Over 6,000 Local Defence Unit (LDU) personnel have been passed out to reinforce security agencies in Kampala and other surrounding major towns, after undergoing training for months.
President Yoweri Museveni presided over the passing out ceremony on Friday at Kaweweta Recruit Training School in Nakaseke district.
Museveni who is also Commander-in-chief of the armed forces commended the trainees for being a disciplined and trainable force that managed to acquire the basic military skills and knowledge within a short period of time.
He noted that UPDF managed to defeat rural terrorists like Lord’s Resistance Army, Allied Democratic Front, and eliminated cattle rustling in the Karamoja region but is now left with fighting urban crime.
He, however, observed that some security measures to improve urban insecurity like the installation of security has already taken off. He said that the idea of recruiting LDU trainees to beef up security most especially in the urban areas is an affordable formula in defending the country since it will employ the youth.
He added that very soon it will be impossible to commit any crime in Uganda and you go unpunished since the army has got the necessary strategic elements which take time to build and should be protected.
“Nobody can bring insecurity to Uganda, we have the capacity to defend ourselves and guard peace,” said the President.
The President urged the fresh LDU trainees to serve diligently once deployed and avoid reckless habits like overdrinking and smoking marijuana, saying these are bad habits that weaken ones health and often impair judgement.
He thanked parents for allowing their children to join the fight of stabilising Uganda by serving as LDU trainees for growth to take root. He promised to support the fresh graduands with business skills when they go back to the reserve Force.
A total of 6,239 LDUs were passed-out, 485 being female.
The Chief of Defence Forces, Gen David Muhoozi thanked President Museveni for his unwavering guidance in stabilising Uganda. He noted that the LDU trainees will work with other security forces to fight urban crime, which has already significantly reduced.
“The Army’s involvement in fighting urban crime has already disproved pessimists since the vice has declined,” said Gen Muhoozi.
The Commandant of the Training School Brig Charles M Byaruhanga commended the UPDF leadership for all the support towards training the LDU trainees and urged the graduands to put the mission before personal needs for the country to remain stable.
The best overall trainee was Sekizivu Swalley, best in range shooting was Ochen Denis while the best female student was Namukisa Christine. They received gifts from the school in recognition of their excellent performance.
In September last year, President Museveni revealed plans to deploy a total of 24,000 Local Defence Units (LDUs) in the areas of Wakiso and Kampala as part of the mechanisms to curb incidents of urban crime.
He said at the time that the intervention was only interim as government works to address other technical aspects such as installation of CCTV cameras.
His revelation came a day after the assassination of outspoken Police officer, ASP Muhammad Kirumira who was gunned down in Bulenga near Kampala on Saturday evening. Kirumira’s death occurred just three months after a similar assassination of former Arua municipality MP, Ibrahim Abiriga near Kampala.