this editorial on recent steps to clean up the officer ranks of the Uganda Peoples' Defence Forces. Fifteen officers assigned to the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia, including two brigadiers and a colonel, have been suspended. The Observer comments:
Now, even critics admit that UPDF is a disciplined army. However, being disciplined doesn't mean that all individual soldiers are angels. Soldiers are recruited from the rest of society with its moral deficiencies; and so, rotten tomatoes are only to be expected.
However, a disciplined army would ensure that rotten tomatoes in its ranks are not allowed to soil the image of the entire force. That calls for the army leadership making it a point to punish wrongdoing without fear or favour.
Rampant indiscipline amongst politicians and civil servants leads to inefficiency in government and ultimately hampers social service delivery. Yet this persists because of a sense of impunity. If every Ugandan, in public and private life, knew that actions have inevitable consequences, this country would be a much better place.
To their credit, the UPDF leadership has tried to avoid this pervasive culture by maintaining a strict code of ethics for its officers and men. This army's no-nonsense approach to discipline is obviously responsible for its relative success at home and abroad.
The UPDF is not perfect by any means but there is a lot civilians can learn from them.