President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who is also the Commander In Chief of the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) has advised the retiring senior army officers to invest their retirement package wisely.
“This retirement do not regard it as becoming redundant now, no, not at all. This is like a mutation; from one form of service to another one and that is why we had to hold on to retirement until we had solved the problem of package and I can assure you that what you are going with is considerable. That is why last year I permitted the retirement of generals and that is why for a long time we do not permit the retirement of casualties at Mubende. We said they should stay until we give them a good retirement package to make sure that their lives in the villages are good. Now this package that you have got is really good,” President Museveni said.
Gen. Museveni made the appeal today at State House Entebbe as officially retired 11 army Generals. The generals join other 99 Senior army officers from the rank of Major to Colonel who retired on 25th August at the Ministry of Defence Headquarters in Mbuya, making a total of 110 senior officers who have retired this year.
The 11 generals include; former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Gen. Kale Kayihura, Lt Gen. James Nakibus Lakara, Maj Gen. Samuel Wasswa Mutesasira, Maj Gen. Joseph Arocha, and Maj Gen. David Wakaalo.
Others are; Brig Gen. Austine Kasatwooki Kamanyire, Brig Gen. Stephen Oluka, Brig Gen. Frank Katende Kyambadde, Brig Gen. Emmanuel Kwihangana, Brig Gen. Wilson Muhabuzi and Brig Gen. Ham Atwooki Kaija.
The President advised the retirees not to misuse their retirement package by investing in ambitious projects like building schools and hotels.
“You should do something small which you are sure of. Like a man called Nyakana in Fort Portal area. He has listened to our message and with 1.2 acres of land, he earns over Shs240m in a year from 8 cows of milk and poultry eggs so if you can get 5 acres, this is a lot of land that can help you to get a lot of income. If you invest in food production, you cannot go wrong. You see when we got Corona, things like tourism collapsed but eating never collapsed,” he emphasized.
“Apart from anchoring your future using the retirement package, you just sit down and become local counselors of the local people, they will come to you and advise them on what they can do for themselves to improve their household incomes. You are now going to become a new commissar and officer in a wider population. People will come to you, but they will come to you when you are stable.”
On the other hand, President Museveni lauded the retirees for belonging to a glorious army like UPDF and for making their own contribution to the development of Uganda.
“The strong revolutionary force that we built did not only rescue Uganda but somehow contributed to some situations in the region of the Great Lakes. Therefore, I really congratulate you for belonging to such a glorious force and making your own contribution to it because it solved very many problems for our people. When you look at our economy now, it's a totally different story from what it was in 1986 and even different from what is happening in the world. Even today, even if you compared to the whole world, you can see the difference. When you look at inflation, it is 3.9 percent in Uganda but in many countries, the world inflation is very high. People don't have food in many parts of the world, and this is due to the mistakes made by the leaders."
The Minister of State for Defence and Veteran Affairs, Hon. Jacob Oboth Oboth thanked President Museveni for his great leadership that has made UPDF a force to reckon with.
“I also congratulate the retiring generals for the successful military service spanning over years and for retiring honorably. You leave behind a tremendous legacy, not just for the accomplishments of the UPDF but also for cadres of astute character. You have successfully led and mentored others and fostered many relationships that will stay with you long after you begin the new chapter of your life. I know that you are retiring with goals that are not yet accomplished given the complexity of the world in which we live. The work will never be finished but you are passing the mantle, knowing that you have made positive changes directly impacting on the wellness and operational effectiveness of the mighty UPDF,” he said.
The Chief of Defence Forces General Wilson Mbasu Mbadi thanked the President for hosting and blessing the retirement ceremony. Gen. Mbadi also congratulated the retiring generals for successfully reaching the final stage of their careers.
Gen. Mbadi further thanked the President for the enhanced emoluments for the retiring generals which have settled their hearts.
“We therefore want to thank you for the enhanced emoluments which have cured the fear of the unknown and the reluctance for retiring,” Gen. Mbadi said.
Gen. Kale Kayihura who spoke on behalf of other retiring generals expressed his gratitude to the President, general court-martial, and other authorities in the UPDF for finally freeing him of all the charges.
“I am the happiest human being on earth now.” Gen. Kale noted.
Gen. Kale said that after a long term of service and the achievements the UPDF had made it was the right time for them to retire and let the young and energetic soldiers take on the mantle of leadership.
“Today the Country is peaceful, secure, and stable, unlike our times when we joined when there was duka duka.” Gen. Kale said.
He also congratulated President Museveni and the First Lady for reaching their Golden Jubilee Anniversary of marriage.
The send-off ceremony was also attended by the Minister of State for Veteran Affairs, Hon. Huda Oleru Abason, and the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs Permanent Sectary, Ms. Rosettie Byengoma, among others.