The Chief of Defense Forces Lt Gen Wilson Mbadi has tasked the directing staff at the Senior Command and Staff College to prioritize training in cyber security.
While presiding over a ceremony in which Gen Andrew Gutti handed over the leadership of the college to Maj. Gen. George Igumba on Wednesday, Mbadi said that at the time of the college’s inception in 2004, the priority was largely on professionalizing the militaristic skills amongst senior officers, but security threats have evolved, which warrants the college to amend its curriculum.
Mbadi argues that unlike the olden times where all security threats evolved around direct gunfire across borders and within other selected communities in the country, the current ones range from cyber security, food insecurity, locusts, floods, landslides and unemployment among others.
He explained that these challenges are better addressed through training all-round officers, with the necessary skills. He notes that misuse of online technologies by some individuals who opt for blackmail is endangering individuals and institutions alike because such information spreads at a very high speed and victims struggle with controlling the damage caused.
Mbadi adds that if officers are skilled in handling cyber security challenges, it will ease the fight against suspects, most of whom manipulate modern technologies to evade legal prosecutions.
However, the outgoing college commandant, Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti said that inadequate funding has deterred the college from constructing syndicate rooms and dormitories meant to foster absorption of the existing backlog of senior officers, who are already qualified for college admissions. Gutti also pointed out low staffing levels, which affect the smooth execution of the college’s activities.
In his response, Mbadi said that the UPDF’s top command prioritized funding of the college’s activities to fulfil their main goal of fully professionalizing the force. Mbadi also challenged the college leadership to lobby for more partnerships with government institutions and other related military colleges within the region, which he says will improve the quality of skills extended to the trainees.
Maj. Gen. George Igumba, the incoming College Commandant committed himself to team up with the training staff, in their process of anchoring the college’s excellence towards greater heights without compromise.
Igumba has returned to take over office from his former boss Gutti, whom he deputized at the same college between December 2014-January 2017. Igumba serves as the fifth commandant of the college since its’ operationalization in 2004.
Meanwhile, Gutti has steered the top college leadership for the past 14 years. The College prides itself on 18 years of existence where they have managed to train 590 senior officers from both UPDF and across the East African Community-EAC region.