The army has spoken out on recent reports in the media relating to a Presidential directive that industrial parks where investors run their businesses be assigned permanent security by security agencies.
This came during a meeting held a few days ago between President Yoweri Museveni and the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda, Zheng ZhuQiang at State House Entebbe.
The Chinese Ambassador had during the discussion expressed concern over recent attacks by thugs on Chinese investors. However, the President gave them assurance that the thugs will be defeated.
“This is temporary, shallow and shall be defeated. There were attacks in Mukono and Mityana; one experienced by the Gayaza Road construction company and the recent one in Zirobwe,” Museveni reportedly said to the Chinese Ambassador.
Museveni attributed the pockets of attacks to urban thugs saying he would personally handle the matter.
When contacted by SoftPower News to confirm the directive regarding the security of industrial parks, the UPDF Spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire said that indeed UPDF and other security agencies will give protection to investors who are “strategic allies” of Uganda.
“They [investors] became vulnerable because of the financial system that became attractive to the bad guys,” Brig Karemire told this website.
“Security forces, the military inclusive will provide security to all key partners including investors both local and international,” he added.
“They are strategic allies to Uganda as the country moves to achieve social economic transformation. We hold them dearly because of the employment opportunities they offer especially to our youths and taxes for wider services to the people”.
The media reported President Museveni asked security agencies to form an operational security committee that would seek joint co-ordination with the Chinese community.
In addition, he asked that area-to-area security operations be conducted with the deployment of at least twelve security officials with arms and vehicles in industrial park areas.
Asked why the military was getting involved in providing security to civilian interests that is typically police work, Brig Karemire said that provision of security is the responsibility of all security forces including the military.
“In the course of executing their mandate, security forces coordinate amongst themselves and support each other,” Brig Karemire explained.
The army spokesperson however advised investors to desist from keeping large sums of money in their factories which often attracts criminal elements.