen. Sam Turyagyenda, Maj. Gen. Jimmy Wills Byarugaba, Maj. Gen. Timothy Sabiiti Mutebile, Brig. Ramadan Kyamulesire, and Brig. Charles Angulo Wacha.
Others are Brig. Sam Kakuru, Brig. Matthias Ssewankambo, Brig. Gyagenda Kibirango, Brig. David Kaboyo, Brig. Tom Tumuhairwe, Brig. Emmanuel Musinguzi, Brig.John Mugogo Tumwebaze, Brig. John Mulindwa, Brig. Kenneth Ocen Obwot, Brig. Adolf Sserwadda, Brig. Francis Achoka Ongom, Brig. Charles Anywa and Brig. John Mary Kaganda.
“We started small, galvanized and determined, but later ‘hatched’ into something big. The National Resistance Army (NRA) grew into something bigger because of its foundation on Unity and Sacrifice. 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,” the President said.
According to the President, also Commander in Chief, immediately after the 1986 war that liberated the country, there was little or no money that many several Ugandans refused to join the army. But there was a need to provide 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,” he said, adding, “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.”
The President also urged the retired generals to help spread the gospel of wealth creation wherever they go.