By Desire Ninsiima
Updated at 6:22 PM GMT on Friday, 1st January 20
KAMPALA – Yesterday, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces -UPDF launched the 40th Tarehe Sita Anniversary celebrations at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) with a tree planting ceremony.
The UPDF is dedicating a month of activities in addressing city sanitation and hygiene challenges.
Speaking at the launch, Ms Dorothy Kisaka the Executive Director of KCCA said ”We are glad to join hands with the Uganda People’s Defence Forces to commemorate their 40th Anniversary in the annual Tarehe Sita activities.” She also appreciated the support UPDF have rendered to them over the years in effort to make Kampala better for all.
As part of their Corporate Social Responsibility, the UPDF ceremony at KCCA was also intended to address various city challenges among which are sanitation and waste management.
UPDF commended for being a peaceful force.
In Lwengo district also yesterday, the Minister of State for Tourism, Hon Godfrey Ssuubi Kiwanda commended the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces for the critical role it has played in ensuring the peace and stability within Uganda and the Great Lakes Region.
Speaking at the launch of activities to mark the 40th anniversary Tarehe Sita in Lwengo District, Minister Kiwanda thanked the UPDF for choosing the district as one of the areas where the anniversary will be commemorated noting that Lwengo is a memorable place in the history of the UPDF as it acted as a command centre for the liberation struggle that started on 6th February 1981.
The honourable Minister in his remarks also thanked the people of Lwengo for their unwavering support that they offered to both the combatants and non combatant fighters during the liberation struggle noting that the success of the war was of the unconditional support that they offered. He further said that the UPDF is a guarantor of the peace and stability in Uganda which has been built on the principles of professionalism and national unity.
In her remarks, Brig Gen Rebecca Mpagi, the Director of Personnel and Administration in the Air Force said that the Tarehe Sita celebrations provide an opportunity to give back to the community as a way of thanking them for their endless support towards the NRA and UPDF noting that without their support, the liberation struggle wouldn’t have been a success.
She called upon the people to always pray for Uganda and members of the security forces and urged them to always send people who are disciplined and educated during the time of recruitment.
The Director of Political Education from the Chieftaincy of Mubende Rehabilitation Centre, Lt Col Birungi Kizza said that the UPDF will be carrying out activities that will include the construction of a Male Patients ward at Lwengo Health Centre IV, Voluntary safe male circumcision, testing of HIV/AIDs and offering other medical services.
The function was attended by the Director of Mental Health in the UPDF and Chairman Medical Board, Brig Gen Patrick Ocen Ogwok, the resident district commissioner, political and religious leaders of Lwengo District.
Kalungu Residents Urged to Avoid Sectarian Tendencies
Also yesterday, residents of Kalungu district were urged to avoid sectarian politics and rather focus on channeling messages that communicate development issues.
This was revealed by the Minister of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries Hon Vicent Bamulangaki Ssempijja during the launch of the army week civil military activities in Kalungu East Constituency.
Hon Ssempijja also observed that UPDF is an army from the people and for the people; and therefore should be rewarded by the people in its efforts to protect life and property.
He said this should be done by preserving the existing peace and stability that came through sweat and blood during the earlier liberation struggle. “UPDF is a peoples’ army not an enemy of the people and a lot has come out of UPDF sweat and blood. Therefore, we should all protect UPDF work,” Hon Ssempija told Kalungu East residents at the district headquarters.
Speaking on behalf of the Chief of Defence Forces Gen David Muhoozi, the Chief of Civil-Military Activities in the UPDF Brig Gen Emmanuel Rwashande, noted that UPDF picks its existence and success from its relationship with the people; which explains its giving-back to the people through the several medical, environmental and minor civil engineering works that will roll out in some selected areas.
He further mentioned that at its 40th birthday, it is important to thank the people from the Greater Masaka sub-region for their positive historical contribution in the liberation struggle. “War started in Masaka and ended in Masaka. This changed many things in Uganda,” Brig Gen Rwashande said.
The Resident District Commissioner for Kalungu East Mr. Caleb Tukaikiriza commended UPDF discipline and teamwork that has enabled the sustainability of peace for development to thrive. He also advised residents to follow the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health against COVID-19.
Col Robert Ngabirano, who represented the UPDF Chief Political Commissar Maj Gen Henry Masiko remarked that UPDF paid the ultimate price of shedding blood so that Ugandans can enjoy the present freedom and development.
He said the army chose to celebrate its rotational 40th birthday in the Greater Masaka sub-region because of the historical significance of the corridor against the past undemocratic regimes. “Civil-Military activities aim at renewing our commitment with the people in terms of defending and protecting people and their property,” said Col Ngabirano.
The district launch was also attended by political and religious leaders among others.
