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Uganda: Museveni passes out 6,000 LDUs, warns urban criminals

President Museveni has warned criminals who have infiltrated the sprawling Kampala City Metropolitan area and are killing innocent citizens to seek sanctuary elsewhere or be eliminated.

Mr Museveni said while the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) had defeated cattle rustlers and also destroyed the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in DR Congo, little time had been dedicated to watch the security for the towns.

“I believe some people are now worried and developing blood pressure because the situation is now under control,” Mr Museveni said after watching maneuvers and target shooting demonstrations by a section of the Local Defence Unit (LDU) trainees during a passing out parade at the Kaweweta UPDF Recruit Training School in Nakaseke District.

“These stupid criminal elements started targeting innocent people like the Sheiks coming from mosques. These [criminals] were mainly the ADF being kept by my young brother [Dr Congo immediate former president] Joseph Kabila and the United Nations in DR Congo.

The police itself had been infiltrated by criminal elements. They killed [Senior State Prosecutor] Joan Kagezi because she refused to take a bribe not to prosecute them.

[Former Assistant Inspector General of Police] Andrew Kaweesi was killed by people we don’t know, including [killing] the jolly [Arua Municipality] MP [Ibrahim] Abiriga,” Mr Museveni said.

The President said the LDU force is part of the wider and cheaper way of defending the country through an affordable formula where you have no big army in time of peace but one which has necessary and strategic elements.

“They are in place and we are enhancing them. At the height of the insecurity, we embarked on a rapid response, which included installing CCTV security cameras in all major towns.

But because these technical means were taking time, I decided that we make use of these youth to enlist their support by way of training to defend their country.

They have been here for only 16 weeks but are now very good soldiers. This shows you that with our 40 million people, nobody can bring insecurity because we now have the capacity to keep peace,” he said.

LDU welfare
The President said the UPDF does not normally pay the trainee recruits, but the LDU force is a special case because many have families.

“We shall pay you for four months because I was briefed that many of you have family responsibilities. You will get pay for the training months.

When time comes for you to return to the reserve force, you will be supported to do business. Remember to go back and live a responsible life. ‘

Don’t drink and use drugs. You should also know that HIV/Aids is still on. You must preach the gospel of discipline to those other youth to remain responsible citizens,” Mr Museveni advised.

Earlier, the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen David Muhoozi, said the command and control of the LDU force has been taken care of and the force is subject to the UPDF Code of service discipline.

“We have already chosen the formation commander and will serve in a regiment but under command of the UPDF to be zoned within their respective areas of origin, which include Wakiso,

Kampala and Mukono towns. We are paying them for the month of March to facilitate their respective movement home. The rest of the money will be paid when they return,” Gen Muhoozi informed the President.

Information from the UPDF indicate that the LDUs will earn a starting salary of Shs200,000 which will be enhanced with time depending on availability of resources.

Each of the LDUs will now walk away with about Shs800,000 as payment for the training months as directed by the President, the land forces UPDF spokesperson Lt Col Henry Obbo told the this newspaper in an interview.

By Daily Monitor

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