By Jackie Nambogga
JINJA - A total of 305 officers from the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) have been passed out at the Non commissioned academy in Gaddafi barracks in Jinja with a caution against applying the skills acquired in social places.
Of them, 94 underwent a senior non commissioned officers course while 170 were trained in instructor’s course and the 94 in martial arts and weaponry.
(PHOTOGRAPHY by Jackie Nambogga)
The graduands while showcasing how to fight with knives at the pass out in Jinja on Friday.
Before being passed out, the students showcased various skills acquired which included firing balloon and bottles with pistols in different positions, collective actions with knives, breaking hardcore stones and blocks on their stomachs, laps, backs and chests as well as breaking bottles with bare feet, among others.
However, Brig. Lakara Nakibus, the commander for the Uganda people’s defence force 3rd division in Karamoja sub-region who was chief guest on Friday said the crafts are meant for self defence but if applied unnecessarily, they may turn into offences.
“Don’t take the crafts to social places, they are meant for self defence which can turn into offences if applied unnecessarily,” he warned.
The students demonstrating how to fight armed enemies with guns
In March last year, Pte Patrick Okot Odoch went to a bar near Bombo army barracks where he opened fire killing 10 people on spot.
This was after a futile mission when he attempted to rape a girl but she raised an alarm and he fled.
Later, he turned his anger on the girl’s parents after reporting him to police and trailed them to a bar. He indiscriminately opened fire killing them including a bar owner and six others. He was arrested and sentenced to 65 years in jail.
Meanwhile in October 2013, two men fought for a prostitute at Top Pub in Kampala and one drew a pistol during the scuffle and started shooting injuring 6 people.
Police said the gun belonged to a private security firm.
A Korean instructor trains studentS in Taekondo
However, once applied well, Lakara said such crafts also help in mental improvement by cutting stress, concentration, positive attitude, physical balance and flexibility.
“These battle cries, voices and inner spirit of the skills help in building one’s life style mentally and therefore, you should maximally use them for a noble cause,” he urged.
Lakara was emphasizing earlier remarks by Col. John Mary Kaganda, the director of auxiliary training who explained that some instructors violate the discipline and ethical behavior of the force.
Kaganda said in 2006, an official from Kabamba took his techniques at Kyakasanda trading centre in Mubende district after taking some bottles and tried to demonstrate them but found when the Wanainchi were ready and didn’t want him to continue.
A soldier aims a hammer to break a concrete stone on a colleague's chest
“I have seen you displaying very good skills in defending, let the techniques be applied where necessary,” he urged.
He cautioned them against being over taken by the waves of events saying they should guard against HIV/AIDS.
“This ailment is still with us try to protect yourselves because the nature of your work requires when you are health and alive,” he counseled.
Instead of concentrating on theories alone, Lakara noted the need to also carry out practicals during trainings.
He said training is a job security for one to compete favourably as it exposes them to better opportunities in the force.
Meanwhile Lt. Col. Saad Katemba, commandant of the non commissioned academy said UPDF attaches a lot of meaning to military instructors in shaping the image of the force.
“This academy is the backbone of the UPDF and without it we are nowhere,” he noted.