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UPDF Retires 1036 Officers, Militants

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One thousand thirty-six Officers and Militants of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) have today honorably retired from active service in the Forces after most had completed 20 to 40 years of service to the nation and the region.

Due to the COVID-19 situation in the country, the retirement ceremonies were conducted in eleven centers across the country to ensure social distance.

The Commander Special Forces Command (SFC), Maj Gen James Birungi presided over the ceremony for the retirees under his command at Entebbe SFC Headquarters whereas the Deputy Commander Air Forces, Major General Tumusiime Katsigazi presided over the ceremony for Air Forces personnel at Entebbe Air Forces Headquarters.

All the Division Commanders presided over the function or were represented by senior Officials in their areas of responsibilities in Masindi, Kakiri, Mbarara, Mbale, Gulu, Pader and Kabarole respectively.

The biggest number; 362 Officers and Militants were retired from Land Forces Head Quarters in Bombo where the Commander Land Forces (CLF), Lt Gen Peter Elwelu was the chief guest.

The CLF urged the retirees to consider being there for their families as one of the core issues to do on retirement.

“You have been very busy and did not have time for your families, now you finally have the time,” he said adding that the retirees need to stay in their villages and concentrate on agriculture which is the backbone of Uganda’s economy and not run to the cities.

“Now that you are going home, I encourage you to go to the garden. When God created us, he put us in the garden, not in the cities,” he said.

Retirees bidding farewell to the force.

He also urged them to continue promoting peace and security while in their communities and shun all those that are deemed to create instability in the country.

“We have to make sure this country remains peaceful for this is the only Country we have, that God gave us,” said Lt Gen Elwelu.

Finally, he urged them to be ambassadors of government in spreading the messages aimed at protecting the people of Uganda against COVID-19. He shunned those who say there is no Coronavirus and showed concern at the level of defiance by Ugandans in following the Ministry of Health guidelines against COVID-19.

“COVID-19 is not a dream, it is real. Go and be ambassadors for humanity in your communities, sensitize against COVID-19 as per the Ministry of Health guidelines. The problem with we Ugandans is being very stubborn. We are only lucky that God is with us otherwise we would have paid heavily,” he said.

“Ugandans need to stay indoors as guided and that it is God’s will that the world is under lockdown,” he added.

“Tell your people that it is not government putting us under lockdown but God’s will. As per places of worship, they belong to God, if God so wants us to open them, he will create the condition to open them, stop blaming the President,” Elweru emphasized.

The senior-most retiree Col Stephen Kato thanked the UPDF leadership for providing the retirement schedule three to four years in advance that enables the retirees to appropriately prepare for their next life. He said the retirees have got many experiences, learned skills while in the force that will be beneficial in their future engagements.

Concurrently at the other retirement Centers around the country, various messages and advice were passed on to the retirees.

In Kakiri, Maj Gen Sam Kawaga told the retirees to walk with their heads high for having served in and been part of a great force, the UPDF.

“This force has contributed to peace and security in Uganda and beyond and it is just wonderful that you have been part of that journey,” he said, adding that their retirement is the normal journey of every soldier; recruitment, service and finally retirement.

In Kabarole, Brig-Gen Moses Kwikiriza told the retirees that retirement does not mean being tired.

“Stay safe and remain focused, work hard to improve on your livelihood using your packages,” he said.

Brig Kwikiriza further advised retirees not to live a reckless life that would expose them to dangers such as HIV. “The country wants you healthy, alive and as law-abiding citizens engaging in productive activities,” he said.

The retirees were urged to maintain a high level of discipline.

In Mbale, Brig Gen Joseph Balikuddembe thanked the retirees for the selfless service rendered to the country and advised them not to be lured into subversive activities.

“You have done a great job especially in fighting the Lord’s Resistance Army and insurgencies in Eastern Uganda. It is for these efforts rendered that the country is now stable. You are leaving us better than you started, thank you comrades and may you go in peace,” said Brig Gen Balikuddembe.

In Masindi, on behalf of Maj Gen Sam Okiding, the 101 Artillery Brigade Commander, Brig Gen. Dan Kakono, told the retirees to maintain their military discipline as a means to prosper in civilian life. He urged them to continue embracing patriotism, nationalism and Pan-Africanism. He told them to further promote democracy and socio-economic transformation in their communities.

In Pader, Brig Gen Michael Kabango told the retiring officers and militants to desist from indiscipline acts that might block their chances of being recalled for other special assignments by the army and asked them to keep fit through healthy living.

“The struggle in your lives is not yet over. You must be productive at all times and be good leaders as you interface with the community,” he said.

In Nakasongola, Brig-Gen David Isimbwa (DAAC-LF) who represented the Nakasongola cantonment congratulated the Officers and men for their contribution in the liberation struggle of Uganda, and the region subsequently.



Source – chimpreports.com

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Minister Rukutana charged with attempted murder, remanded

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The state minister for Labour, Gender and Economic Development Mwesigwa Rukutana has been remanded to Kyamugorani prison in Mbarara district.

Rukutana appeared before Ntungamo Grade One magistrate Nazifah Namayanja this afternoon from where he was charged with seven offences related to attempted murder, assault, malicious damage, and threatening violence.

Rukutana was captured in a video that went viral on social media showing him grabbing a gun from one of his bodyguards and started shooting at a vehicle belonging to supporters of his political rival Naome Kabasharira. At the time of the incident, Rukutana had just lost the Rushenyi country NRM flag to Kabasharira.

