President Yoweri Museveni has congratulated everyone who contributed to the success of the National Resistance Army struggle and called for reconstruction to achieve socio-economic transformation.
The President remarked this as Chief Guest at a function to commemorate the 42nd Tarehe Sita Anniversary and Defence Forces Week (DFW) activities at Kakyeka stadium in Mbarara City.
He used the analogy of a healthy zygote to explain NRA’s growth, saying NRA was a healthy zygote hence the reason for it later growing into a giant.
The President explained the reasons for the failure of past governments; some of which being lack of accountability, absence of democratic processes, the collapse of the economy, and lack of a correct ideology and military strategy.
He added that sectarian tendencies, based on tribe or religion led to the collapse of past governments.
He, therefore, implored current leaders to aspire for avenues that expand the economy, diversify it, and build it based on science and innovation. He gave the example of Kiira Motors, saying it is based on science and human knowledge.
President Museveni further highlighted that value addition, irrigation to stabilise food supply, and modernization of infrastructure, among others; can also transform people’s lives.
He concluded by urging citizens to fight corruption and environmental degradation.
“Stop interfering with water bodies and if done, you are an enemy of the state,” he vividly warned.
Speaking at the same function, the Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs Hon Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, thanked the President for ushering in peace and stability.
“We are here to recognise the sacrifices of the founders of the Peoples’ Revolution,” Hon Ssempijja told crowds who turned up to celebrate with UPDF their 42 birthday as a pro-people army.
The Chief of Defence Forces Gen Wilson Mbadi commended civilians for getting UPDF where it is, today.
“This support shows our solidarity with the people and the annual activities are symbolic to reaffirm the strategic link between UPDF and the People,” he said.
He emphasized that security is the bedrock of all development aspects, prompting him to thank UPDF for remaining resilient and pro-people.
Gen Mbadi further called upon troops to keep afloat with the correct ideology to preserve peace and stability.
The UPDF Chief Political Commissar Maj Gen Henry Masiko saluted all those who made the celebrations a success and enumerated to the President all the UPDF engineers’ construction works and medical works by UPDF medics.
He said that the theme, “Recognizing the sacrifices of the founders of the Peoples’ Revolution for social economic transformation”, guiding the 42nd Tarehe Sita celebrations reminds people never to forget the rich heritage of the struggle.
The CPC also noted that youth leaders from the Mbarara Greater sub-region received an ideological orientation and leadership course; while the football and netball games between UPDF teams and Mbarara Select, all ended in a win-win situation to renew the army’s commitment to defending and protecting the people and their property.
Brig Gen Emmanuel Rwashande as Chief of Civil-Military cooperation observed that UPDF’s success hinged on the role played by the people during and after liberation, and not on military superiority.
He thanked Partners like Impala services, Kyoga Dynamics limited, NEC, NFA, NWSC, Stanbic Bank, and Million Trees International, among others; for their generous contributions towards the success of the 2023 Tarehe Sita activities.
A total of 66 medals were submitted and awarded by the Master of Ceremonies of the Chancellery and Commandant of Senior Command and Staff College-Kimaka Maj Gen George Igumba, on behalf of the President, to selected persons in recognition of their contribution to the struggle.
President Museveni received the Katonga Medal and was decorated by the Chief Justice His Lordship Alphonse Owiny Dollo.
Gen Caleb Akwandanabo (a. K. a Salim Saleh), Gen Ivan Koreta, and Brig Gen Cosmos Omulle all were decorated with the Kabalega medal.
The event was also attended by the First lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Maama Janet Kataha Museveni, Vice President Maj (Rtd) Jessica Alupo, Chief Justice His Lordship Alphonse Owiny Dollo, NRM 1st Vice President Al Hajji Moses Kigongo, NRM Secretary General Hon Richard Todwong, Former Vice President Hon Kiwanuka Ssekandi (Emeritus), and Former Prime Minister Hon Patrick Mbabazi (Emeritus).
Others were: Cabinet Ministers, Defence Attachés and Advisors, Members of Parliament, Permanent Secretaries, Visiting military delegations from South Africa, Tanzania, Mali, and South Sudan, area leaders, and residents of the area.
At the same function, National Housing Corporation pledged to build a perimeter wall around Kakyeka stadium and all families that gifted UPDF with 100 heads of cattle were recognized. The Greater Mbarara sub-region is made up of the districts of Mbarara, Kazo, Kiruhura, Isingiro, Ibanda, Rwampara, and Mbarara City.
The annual Tarehe Sita activities are rotational and symbolic to strengthen the strategic partnership between the people and the army.
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