The Ugandan military on Saturday marked its 40th founding anniversary with President Yoweri Museveni presiding over the celebrations held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Defense and Veteran Affairs here in the capital.
“I want to congratulate the UPDF (Uganda People’s Defense Forces) on this 40th anniversary. You have done your part by defending the country even though you don’t have everything you need,” said Museveni.
The event, which was broadcast live, was held under the theme “Celebrating UPDF at 40; fruits of fulfilled partnership of maintaining and consolidating peoples’ security, stability and prosperity.”
“Uganda, which was a failed state and had a collapsed economy, is now one of the fast-growing economies in the world,” said Museveni. “In this (coming) term, we are going to concentrate on social-economic transformation. That is where the gap is because the roads are there, (with) electricity, schools, health centres and others,” he said.
Museveni, who won the country’s presidential election on Jan. 14, earlier unveiled the foundation stone for the almost complete military specialized and referral hospital in Mbuya, a hill in southeastern Kampala.
“I thank everybody involved in the planning and execution of this hospital. This is very good for the army but also for the country,” said Museveni. “In many parts of the world, military hospitals are on the top end of medical facilities. Everything will be here,” he said.
Adolf Mwesige, minister for defense and veteran affairs, hailed the army for its peacekeeping efforts in Somalia and contributing troops to East African standby forces for an immediate response to crises, as well as United Nations peacekeeping missions.
The celebrations on Saturday followed week-long civil military activities including construction of schools, cleaning of urban centers, tree planting, engineering works, among others.