President Museveni Kaguta Museveni, who is also the Commander in Chief of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF), has emphasised the necessity for training institutions like Olilim to become centres of excellence, stating that by exposing students to new experiences, they are better equipped to learn and grow as individuals.
He made this remark during the pass-out of a total of 4,212 Local Defence Personnel (LDP) at Olilim Training School in Katakwi District on Friday, October 13, 2023.
“In the training centre, we must have everything so that the one who is trained here, even if he is staying in a grass-thatched house back home, must be able to know what a good dormitory looks like because he saw it when he trained at Olilim. And these training schools are not many; they are just like 15, so don’t scatter resources and fail to show our people what excellence means,” President Museveni said.
The president congratulated the trainees and all Ugandans in general for moving forward in terms of building strong institutions like the army.
“You heard that these young people are 4,212. Now all of them except three have at least O’ level certificates. Only three were from the primary level, and 500 of them are graduates. One of the boys who got a prize here has a degree in Industrial Chemistry,” President Museveni stressed.
However, on the issue of insecurity in the Teso Subregion, the President was happy to note that the government has the situation under control.
The president also disclosed that the government was also dealing with the issue of Pokot and Turkanas, who come from Kenya and disturb Ugandans.
“Otherwise, the people in Karamoja and Teso should concentrate on development; this is very easy to deal with,” he assured.
The Vice President, H.E. Major (Rtd.) Jessica Alupo, commended President Museveni for professionalising the UPDF and other armed forces, an endeavour that has resulted in the total stability of Uganda from North to South and East to West.
“In addition to ensuring that Uganda’s national security is peaceful, you have championed support for our brothers in a number of African countries like South Sudan, Somalia, and the DRC, among others, alongside your counterparts from the regional blocs and the African Union. This has resulted in market access of Ugandan products to the region and the continent as Ugandans continue to embrace export promotion, a trend that has resulted in sustainable growth of our economy,” Alupo said.
She also thanked the President for establishing the Olilim Training School and the Counter-Terrorism Police Training School in Katakwi.
The Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs, Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, also lauded the President for his enduring commitment that has enabled Uganda to build a strong and reliable army that can guarantee the security of Ugandans.
The Minister also informed the trainees that the skills they have acquired from the training should make them comfortable serving with vigour and valour in whatever theatre they are deployed in.
The Commandant of Olilim Training School, Lt Col. Eria Mugasa, reported to the President that the trainees of basic military training for Local Defence Unit Course intake 09/22–23 began their training on August 17, 2022, with a total of 4303; among them, 697 were female, but as the course progressed, 91 trainees dropped out of the training due to various reasons.
“Today, sir, it is my honour and gratitude to present to you 4,212 young, well-trained, and disciplined Ugandans who have attended and successfully completed 58 weeks of basic military training, ready to pass out,” Lt Col. Mugasa said.
The pass-out ceremony was also attended by ministers, members of parliament, and UPDF leadership and other Ugandans.