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The Future Of Uganda Depends On UPDF Capabilities – Hon Ssempijja

The Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja has said that the future of Uganda depends on the capabilities of UPDF, and these capabilities can be attained through training.

Hon. Ssempijja made the remarks while officiating at the graduation ceremony of 47 senior officers from the East African Community at Senior Command and Staff College (SCSC) Kimaka in Jinja District. “The future of Uganda depends on the ability by UPDF to perform effectively and ensure the safety of the people, as Ministry of Defence we must guarantee security by building capacity through training,” said Hon. Ssempijja.

The minister added that the Ministry of Defence is fully focused to support UPDF operations and the welfare of troops to bring social and economic development.

He implored graduates to maintain the standards because the knowledge acquired at SCSC will enable them to handle security challenges across the globe, go and practice sharing the knowledge with others who didn’t get a chance to attend. He concluded that this training bonds us together in the East African Community and strengthens the Pan-African spirit because trainees are drawn not only from Uganda but from all East African Partner States and South Africa.

The Deputy Chief of Defence Forces Lt Gen Peter Elwelu who represented the CDF congratulated graduates upon successfully completing the one-year course. He said, “The best thing you can have in this world is knowledge, knowledge is wealth, once you get knowledge then you have got everything Kimaka has given you knowledge go and share it with others’’ remarked Lt Gen Elweru.

He urged graduates to multiply their knowledge and use it well for the good of Uganda and Africa at large because the primary mission for this training is to build capabilities in officers to safeguard the nation for social and economic transformation. Lt Gen Elwelu implored graduates to work together as a team and build comradeship to overcome challenges if they are to succeed.

The Commandant of SCSC Maj Gen George Igumba informed the guests that this was course 18 of Senior Command and Staff College with 47 students who have gone through one-year intensive training. He informed the chief guest that one trainee from South Africa No 98108541 Lt Col Phineas Noko Senyatsi died of natural causes during the course. A moment of silence was observed to remember the fallen student.

He said that this course is a grouping from a diverse region which is a taste of the East African integration agenda. He reminded the audience that SCSC Kimaka has since its inception graduated 28 officers from the Republic of Burundi, 28 from the Republic of Kenya, 22 from the Republic of Rwanda, 38 from the Republic of South Sudan, 6 from the Republic of South Africa, 34 from the United Republic of Tanzania and 519 from the republic of Uganda.

Maj Gen Igumba added that this course is a reflection of academic excellence where trainees are equipped with multiple skills and modules on national issues to handle the changing role of the military with contemporary peace and security.

He acknowledged that the college is affiliated with Makerere University and 12 students are pursuing a Master’s degree in Defence and Strategic Studies and two are pursuing a Diploma in the same field.

Maj Gen Igumba urged the graduates not to be timid of mistakes. “If we are timid of failure and imperfection, it means that we shall never value and cherish our experiences,” he said.

The SCSC Kimaka was inaugurated in 2004, an idea mooted by H.E. the President of Uganda to offer Grade II staff course to senior UPDF officers. This was the 18th graduation ceremony with students drawn from the East African partner states and one from South Africa.

Present at the function was the Managing Director of National Enterprise Corporation Lt Gen James Mugira, Chief of staff – Land Force Maj Gen Jackson Bakasumba, Chief of Staff – Air Force  Brig Gen David Gonyi, Commandant National Defence College Uganda (NDC-U) Maj Gen Francis Okello, Dons of Makerere University, Local Leaders from Jinja, parents of the graduates among others.

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