Ntungamo. FDC party president Mugisha Muntu has criticised President Museveni’s move to appoint army officers to head Naads under the Operation Wealth Creation Programme.
Maj Gen Muntu argues that soldiers are more corrupt, incompetent and divisive than civil servants.
Addressing FDC supporters in his home area of Kitunga, Rwashamaire Town Council, Ntungamo District, last Sunday, the former army commander said giving soldiers authority to head such institutions and programmes was admission that President Museveni has failed in service delivery to farmers.
“What expertise do those army officers have that is better than that of graduates? They think someone can be trained for three days and becomes an expert in the field? This is self-submission that Mr Museveni has failed. He is returning to bush war times (methods),” Gen Muntu said.
He said the army, which has failed to deliver pension and gratuity to its officers, can never be trusted to deliver aisory services or inputs to farmers since they are more corrupt than civilians and not trained in the field.
“I have been meeting these retired army officers most of them at the rank of sergeant and captain asking me about their pensions and gratuity on my countrywide tours. At times I tell them, I retired at a rank of Major General, if these people (army) are not afraid to steal my money what about them (those with lower ranks)?”
The UPDF spokesperson, Col Paddy Ankunda, dismissed claims that the UPDF is corrupt and unfit to run Naads. “The UPDF is the most solid, transparent and competent government agency,” Col Ankunda said.
He also said that it is not the UPDF that gives gratuity but Public Service ministry. “Currently, there are thousands of retired officers that are getting their retirement benefits. I am not sure Gen Muntu followed up his (gratuity), if he didn’t, he shouldn’t blame anyone then,” Col Ankunda said.
He, however, said the UPDF is in talks to have the system decentralised so that the army can handle its own gratuity.
FDC officials are on countrywide tour mobilising political support and sensitising voters in preparation for the party’s grassroots elections.
Speaking at the function, Rukungiri municipality MP Roland Mugume Kaginda, asked voters to rise up and make their voices heard if they want a difference in their livelihood. Mr Kaginda said service delivery, reduced maternal deaths, better infrastructure, improved education and poverty reduction will only be seen after President Museveni leaves power.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor