Museveni speaks tough against corruption in the UPDF

President Museveni in a group photo with UPDF officials at the 13th Tarehe Sita thanksgiving ceremony at Kololo on Thursday

Kampala, (UG):- President Yoweri Museveni, who is also the Commander-In-Chief of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has said the base of the army is good despite a few pockets of challenges.

“Therefore, the command should not tolerate those who bring pollution into the army,” the President said while making his remarks on Thursday at the 13th Tarehe Sita Thanksgiving Breakfast 2024 held at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds.

The event ran under the theme: “How can I repay The Lord for all His benefits to me?”.

President Museveni said UPDF is doing well professionally and assured Ugandans that the few challenges which are faced by the army will be sorted out.

“It is true that there’s some corruption in UPDF now, they should not tell you lies that there’s no corruption. Some corruption has crept in like stealing of fuel, some of the money and some other mistakes,” said Museveni.

“And why should soldiers be used in land evictions? What are they doing there? They are not policemen. Such challenges have crept in, and we have talked about them, but the good thing is that such mistakes are done by the minority, those people who are near the resources. They offend the majority who suffer and report. So that will be sorted out,” he added.

Museveni has in the past few months sharpened rhetoric against corruption in the army.

In May 2023, Museveni accused senior UPDF officers of stealing money meant for Local Defence Units (LDUS) deployed in the turbulent Karamoja region.

The President then said that LDUs were “being paid half of the pay that is paid to a Private of the full-time service of the army,” adding, “Apparently, however, some thieving army officers started stealing their money and not paying them.”

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Senior UPDF officers at the ceremony

The Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs, Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja said they always look forward to such occasions that bring together the entire defence family and a wider fraternity that supports the advancement of the country’s defence mission. 

“It is days like these that remind us that we are all part of our larger community with wider responsibilities and a bigger purpose. Your Excellency, from here we can then continue to bring this realization to our work and in the things that we do. For this purpose, therefore we are here today for this thanksgiving breakfast, and we express this gratitude to you for exemplifying values that have contributed to the success of UPDF during the course of your entire career,” Hon. Ssempijja said. 

Former Premier Amama Mbabazi (standing) and Bidandi Ssali (L) at the function

 The Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), Gen. Wilson Mbasu Mbadi said the thanksgiving has become an annual celebration anchored on divine reflection as an apex of Tarehe Sita activities which normally take the army to the people. 

“We come here to thank God for UPDF’s numerous achievements,” Gen. Mbadi said. 

He added that through such celebrations, they recognize the central role of God, not only in the matters of the UPDF but also in the affairs of Uganda and the African people. 

Former IGP Gen Kale Kayihura (in sunglasses) and his wife also graced the function

The guest speaker, Mrs Patience Rwabwogo, a Senior Pastor at Covenant Nations Church said UPDF is a highly professional army where education, world-class training, use of the State of the art technology and international standards are practised. 

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“I’m deeply honoured to be with you today as we celebrate the 13th Tarehe Sita Thanksgiving service commemorating 43 years of God’s blessing and favour over the UPDF and the nation. The UPDF has Forces deployed not only in Uganda but also in the region as the main exporter of peace to the countries around us. As a nation, we are so proud of the UPDF,” she said. 

Patience Rwabwogo preaching at the event

The event was also attended by Dr. Henry Krabbendam, a missionary friend of the UPDF, Senior Government Officials, Members of Parliament, UPDF leadership, among others.

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