The prosecution alleges that on September 5, 2020, at Kagugu village in Ntungamo district, Rukutana and others still at large assaulted Julius Niwamanya and threatened to kill or injure him together with three others. The others are Stuart Kamukama, Dan Rwibirungi, and Moses Kamukama. 

It is also alleged that Rukutana also willfully and unlawfully damaged a motor vehicle registration number UAR 840X Toyota Rav 4 type which belongs to Moses Muhumuza.

According to the Judiciary public relations officer, Jameson Karemani, Rukutana has not taken a plea of these charges against him since they can only be tried by the chief magistrate who was not in court today.

As a result, the magistrate decided to send him to Kyamugorani, awaiting his return to court on Tuesday.      





Source – observer.ug

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Lira district headquarters closed over COVID-19

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Lira district headquarters have been closed after one staff tested positive for COVID-19 last week. 

On Monday morning, district staff were blocked at the gate with only the deputy chief administrative officer, his secretary and the receptionist allowed access to their offices. 

Paul Samuel Mbiiwa, the deputy chief administrative officer says that only heads of department will be allowed at the headquarters while the rest will work from home. He adds that the restriction will help to curb the spread of the virus.

“You see corona is not a joke. We have taken a step at fighting it and that is why you are seeing the staff outside. Even in my office here I do not want people to come if there is anything we can discuss on the phone.”

Francis Okello Olwa, a senior community development officer who doubles as the district spokesperson says that the entire district offices will be fumigated and closed for two days.

Health authorities in the district are planning to take samples from all the staff because they could have interacted with the one who tested positive. Currently, there are 19 COVID-19 patients under treatment at Lira regional referral hospital.     

On Sunday four health workers at the hospital tested positive for COVID-19. Dr Patrick Odongo, a senior medical officer at the hospital also succumbed to the virus.  





Source – observer.ug

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Museveni issues ultimatum to police boss

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Museveni flagged off distribution of motorcycles for NRM chairpersons

President Yoweri Museveni has given Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martins Okoth Ochola a chilling ultimatum: You either do your work or I will do it myself!

Museveni disclosed the ultimatum he gave to the IGP today Monday at the NRM secretariat at Plot 10 Kyadondo Road in Kampala where he was flagging off the distribution of motorcycles to parish chairpersons of the ruling National Resistance Movement party across the country. 

“I told the IGP that if the police doesn’t do their work, I will do it myself by arresting the police officers themselves,” Museveni stunned his audience as he commented on the electoral violence that marred the NRM primaries held on Friday last week. At least 4 people were killed across the country during the primaries. 

“There was violence in Bukono county [Namutumba district] where people were beaten. I got information that police has not done much work. Some (policemen) have been arrested and given police bond; there is no police bond for somebody who has attacked Ugandans!,” Museveni added. 

Museveni vowed to deal with all persons who messed up the party primaries.  In some parts of the country, there were massive regularities where candidates who had been defeated ended up being announced winners. In some places like Namutumba, Isingiro, Ntungamo, Jinja, Katakwi, among others, there was violence that led to the killing and wounding of civilians. Museveni said that they are going to make sure that all those who participated in these irregularities and violence are held to account. 

Museveni said although the violence was orchestrated by the politicians, the police personnel are to be held accountable for failing to contain it.

Last week, police spokesman Fred Enanga warned police personnel especially those guarding VIPs against being drawn into the politicians’ political wrangles, reminding them that they would face the music if they did. With the president now threatening to go and conduct the arrests of errant policemen himself, IGP Ochola is likely to move fast to avert the spectacle. 

Museveni wondered why police would shoot at unarmed people who were fighting amongst themselves: “That policeman must be arrested; even the ones who are threatening people you will go to jail for that if we get evidence,” a seemingly incensed Museveni said.

He also said that the state minister of Labour, Gender and Economic Development Mwesigwa Rukutana who was captured on camera attempting to shoot people over the weekend in Ntugamo after he lost the  Rushenyi primaries, will be charged with threatening violence and attempted murder. 

 “This game is finished,” Museveni said.

Rukatana has since been charged and remanded to Kyamugorani prison in Mbarara district in western Uganda. Museveni called upon all those dissatisfied with the election results to write petitions to the regional panels of elders which he said are going to be constituted to hear all election complaints.

“We are going to get three respected people who are not part of the struggles, then we shall go and audit village per village and we shall discover. If you have committed forgery, the registrar or the politician who ordered,  you all shall go to jail. The game is finished; the voting is by lining and if you miss-add, you are ‘miss-add’ yourself,” Museveni said.

Museveni’s speech came shortly before that of Justine Kasule Lumumba, the secretary general of the NRM who called upon the president to reign over some senior people who with impunity were freely changing the results of the elections.

“Some of our staff were lured into changing declaration forms on the way forgetting that people who had participated at the village don’t need to write; they registered the record in their faces…Some have done things with impunity… in Butemba county Kyakwanzi district, one of the candidates who got 3,000 votes brought in soldiers, cordoned off that place and was declared a winner and off they went away,” Lumumba said. 

The ball is now in Ochola’s court to get the police to execute their duties professionally and with impartiality. In March 2017, President Museveni warned Ochola’s predecessor Kale Kayihura to clean the police force of wrong elements. As months passed with no visible sign of police officers shaping up, Museveni resorted to other security agencies who started arresting rogue senior police officers and charging them in the military court for various crimes.

Kayihura was then removed from office, arrested and jointly charged with the errant officers in the army court. To avoid similar fate, Ochola is likely to use a firmer hand on the police officers so that by the time of the February 2021 elections, there is no laxity in the force’s execution of its mandate to maintain law and order.





Source – observer.ug

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