Promotions in the army are not based on tribe but instead on education, performance and professionalism, says the president.
By John Thawite, Wilson Asiimwe & John Nzinjah
Promotions in the army are not based on tribe, but instead on education, performance and professionalism, President Yoweri Museveni said on Saturday.
“The army is not a tribal promotion movement. So to those requesting me to promote their tribesmen and women, I advise them to work hard,” he said.
He was speaking at a cross-religious thanks-giving ceremony in honour of Maj. Gen. Wilson Bwambale Mbadi, who was recently promoted and appointed army Joint Chief of Staff.
The function was also held to appreciate the Government for the achievements the district had registered and several appointments to high government positions since the NRM took over power in 1986.
At some point, a heavy downpour disrupted the event which was organised by Kasese district and held at Nyakasanga playground in Kasese Municipality.
President Museveni emphasised that the UPDF was built on the principles of democracy and professionalism. He went on to explain that each district had been allocated a quota during recruitments into the army and that promotions were awarded based on merit.
Museveni was responding to an appeal by the Rwenzururu prime minister, Noah Nzaghale to promote more sons and daughters from the Rwenzori region.
“We promoted Mbadi because of his exemplary performance and education. He went to the prestigious Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst (RMAS), where he emerged one of the best trainees.”
The President cautioned Ugandans against tribalism, saying they needed one another’s for social-economic development.
Placing more emphasis on this, he made a pointed reference, saying as a milk producer, he depended on non-Banyakole to buy his milk.
He noted that the army system operates in such a manner that those who cannot fit are thrown out. “It is like a winnow, where the rejects are blown away.”
Maj. Gen. Wilson Mbadi: "I was promoted because of my humblest contribution to the army in this country.”
Museveni reiterated his earlier commendation of the army as a professional and disciplined force which has greatly contributed to the social and economic development of the country.
Earlier in his remarks, Maj Gen Mbadi warned fellow soldiers against expecting quick promotions, saying that army promotions are based on experience.
“You join today and after a year you want to become a major-general. That is very wrong thinking. I was promoted because of my humblest contribution to the army in this country.”
Mbadi hailed his clan, specifically his wife, for not having put him on pressure to assist them [family] financially since he joined the army. If he had been pressured, he said, he would perhaps have fallen into the temptation of swindling funds.
“Like many civil servants, when you are put on financial pressure, you end up mismanaging public resources,” he said.
The promoted army man attributed his military success to President Museveni’s parental guidance, inspiration and mentorship.
At the function some of the senior UPDF officers who hail from Rwenzori were also paraded, arousing thunderous applause from the crowd.
Defence minister, Dr. Crispus Kiyonga highlighted some of the achievements in the district which he said had set the district on the path of transformation especially in the areas of health, education and agriculture.
The district chairman, Lt Col (rtd) Mawa Muhindo introduced the District Elders’ Forum, chaired by retired RDC Bamusede Bwambale, which the President inaugurated and flagged off.
Prominent investors based in Kasese, including the Chinese and Hima cement factory were also present at the function.
Army promotions not based on tribe, says Museveni