President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who is also the Commander In Chief of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has commended Ugandans for embracing the National Resistance Movement (NRM) ideas that has enabled the country to develop.
“I thank you very much the people of Uganda; when we brought our ideas, you accepted them because if you didn’t accept, we would have been isolated,” he said.
The President who was in company of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Maama Janet Museveni, made the remarks yesterday during the 43rd Tarehe Sita Anniversary Celebrations held at Busesa Grounds, Bugweri District. The celebrations ran under the theme: “Celebrating the People’s Struggle for Unity, Security and Peace for Socio-economic Transformation”.
According to President Museveni, due to the correct ideas of the NRM government, the economy of the country has progressively grown.
“That is why the economy has grown so much but it could grow more if we get rid of corruption. You must fight the corrupt people and also fight the ones who don’t care,” he said.
“On the side of security, we are going to tighten it. We have a strong army, the police, Prisons and intelligence services as well as the Uganda Wildlife Authority, they are all very capable and educated. We started the culture of recruiting educated people in the army, now because of that these army people learn very quickly so it is very easy for us to build a strong force.”
President Museveni also disclosed that Uganda has a very good working relationship with the governments of Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and DRC, adding that as partners, they are working towards achieving a regional solution to deal with the regional security problems.
“I’m glad the delegation of Algeria is here; these people have got very good technology. When I visited them, they gave me some samples. I want to buy more to simplify security. Like for instance, you have seen how cameras work, we are now going to introduce electronic vehicle number plates so that we don’t waste time with investigations.
President Museveni further lauded the people of Busoga for taking part in the NRA/M struggle that enabled the current government to come into power.
“I salute the people of Busoga who participated in our struggles and sacrifice. The people who were getting medals here today comprised of some of the children of the people who were killed by Idi Amin. Idi Amin executed in public; here in Jinja by firing squad,” he asserted.
“However, I want you Ugandans to know that our liberation was not by ourselves only and I’m very happy to have a delegation from Tanzania; Mwalimu Nyerere helped us a lot in training, equipment, even he committed the Tanzanian army to fight Idi Amin. The other country which helped us was Mozambique so when you talk about history, talk about it properly,” he added.
The Vice President, H.E Jessica Alupo explained that the theme of this year’s celebrations challenges all Ugandans to safeguard the peace, unity, stability and democracy ushered in by the patriots who sacrificed their lives to liberate the country.
“Every 6th of February is a special day for both the UPDF and all the people of Uganda where we converge to honour the contribution and sacrifices which were made by patriotic Ugandans led by you Your Excellency in the NRM struggle which set a new stage for Uganda we see today; indeed, it was a fundamental change,” the Vice President said.
“Your Excellency, the level of discipline and professionalism of the UPDF is one of the best in the world. Let me congratulate you, Your Excellency, for professionalising our national army to the global standards.”
The First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Community Affairs, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga requested President Museveni that following the discovery of rare earth minerals in Busoga, the government should start training the youth at Busitema University, Busoga University or the Marine School-Namasagali in minerals studies so that they can get employed.
“We need scholarships for such studies so that our people can benefit,” Rt. Hon. Kadaga noted.
“She further requested that the UPDF Engineers Brigade complete the construction of the unfinished Bugweri District Headquarters whose initial construction was kickoff by the Late Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Community Affairs, Alhajj Kirunda Kivejinja before his demise.”
On the issue of the Bugweri District Headquarters, President Museveni assured the people of Busoga that he will involve the UPDF Engineers Brigade to finish the work.
The Minister for Defence and Veteran Affairs, Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja thanked President Museveni for building a modern, disciplined and strong army.
“Your Excellency, we sincerely thank you for your efforts and for making us proud as Ugandans that we have a People’s army,” he asserted.
The UPDF Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Wilson Mbasu Mbadi said they decided to celebrate this year’s Tarehe Sita in Busoga as a way of thanking the people in the sub-region for their contribution towards the protracted struggle and also express UPDF’s solidarity with Busoga as well as giving back to the region through the many activities that have been conducted in the area.
“We want to appreciate the support that Busoga gave to our forces. Coming here also enables the UPDF to closely conduct civil-military activities that may address the underlying factors that make this region vulnerable to the activities of the extremist groups such as the ADF who continue to recruit from this region,” the CDF said.
Gen. Mbadi also hailed President Museveni for building a modern, professional, effective and efficient force which is accountable to the people because it is anchored on a strong relationship and submits to the civil authority.
Maj. Gen. Henry Matsiko, Chief Political Commissar of the UPDF informed the President that this celebration was the climax of the busy defence forces activities which have been taking place in Busoga region namely in the districts of Bugiri, Bugweri, Buyende, Iganga, Jinja, Kaliro, Kamuli, Luuka, Mayuge, Namayingo, Namutumba and Jinja City.
“Your Excellency, 43 years ago on 5th February 1981,41 patriots under your leadership started a journey from the suburbs of Kampala and attacked Kabamba barracks on the 6th February, 1981 signalling the commencement of a determined resistance in a form of a popular and protracted struggle by the people against the undemocratic and unjust regime,” Gen. Matsiko said.
“The attack on Kabamba followed earlier efforts in the 1970s by FRONASA comrades who through their sacrifice laid the foundation for the People’s revolution that has significantly resulted in socio-economic transformation of our motherland-Uganda. Tarehe Sita celebrations therefore mark and recognize the heroism exhibited by the founders of this revolution and the 41 patriots who made a foundation upon which the UPDF rests today as a People’s army and a vanguard force in the struggle to achieve socio-economic transformation.”
At the same event, the Master of Ceremonies for the Chancery, Maj. Gen. George Igumba presented a total of 51 awardees for this year’s celebrations to the President. The awardees were recognized for their exceptional service to the country.
Earlier, President Museveni and the First Lady visited the family of the late Alhajj Kirunda Kivejinja in Bugweri and paid tribute to the former Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Community Affairs.
The late Kivejinja died on 19th December 2020 from Covid-19 at Mulago National Referral Hospital.
The President pledged to contribute Shs100m to the family SACCO.
The event was also attended by the Third Deputy Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Rukia Nakadama, the former Prime Minister, Mr. Kintu Musoke, the NRM Secretary General, Rt Hon. Richard Todwong, Ministers, Members of Parliament, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, among others.