Students from the National Defence College of Kenya (NDC – K) have been commended for promoting the East African Community agenda through linkages based on interests and culture.
This was revealed by the Chief of Defence Forces Gen Wilson Mbadi during a meeting with the NDC – K delegation at the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs headquarters in Kampala.
Gen Mbadi welcomed NDC – K Course 25 Intake 2022/23 participants and remarked that our initial linkages as East Africans were only disrupted by colonial masters, who promoted the politics of identity as opposed to national interests.
He advocated for hard work to dismantle linkages based on identity as evidenced by the colonial demarcations.
He explained that disunity based on ethnic linkages was learnt from the colonial masters who were driven by their interests and not the interests of the affected colonized states. “We must curve some of our standards that work for our system. If it works for us, then it suits,” alluded the Chief of Defence Forces.
He pointed out that security is a national power and a big enabler that impacts economic prosperity and security growth. “We first need to have security to create an environment for investment,” he added.
The Chief of Defence Forces called upon the Kenyan delegation to foster harmony and friendship with neighbours to create bigger markets and a big voice for recognition. “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools,” Gen Mbadi emphasized.
The UPDF Joint Chief of Staff (JCOS), Maj Gen Leopold Kyanda, in his closing remarks, emphasized the use of internal capacities to resolve conflicts. “The sooner we realize that we are one, the greater we shall become,” remarked the JCOS.
He also pointed out that the interaction of the UPDF and NDC of Kenya is of great significance in building a strong EAC bloc.
The JCOS thanked Kenya Defence Forces for giving a chance to the course participants and enabling countries to meet together.
Speaking at the same meeting, the head of the Kenyan delegation, Maj Gen Charles M Kahariri, lauded UPDF and other sister forces for stabilising Uganda and beyond.
The meeting was also attended by the UPDF Chief Political Commissar, Maj Gen Henry Masiko, Chief of Staff Air Force Brig Gen David Gonyi, Chief of Staff Land Force, Brig Gen Bob Ogiki, Chief of Staff Reserve Force, Brig Gen Mwanje Ssekilanda, and Defence Spokesperson, Brig Gen Felix Kulayigye, among other Senior officers.
National Defence College Kenya (NDC-K) is a training facility under NDU-K for senior commanders in the Kenyan military. This includes the army, navy, airforce and Special forces.
Training is also availed to senior Kenyan civil servants and senior military officers from African countries and other continents at this college.