Retiring Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) officers have been cautioned ‘‘not to join those opposing government but instead work to consolidate the gains of peace and security they have been part of even after they have joined civilian life.’’
The caution was made Thursday by the second division commander, Major General Francis Takirwa while officiating at the send-off of 58 second division UPDF retirees at the division’s headquarters in Makenke, Mbarara City.
“Some of you may be saying I wanted to oppose the government but I was a soldier but now that time has come they will see me. Don’t provoke situations to cause us problems because we will handle you the way we would have handled you as a soldier,” he warned.
He instead advised the retirees to remain disciplined, patient and committed to serving their families, communities and country.
“Be the kind of person that local communities will recommend to be a leader or an RDC but not that one they will be recommending to go to jail,” Maj Gen Takirwa added.
The occasion was also used to caution other serving members of the UPDF to always prepare a ‘soft landing’ as they return to civilian life upon retirement.
“Some of the of you are given a pass for four month to go and check on your people but instead of going home you just go to some trading centres and towns around the fence of the barracks. The earlier you prepare yourself for a decent place to retire the better,” Maj Gen Takirwa said.
The UPDF Second Division administrative officer, Col Patrick Kihuuta said: “Know that you were once in village communities where you were recruited to come and serve, stop being arrogant while in uniform, always be humble, accommodative and tolerant and kind to your fellow people in communities outside there”.
Mbarara Deputy Resident City Commissioner (RCC) Mr Christopher Aine appealed to the retirees to exploit the income generating projects government has initiated in communities to become economically empowered.
Veteran UPDF officer Mr Ali Waswa told the retirees to keep off the ‘‘we fought mentality.’’
“Some of you are going to stop at bars and start bragging we fought, we are Museveni boys, and this won’t bring bread to your home after all no one sent you to join UPDF. Start income generating projects for your family that has sacrificed and became patient in your absence,” he remarked.