President Yoweri Museveni has supported the idea of extending legal aid services to the barracks of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) so that soldiers, who require legal aid with respect to handling land and other property in their home districts, can be easily assisted.
“Let the soldiers be assisted to handle legal matters about their land and property. The role of a soldier is to protect the country. They do not have time to follow up legal matters on their own. A government Surveyor and a Legal Officer should be stationed at every Division to handle soldiers’ legal matters on land, at free cost,” he said.
The President, who is Commander-in-Chief of the Uganda Armed Forces and is currently on a countrywide tour of Army Barracks, was on Saturday responding to some questions raised by soldiers after his address to UPDF Officers and men of the 2nd Division Simba Barracks in Mbarara Municipality, Mbarara District.
Gen. Museveni told the soldiers that the principles of the National Resistance Army (now UPDF) in fighting for the liberation of the country, revolved on Patriotism, Pan-Africanism, promotion of Science, Modernisation and Democracy. He, therefore, reminded UPDF soldiers that they are members of the liberation Army who must shun unprincipled divisions of tribes and religion, among others, and only work for the protection of the country and wananchi.
The President lauded the achievements Uganda has realized in the health and education sectors, among others, adding that because of the policy of immunization, along with mass education, life expectancy in Uganda has gone up with the the population currently at 41 million up from 14 million in 1986. He encouraged soldiers to produce children that they can afford to look after. He also strongly advised them to take good care of their health.
“Prevention is better than cure. Avoid all life risks that lead to creating health problems for you such as promiscuity, alcoholism and HIV/AIDS,” he said.
Regarding the prosperity of the people of Uganda, the President emphasized that everyone should strive to make a contribution in the production of goods and services. He, at this juncture, pledged Shs.100 million to support the SACCO of the soldiers’ spouses in the Division to help them further sustain and enhance their various income generating activities.
The In-Charge of UPDF’s Engineering Brigade, Maj. Gen. Timothy Sabiiti Mutebile, reported that the Government has set aside US$300 million to construct 30,000 housing units for the Army around the country adding that 4,000 of them will be built in Mbarara Barracks.