Preserve Peace to enhance Development
Equally yesterday, the Resident District Commissioner of Kalangala District(RDC) Mr.Daniel Kikoola flagged-off Civil-Military activities in Kalangala District to mark the 40th Tarehe Sita Anniversary Celebrations.
Mr. Daniel Kikoola urged residents of Kalangala Region not to spend so much time in Politics but rather exploit the peace provided by the UPDF for development to take its course.
He urged them to guard the prevailing peace and stability jealously so that major infrastructural projects like roads and electricity can be channeled to most remote areas in their Region; thereby cause Socio-economic transformation.
This year’s Anniversary Celebrations, are preceeded by medical and engineering activities and are being conducted under the theme”Celebrating UPDF at 40 years; Fruits of a fulfilled partnership of maintaining and consolidating the peoples’ security, stability and prosperity.”
The Deputy Chief of Logistics and Engineering Brig Gen Augustine Kyaze, who represented the Chief of Defence Forces(CDF) Gen David Muhoozi, called upon the population of Kalangala to join UPDF in celebrating its birthday and embrace the different Tarehe Sita activities for the development of the Region.
While delivering the message from the Chief of Defense Forces, Brig Gen Augustine Kyaze noted that the emergence of UPDF is a fundamental change in the history of Uganda and a noble recognition of the sacrifices made by thousands of gallant men and women both in combat and non-combat that provided enormous support in both human and material resources-many of them paying the ultimate price of shedding their blood.
He added that the choice of greater Masaka was based on the historical significance of having been a corridor and launching base for the liberation struggles against the undemocratic regimes of 1970s/80s. The anti-Amin struggle both in 1972/73 and 1978/79 were largely conducted through the greater Masaka Region.
The UPDF salutes all Ugandans for the unwavering support since the inception days of the struggle to date; even when it meant paying the ultimate price. The sacrifices have not been in vain.
Maj Yellow Muhoozi who represented the UPDF Chief Political Commissar(CPC) said that the annual and rotational Tarehe Sita activities aim at celebrating the birth of NRA/UPDF and act as a token of appreciation to Civilian Community for their role in pacifying Uganda premised on the UPDF ideology of being a pro-people Army.
The RDC of Kalangala Region Commissioned the renovation of the Kyamuswa HC IV,construction of a public toilet at Mwena Landing Site and planted trees at Kalangala District Headquarter to protect the environment and later generate some income to the local Communities.
The Kalangala District launch was attended by the Commissioner Patriotism -President’s Office Brig Gen Patrick Mwesigye, District Co-ordinator Operation Wealth Creation(OWC) Col Godfrey Lukanga, UPDF Commanders and Kalangala District leaders.
H.E VP Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi Launches Regional Tarehe Sita Activities in Masaka City.
The celebrations for greater Masaka started on Wednesday 30th December , 20 with the launch by Uganda’s Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi officiated at the Liberation Square in Masaka city.
Hon Ssekandi commended President Museveni for providing ideological clarity and leadership to Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) which has made it more professional than past armies. He noted that the regional activities that include medical outreach programs, limited construction and renovation of infrastructure in selected areas, environmental protection and fumigation symbolize the historical relationship between UPDF and the people which is critical for peace and stability so that prosperity can happen.
The Vice President reminded people to jealously guard the hard-earned peace in the country for infrastructural transformation to prosper. He added that people paid a price for the current peace and patriotism exhibited. “Government is committed to maintaining the existing peace participate in Tarehe Sita activities actively as we celebrate the peace the gallant sons and daughters of UPDF has created” Ssekandi said.
He urged the people to continue adhering to Ministry of Health Standard Operating Procedures against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the same function, the Deputy Chief of Operation Wealth Creation Lt Gen Charles Angina who represented the Chief of Defence Forces Gen David Muhoozi noted that Tarehe Sita activities exist to cement the relationship between the army and the people. He commended residents for living in solidarity with UPDF which has facilitated production and prosperity. “UPDF is in a war without guns and bullets to liberate people from poverty,” said Lt Gen Angina.
The Chief of Civil-Military Cooperation in the UPDF Brig Gen Emmanuel Rwashande lauded residents for maintaining a strong partnership with the army, noting that this ideological and strategic relationship is ideal for transformation.
Mr. Herman Ssentongo, the RDC for Masaka, commended government for availing opportunities (like the mushrooming small scale industries and mineral exploration in some areas) that lead to prosperity.
Hon Ssekandi and MP for Bukoto Central Constituency also planted a tree to signify the ongoing environmental protection campaign around the country.
The regional launch was also attended by the UPDF Reserve Forces Commander Lt Gen Charles Awany Otema, the Commander UPDF Air Force Lt Gen Charles Lutaya, the Commandant Masaka Armored brigade Brig Gen Deus Sande political and religious leaders of greater Masaka among others.