KAMPALA – President Museveni on Wednesday launched the Motorized Infantry conversion facility at Maga Maga Army Barracks in Mayuge District and praised the late Gen Aronda Nyakairima, the former Internal Affairs Minister, for the initiative.
“The late Gen Aronda came to me and said, ‘No, Let us indigenize this technology; let us take it over because when people in Europe are adopting new fashion, for us here, we are continuing with our Mivumba (second-hand things), you know that’, Mr Museveni said of the plant that manufactures and assembles military Nyoka 4×4 mine and ballistic-protected vehicles.
The move is seen as a cost-effective option for the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).
“Africans have slept for the past 500 years. Five hundred years is a long time. I want to thank those (Motorized Infantry) for getting out of sleep as it shows they can now do things on their own, he said.
“These vehicles are made from steel which you have here and very soon a factory in Tororo will be making new steel from iron ore; we shall look into the economies of making iron steel here as opposed to buying from Sweden,” he added.
He also called for integrated industries adding that this would help create jobs and save money for the country.
He thanked Impala Services and Logistics Ltd, a South African company, for having partnered with the UPDF and for positively using technology to build improved military vehicles.
“I am very grateful to the CEO of Impala. He was a cadre of the ANC and joined the South African Army but later retired. His partnering with us is ideological,” he noted.
The UPDF Chief of Defense Forces (CDF), Gen David Muhoozi, described the conversion of the Mamba and Buffels ‘carcasses’ into Nyokas as a ‘bold and foresighted move’, saying plans are underway to set up a marine workshop depot and a pier.