The Chief of Defence Forces David Muhoozi has clarified on the recent arrests within the city and the perception that the army had taken over the work of the police.
The UPDF has for a long time been known as the people’s army and has been lauded for its discipline; however, recent incidents have cast doubt on this image.
Gen Muhoozi told NBS television that UPDF needs to be judged by the challenges it faces as they come.
“The brand we have built over time is appreciated. It is an exportable brand. We all make mistakes but we have to move forward. I want to assure the public that the mistakes we make are not a norm.”
He added: “I am leading human beings. I cannot assure you that the mistakes will never happen again. We live in houses. If this world only had angels, we would never have doors.”
Gen. Muhoozi cited education, leadership, supervision and those who cross the line are punished as the actions being taken to reform the forces.
“When we punish them, we make sure they know why we are doing that. Our soldiers are meant to be accountable to the public, the CDF and their fellow soldiers.”
Like any Uganda, members of the public inclusive, Muhoozi said UPDF can arrest offenders.
“The law also allows us to do police work if we are called upon by the police. In this specific matter of arrests in the city, there has been a threat of terrorism for a while. In the late 90s, security chiefs decided to start an anti-terrorism task force.”
He said the Joint Anti-Terrorist Task Force that was formed and did its job. It was led by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence [CMI].
At the time, the police was inadequate so the task force that was multi agency, did its job well.
“The task force did its job well until the 2010 bombings. For reasons I cannot mention here, the task force became docile and the threat evolved. Until recently, when the Joint Anti-Terrorist Task Force became active in response to the magnitude of the threat.”