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 ideas of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) that have 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 the company of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Maama Janet Museveni, made the remarks 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.”.
“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, they are all very capable and educated. We started the culture of recruiting educated people in the army, and 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 the DRC, adding that, as partners, they are working towards achieving a regional solution to deal with regional security problems.
“I’m glad the delegation of Algeria is here; these people have very good technology. When I visited them, they gave me some samples. I want to buy more to simplify security. For instance, as 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 sacrifices. The people who were getting medals here today comprised some of the children of the people who were killed by 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 am very happy to have a delegation from Tanzania; Mwalimu Nyerere helped us a lot in training and equipment; he even committed the Tanzanian army to fight Idi Amin. The other country that helped us was Mozambique.
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.
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 mineral 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 kicked off 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 would involve the UPDF Engineers Brigade to finish the work.
The UPDF Chief of Defense 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 to 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 extremist groups such as the ADF that continue to recruit from this region,” the CDF said.
These celebrations were a climax of the busy defence forces activities that took place in the districts of Bugiri, Bugweri, Buyende, Iganga, Jinja, Kaliro, Kamuli, Luuka, Mayuge, Namayingo, Namutumba and Jinja City.
At the same event, a total of 51 people were awarded medals. The awardees were recognized for their exceptional service to the country.