The Chief of Defence Forces Gen David Muhoozi has cautioned promoted army officers against acts of indiscipline, saying their elevation in ranks means “good service” not “opportunistic expectations.”
Gen Muhoozi reminded the military officers it is the “UPDF that has made each of us,” adding, “We need to be reminded of the purpose of ranks as an organizational tool to lead and do so judiciously.”
The CDF spoke on Tuesday at the decoration ceremony of promoted senior officers from the ranks of Colonel to Lieutenant General at the Defence Ministry in Mbuya, Kampala.
Gen Muhoozi’s remarks come against the backdrop of high ranking army and police officers being arrested and prosecuted by the military court on charges related to misconduct.
Muhoozi said promotions should see the military’s top brass “inspire the subordinates positively”, enforce discipline and build team spirit.
“It’s about additional expectations and how to manage them,” he emphasized.
Army officers promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General include Ivan Koreta, Joram Mugume, Pecos Kuteesa, John Mugume, Prossy Nalweyiso, Charles Awany Otema, James Nakibus Lakara, Peter Elwelu, James Mugira, Joseph B Musanyufu, Charles Lutaaya, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba and Joram Kakari Tumwine.
The army officers were decorated by colleagues with the help of their spouses and children.
Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, who wore the ceremonial uniform and shinning black boots, was accompanied by his wife Charlotte Muhoozi Kutesa.
Gen David Muhoozi’s caution to the military leaders was reinforced by State Minister for Defence Bright Rwamirama who said “discipline has been our core value… don’t indulge in things that may lead you down.”
He added: “We don’t want to see you going down, but carrying the flag higher.”
Gen Ivan Koreta, the former Deputy Chief of Defence Forces, delivered an emotional speech praising Museveni as his “teacher” and “mentor”.
Koreta, who fought in the NRA bush war, said promotion in the armed forces is a “sign of trust that you can do better. It’s dear but delicate. I implore you to conduct yourself and take the best care of the men and women who will be under your care.”
Koreta, a golfer, is among the first trainees of fighters in Mozambique that would later form the nucleus of NRA which seized power in 1986.
Security Minister, Gen Elly Tumwiine, who also fought in the NRA bush war, expressed joy saying he had lived long to “see benefits of staying alive.”
He said an initiative is in the offing to allow the officers from the rank of Brigadier to General to form an investment club.
“We are finding a way of keeping ourselves together and coordinated. That’s why we are starting an investment club for generals. This will enable us think and work together,” said Tumwiine.
“All those aspiring to be generals can join. Those who will retire, this should help you plan properly instead of spending money lavishly. The future belongs to the organized,” he added.
Tumwiine, who also served as army commander, urged the retiring soldiers to continue doing security work.
“Freedom fighters do not retire. Wherever you go you should continue the purpose of being a freedom fighter. Maintain discipline, dignity and values.”
Speaking on promotions, Rwamirama urged the public to “Leave these things because you don’t understand them. Leave them for us. We are not here for picnic.”
Apparently, the Minister was responding to opposition’s complaints that youthful officers were being favored in the latest promotions.
Rwamirama said the army follows a criteria for promotion.
“Say what you know and leave what you don’t know to those who know,” he warned.
Officers were urged to exercise their authority responsibly. The spouses earned recognition for supporting their men while serving UPDF and the country.