The General says the army should be professionalised without punishing the older officers.
ENTEBBE- Senior presidential adviser on military affairs, Gen Salim Saleh (Caleb Akandwanaho), has challenged officials of the Uganda People’s Defence Air Force (UPDAF) to have a retirement plan for their ageing officers.
Gen Saleh was speaking during a pipping ceremony for the recently promoted airforce officers at the UPDAF headquarters in Entebbe on Friday.
“Professionalise without punishing the older officers. All those people ageing in the Air Force should be sent to the civil areas of the force. You also need to have concrete plans for them such that their sacrifice is not demeaned,” Gen Saleh said. “These old people sacrificed a lot during the formative stages of the airforce, they should not be set aside but helped.”
He said unlike the airforce, other sections of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) have been integrated in non-military projects such as farming.
“I am the commander of the “farming army” and sections like the Infantry where I belonged while still in active service have been integrated in our projects,” Gen Saleh said.
He appealed to the young army officers to remain focused on the Force’s mission and vision.
Gen Saleh is President Museveni’s younger brother and a strong pillar in the Bush War that brought the NRM to power in January 1986.
He decorated Brigadier General Tom Tumuhairwe, who was the most senior officer at the ceremony.
Gen Saleh, who said his contract as a senior presidential adviser expires in March 2O15, paid tribute to Sgt Flavia Namakula who was recently promoted after winning two silver medals at the Eighth World Military Golf Championship in Bahrain last month.
Exhibit good leadership
Col Charles Lutaaya, the UPDAF deputy commander, urged the newly-promoted officers to exhibit good leadership over their juniors. “If you are going to be a good commander, you need to exhibit good leadership because your promotion means that there is a leader in all of you,” he said.
In total, 94 UPDAF officers were promoted, an increase from 80 who were promoted last year.
The airforce currently has troops deployed in the volatile Central African Republic, Somalia and South Sudan. The force also mans the Mogadishu Airport in Somalia.