Major General Francis Okello, the Commandant of Uganda National Defence College (NDC-U), has challenged leaders in Mbale City and Mbale District to play an active role in ensuring security in their communities.
According to Maj. Gen. Okello, security is key and touches all spheres of life, and a lack of it threatens the country’s well-being. He added that insecurity threatens the smooth functioning of all sectors, including the health sector and education, among others.
Maj. Gen. Okello made the remarks during an engagement between NDC-U Course members who are on a research tour across the country and leaders from Mbale city and Mbale district at Mbale district headquarters.
“Being secure is being free from threats or danger, and we must all be ready to play our part by engaging in and supporting government policies, programmes, and interventions, including mobilisation, to make ourselves, our families, our societies, and our country secure,” said Maj. Gen. Okello.
Maj. Gen. Okello remarked that the strategic reason the government encourages investments in economic ventures and instituting strategic programmes like Youth livelihood Programmes and the Parish Development Model (PDM) is to create jobs, uplift economic livelihoods, improve household income, and improve the welfare of society.
“PDM is a “vehicle” that has direct and indirect implications and contributions to national security. Increases in household income could translate into increased purchasing power, leading to indirect revenue due to increased consumer spending. These positive effects create a more peaceful and socio-economically satisfied society that is appreciative of government services,” Maj. Gen. Okello added.
Maj. Gen. Okello stated in his speech that national security is not only about the UPDF and Uganda Police providing physical security but also about every Ugandan knowing and playing his or her role and, where appropriate, contributing to some kind of productive economic activity.
John Rex Achilla, the Resident City Commissioner (RCC) of Mbale City, said he is glad that UPDF has established a National Defence College for national security and strategic leadership practitioners that will be carrying out research from the grassroots for policy formulation and providing ideas that can support or improve better service delivery.
Ms. Naome Nakawala, the Deputy Resident District Commissioner (D/RDC) of Mbale District, congratulated President Museveni and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces for building a professional army, as he promised in his manifesto.
This is the second cohort of course members by the National Defence College-Uganda since its inception in 2021.