KAMPALA —The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa has urged the Uganda People’s Defense Forces leadership to do all it takes to maintain the respect and confidence of Ugandans.
While officiating at the 42nd Tarehe Sita anniversary celebrations in Mbuya today, Tayebwa described the UPDF conduct as a true testimony to the transition and professional journey the army has taken over the last four decades.
“You have won the confidence of our people and please do all you can to maintain it. We have many questions on other institutions of government but not UPDF. For every failed project, the people are now demanding that we assign it to UPDF,” Tayebwa said.
In the first 24 years of the post-independence, Uganda had 9 presidents and 07 coups. Tayebwa said this was facilitated by the failure of managing the military.
“We were on the verge of being a failed state. This was not only a failure of politics but also a failure of managing the military,” he said, adding that since the success of the NRA in 1986, the country has had a very stable political leadership and no single coup.
He said Parliament has played a critical role in this by enacting enabling laws and ensuring that adequate funding is availed to the country’s military establishment.
He also said Parliament would continue to make security number one priority.
The Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja announced that the 42nd edition of Tarehe Sita will be celebrated in greater Mbarara.
He said the choice of Mbarara is linked to the trail of the liberation struggle that has culminated into the most significant fundamental change in Uganda’s history.
“I wish to congratulate our gallant officers and men both in retirement and services for the sacrifice rendered in keeping our country safe and peaceful,” the Minister said.
He said this year’s Tarehe Sita anniversary should energise all Ugandans to remain royal and committed to the revolution which was started by the UPDF founders.
Tarehe Sita is a Swahilli word meaning the sixth day, which in this context is the day of 06th February 1981 when the war to fight the government born out of the disputed 1980 elections, was launched with an attack on Kabamba military barracks.
To celebrate this day, the UPDF has since adopted and customized the tradition of celebrating defense forces’ week and Tarehe Sita on a regional rotational basis where it carries out various civil-military cooperation activities intended to recognize, thank and give back as a token of appreciation to the people of Uganda
General Wilson Mbasu Mbadi, the Chief of Defense Forces said this Tarehe Sita anniversary will run under the theme:
“Recognizing the sacrifice of the founders of the people’s revolution for socio-economic transformation”.
“We celebrate this anniversary with week-long activities in the whole of the country but the main celebrations will be in greater Mbarara,” he said.
He said greater Mbarara had never held Tarehe Sita outside the barracks setting.
The Tarehe Sita, held at army headquarters in Mbuya is a culmination of a week-long series of activities in which the army will engage in social corporate responsibility to enhance civil-military cooperation.