President Yoweri Museveni is rooting for the construction of an army university to cater for children of soldiers, and some officers that would like to upgrade in their studies.
The President was Wednesday addressing the first Special Forces Command (SFC) Army Officers two-day conference, on patriotism; pan Africanism; societal development and transformation; personal development, healthy living and welfare at State House Entebbe.
He singled out Education, health, Welfare including housing and wealth Creation for security forces.
“With housing, we should look at getting equipment for the construction unit so that we stop ‘maama ingia pole’. In the meantime, soldiers children who go to university need to be catered for. We should look seriously at establishing an army university for specific courses like medicine, engineering where civilian students can also enroll and pay. This can be an income for the army,” he said.
He said that once these facilities are available and proven to be of quality service, they would attract the civilian population to use them at a fee.
The UPDF Chief Political Commissar Brig. Henry Matsiko said political Education is the crucial work of every Commander in security forces through inspiring those that they lead.
“It ensures conscious discipline and morale. The drive will propel individual soldiers in maintaining commitment to duty and at the same time attend to his welfare needs,” he said.
The president said that a country’s human resource is greater than any natural resource and must be nurtured and protected. He said this coupled with the unity and stability of our nation is the best insurance for its people.
The President who spoke freely with the buoyant officers had previously shared with them eight of his publications that he has written over time addressing various issues including; economic integration to ensure prosperity, political integration for security, Democracy, patriotism, pan Africanism, wealth creation, political education and the welfare of security forces among other things to ascertain their understanding of the political and social economic situation. He noted that a low level of political education breeds corruption.
“Society evolves and with developments in Education, communication, ICT etc, people are changing gradually. That technology changing society also changes our people but it has to be in a good way,” he said, urging the officers to be patriotic in the course of their work.
“For example, if you don’t control smuggling and yet you are a customs officer or a security officer, that means there is no revenue collected and therefore no payments to police leading to a rise in crime. The problem partly is also with bureaucrats’ who are not involved in wealth creation. They are not bothered about the market for various products. With social economic transformation even wives of soldiers can be involved,” he said.
The SFC Commander Brig. Don Nabaasa thanked the President and commander in Chief for organizing a very wonderful conference, which has re-energized the commands ideology.
“This has been a crucial engagement, officers are more resolved than ever to uphold the UPDF doctrine and contribute to the stability and transformation of our people. They are impressed by the President's sensitization and interaction on matters of national importance. Am confident the officers have been re-energized to remain patriotic as the vanguards of security and as key players in the security sector for our country’s development,” he said.