The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa, has commended the professionalism exhibited by Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF).
“You have won the confidence of our people and please do all you can to maintain it. We have many questions about other institutions of government but not UPDF. For every failed project, the people are now demanding that we assign it to UPDF,” said Rt. Hon. Tayebwa.
The Deputy Speaker made the above remarks as Chief Guest at the launch of the 42nd National Tarehe Sita Anniversary and Defence Forces Week Celebrations held at the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs in Mbuya, Kampala.
Rt. Hon. Tayebwa implored UPDF not to forsake God and reminded the congregation that God has always been at the side of UPDF in all battles. Reflecting on the war between David and Goliath in the Bible.
“In that story, we see the NRA which transitioned into UPDF. No one could give you a chance against an established State Army but because God was by your side, you emerged victorious,” the Deputy Speaker noted.
The Chief Guest paid homage to the sacrifices made by the gallant UPDF for working every day to keep the country and its people safe. He equally commended the spirit of Pan-Africanism evidenced by UPDF’s participation in peacekeeping operations.
The Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs, Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, said that this year’s celebrations in Mbarara and Greater Mbarara as a way to thank the people for the tremendous support they offered to the liberation struggle.
The Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi noted that traditional symbolic Civil Military activities will be conducted in the Greater Mbarara Sub Region.
He said UPDF is an army with a correct ideological foundation that shuns sectarian tendencies while embracing national interest.
He added that the pro-people approach and fostering harmony between the force and civilians has remained the Force’s main source of invisibility.
He enumerated that a number of interventions that include, Engineering works, medical outreach programs and sanitation, among others, will be carried out by the UPDF in Greater Mbarara Sub Region, although similar activities will replicate in other regions of the country.
He noted that these celebrations mark the beginning of activities which will run on the theme; “Recognizing the sacrifice of the founders of the people’s revolution for social economic transformation”.
He further said, Mbarara has never hosted Tarehe Sita outside Mbarara City. “We chose the Region after having strategic consultations about the area, these Defence Forces activities are symbolic of our strategic relationship with the ‘wanainchi,’ it’s giving back to the people due to their importance in what we were doing right firm the FRONASA era to-date”.
The keynote speaker and one of the founding members of FRONASA and now State Minister for East African Community Affairs, Hon Min Magode Ikuya noted that they were not politicians in the quest for peace and stability in the country.
“Our concept was purely finding means of solving the problems faced by the country by then without any political interest, we looked at the anti-colonial struggle which formed part of the idea that drove our minds,” Hon. Magodi Noted.
The launch was also attended by the Minister of State for Defence Hon. Jacob Marksons Oboth, Minister of State for Defence in Charge of Veterans Affairs Hon Huda Abarson Oleru, Members of Parliament, Permanent Secretaries, Leaders from Greater Mbarara District, General Officers, and Senior Officers of Sister Security Forces, among others.
These events will cover the districts of Mbarara, Kazo, Ibanda, Kiruhura, Rwampara, Isingiro, and Mbarara City.