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Army chief warns UDPF drivers, store keepers on drunkenness

A reckless UPDF driver pushes another car off the road in Kampala. FILE PHOTO @wirejames
Jinja, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  Uganda People’s Defense Forces-UPDF drivers and store men have been advised to regulate their alcohol consumption to safeguard the reputation of the two departments that are considered the backbone of the force.

Brig Ronald Bigirwa, the Commandant of the UPDF Service Brigade made the appeal while presiding over the graduation of 50 drivers and 52 store men at the UPDF School of Supply and Transport-SOST in Jinja district on Friday.

The drivers completed a five month  drivers refresher course whereas their counterparts concluded the basic stores management course class 1. Drivers have been trained in military law, traffic regulations, Highway Code, defensive driving and road safety.

Bigirwa argues that, the force employs heavy armored vehicles procured using public funds, which is costly for tax payers once they are mismanaged.

He disclosed that lack of sober minds dealing in army stores has caused financial loss to the unit because, the assigned officers end up parking wrong items for different tasks, which calls for double payment for both transport and packaging materials.

Bigirwa also expressed concern over drivers who mismanage their lives and contract sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS before completing other driving courses, arguing that such people have cause financial loss to the institution.

Col. Amos Rutaremwa, the Commandant of the SOST College, said the force needs to offer more refresher courses to its drivers as some of them have forgotten earlier on acquired skills and lack driving permits to suit their experience in the transport industry.

“The drivers were meant to stay here for three months but because they lacked driving permits to suit their experience and new tasks ahead of them. I decided to keep them here for more two months,” he said.

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