President of the Republic of Uganda and Commander in Chief of the UPDF His Excellency Gen Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has commended the Uganda Peoples ‘Defence Forces Engineers for assembling armored military vehicles.
The President made the remarks at the commissioning of Nyoka Conversion Project in Magamaga Barracks in Mayuge District.
“Iam glad now after a long period of sleep, Africa is waking up because such work is a result of no sleep” Gen Museveni observed.
He added that” NYOKA” vehicles with a ballistic protection that can withstand a single anti -tank mine blast anywhere under the hull, are made from steel which Uganda has and that very soon a factory in Tororo will be making new steel from iron ore.
The President promised to look into the economies of making iron steel here as opposed to buying from Sweden.
He pledged to work tirelessly to see that other industries such as Luwero Industries can combine ideas for better output and form a bigger industry which can employ more Ugandans.
Impala Service and Logistics Limited of South Africa were commended for choosing to pattern with UPDF and the President urged them to maintain such a wonderful working relationship.
“When in the Bush, we had 100 mines from Libya but we used them to do much damage to the government. By the time we finished the landmines, we had finished the government”.
“Landmines had brought down the government of the Portuguese in Mozambique. Samora Michel used to say “the mine was the nuclear bomb of Africa”.
“After Nelson Mandela came to power in 1994 in South Africa, we learnt of these vehicles which were in two types; mambas and buffaloes.
“We also later learnt that the company making them was stopping production, which prompted me to direct that we take over the technology”.
The president says the good thing about armour is that it will be there for a long time and that only parts that grow old are the moving parts.
“That is how we developed the overhaul concept, the Nyoka vehicles. Ugandans are finally waking up. For an educated population like ours, these things are easy. It is simple physics and chemistry. Now that you are getting out of sleep, the sky is the limit” He says.
“These armored vehicles are made from steel. If we can add some alloy from the steel that will be made from the Tororo steel factory, we can make armored steel”.
At the same function the Chief of Defence Forces Gen David Muhoozi also commended the Commander in Chief for being such a guiding star for UPDF and doing a very commendable job towards the professionalization of the Army
“We have skilled our soldiers and we hope to upgrade” he said. The CDF also promised that the Army will soon construct a Marine.
I thank the UPDF for the initiative and Impala Company for working with our army in using this mine-resistant technology that had been initiated by the South African white army.