President Yoweri Museveni and Commander-in-Chief of the Uganda Armed Forces, has commissioned the Nyoka Military Conversion facility at Magamaga military barracks in Jinja District.
The project that has been ongoing for the last 6 years consists of the manufacturing and assembling of military Nyoka 4×4 mine and ballistic protected vehicles in Uganda as a cost effective option for urban and rural operations by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF). A South African company known as Impala Services and Logistics, which got a contract with the Ministry of Defence to start the manufacturing and assembling of the vehicles, is at the helm of the project.
After touring the facility today, President Museveni saluted the UPDF for exhibiting self-reliance, a quality that all Africans need.
“Africans have slept for the last 500 years. It is a long time and I am very glad to see that you are waking up a little bit and I am here to congratulate you. What is crucial is overcoming the psychological barrier of helplessness. This is just the beginning. You can do much more,” he said.
The President was also reminded of his old days in the bush.
“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 Machel used to say “the mine was the nuclear bomb of Africa” he said.
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 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 Chief of the Defense Forces, Gen. David Muhoozi thanked the President for his guidance on the importance of capacity building and self-reliance. He said that through the project, the UPDF has acquired skills, knowledge, technological transfer and procured industrial equipment for manufacturing.