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Congratulations on reaching this 42nd anniversary of Heroes’ Day

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Speech

 

By

 

 

H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

 

PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA

 

At the

 

HEROES DAY

 

 

Luwero District

 

 

9th June, 2023

 

Abalwanyi, n’abaana baffe na Abazukulu.  Greetings.

 

Congratulations on reaching this 42nd anniversary of Heroes’ Day. To inform the Bazukulu, especially, our armed struggle started on the 6th of February, 1981. The attack was partially successful but it launched us into the struggle.  We, then, withdrew to the Kiboga area and came disarming Police Posts along the way.  We got a good RPG – 7B at Isuunga Police Post in Bugangaizi and on the 7th, we disarmed the Police Stations at Bukomero, Busunju, Kassanda, Bukuya and Bukwiri.  By the 9th of February, we, therefore, had 60 rifles, having only started with only 27 rifles on the 6th of February, 1981.

 

However, on the 9th of February, the Government forces attacked us, our base camp when many of us were out, so that the 4 sections I had formed on the 7th of February at Budiimbo, lost contact, but remained intact. I remained with sections one and four with Magara and Mucunguzi, Tumwiine remained with section 2, Mugabi with section 3 in the Bukwiri area.  Tumwiine was in the Bukuya-Kassanda direction.  When the Government forces came to our camp at Kagobe, I had gone to Kikuubo, Bukomero.  We withdrew to Dr. Sebuliba’s farm at Kagaari until we linked up again with all the four sections.  Then, on the 18th of February, Tumwiine laid a good ambush against the Government forces at Kyekuumbya. I told him not to charge equipment.  We just wanted to send a message to the Government that we were there.  The RPG was fired by Anthony Kyakabaale and the Lorry was completely destroyed.

 

We, then, had a very successful attack on Kakiri on  the 6th April, where we captured a mortar 60mm, a GPMG and a number of rifles.  In the meantime, the recruitment was expanding.  I, therefore, at Kyererezi, sometime in May, formed more sections and also the bush battalions: Abdul Nasser, Mondlane, Kabalega and Nkrumah.  After forming those units, I spent a few nights with Luttamaguzi at his small house at Kikandwa and, then, Luttamaguzi walked with me, during night marches, to Migadde, at Semakula’s place, where I met Mohammed Al Faghee, Muamar Gaddaffi’s envoy, that invited me to visit Libya.

 

This must have been in May, because, after some days, I shifted from Migadde to Matuga where I stayed with Kyobe for about a week or more.  On the 6th of June, 1981, I was picked by one of our supporters, Sikubwabo Kyeyune, driven through back roads up to Katebo landing site, where I entered Lutaya’s boat and headed for Kenya.

 

It was while I was in Kenya, that I learnt that our Kikandwa cell had been attacked by Bazilio Okello and nine of our people had been killed. These included: Adiline Luttamaguzi Babumba, Matayo Nkangirwa (Omusomesa), Sebastian Ssentongo (Kawonawo), Ntamukiza Dan, Dirisa Kirumira, Sebewo Segirinya, Rauben Gita, Kibuka Festo and Kibirige Rauben.

 

There was no trial and they were not armed.  Why kill them like that? Yes, they were our supporters, but the Okellos knew the issue of the unresolved political issues of Uganda.  In any case, there was no trial. However, the actions of the Bazilios were futile. The Luttamaguzis died heroically.  Luttamaguzi told them: “Temulajjana ─ do not yell” They were cut with pangs. However, the UNLA was doomed.  I met Muammer Gaddaffi on the 21st of June, 1981.  He immediately gave me 92 rifles, five RPGs, 8FN machine guns and 100 land mines.  The land mines, wreaked havoc on the indisciplined, poorly led and lazy but cruel UNLA. Too lazy to walk on foot and poorly-led, they kept on zooming around in Lorries full of soldiers and they were good meat for our land mines: at Timuna, at Kalasa, at Kapeeka, etc. By August, 1981, the Luwero Triangle, had become a no-go area for the UNLA.

 

I arrived back on the 9th of December, 1981.  In 1982-83, the UNLA launched a strategic counter – offensive and we made a strategic withdrawal from upper Bulemeezi to lower Bulemeezi and Singo, until 1984, the 20th of February, when we attacked Masindi and captured alot of equipment. On the 30th of June, we attacked Hoima and got scores of rifles and money from UCB.  On New Year’s Day, 1985, we attacked Kabaamba and got all the guns that had eluded us in 1981.

 

By March, 1985, a strategic equilibrium, had been created.  We were too strong for the enemy to defeat us, but we were not strong enough, in numbers and equipment, to defeat UNLA in Kampala and also control the whole country. Hence, on the 12th of March, 1985, at Kawumu, I separated from the main force, under Saleh, embarking on another journey, to meet our good friend Muammer Gaddaffi, so that we get guns to break the stalemate.

 

By this time, using the guns we had captured from the Government, now totalling 2100 or more, I had created the following battalions of the Mobile Brigade:

 

1st Battalion      –     Pecos Kutesa and Mugyisha;

3rd Battalion      –     Patrick Lumumba;

5th Battalion      –     Kashaka and Kashillingyi;

7th Battalion      –     Kyaligonza and Muhangyi;

9th Battalion      –     Kihaanda;

11th Battalion    –     Chefe Ali.

 

All these were under Saleh as the Mobile Brigade Commander. Then, there were the zonal forces: Abdul Nasser (Black Bomber), Mondlane, Luttamaguzi Unit had been added, Kabaleega, Nkrumah and Mwaanga.

 

On account of the blows we administered to the UNLA, they mutinied on the 27th of July and overthrew Obote.  We were ready to work with them.  However, insincere politicians were misleading these simple soldiers, telling them to move on without the NRA, a serious miscalculation.

 

Just before the collapse of Obote, Muammer Gaddaffi had parachuted for me 1,000,000 rounds in an Ilyushin ─ 76, in Ruharo’s Farm in Ngoma.  He added another 800 rifles. I managed to reconnect with Mwalimu Nyerere.  Before he retired, he gave me 5,000 rifles and 1 million rounds.  That was the end of the UNLA.

I created new and bigger battalions and also increased the manpower of the old ones. Some of the battalions, in effect regiments, had 1,900 fully armed officers and soldiers.  These were:

 

13th Regiment          –     Ivan Koreta;

15th Regiment          –     Samson Mande;

17th Regiment          –     Adam Wasswa;

19th Regiment          –     Peter Kerim;

21st Regiment          –     Benon Tumukuunde.

 

There was also a Task Force under Jet Mwebaze.  All the other earlier battalions, were now, in effect Regiments, with manpower hovering around 1500 per each or more.

It is this force that captured Kampala.

 

This is the brief story of the heroic people’s struggle.  After the victory in Kampala, we had to liberate the whole country and rebuild it and grow it.  On the economy side, we have made the four steps I talked about in the State of the Nation Address.  These are: minimum recovery (stop Magendo, stop Kibaanda, stop Kusamula) ─ Magendo was smuggling, Kibaanda was forex black market, Kusamula was speculation; expand the recovered economy (grow more coffee, more tea, more tourism, etc.); diversify the economy (produce new products for money ─ maize, sugar-cane, cassava, milk, beef, etc.); build knowledge economy of automobiles, vaccines, pharmaceuticals from indigenous research, etc.

 

With more money for the Government, start pro-people social programmes such as health and free education. You have seen how immunization has boosted our population from 14 million to now 44 million. Where is Polio, Measles, Diphtheria, Small-pox, etc.?

 

Immunization has been a total success. It is on the curative side, that we have the problem of stealing drugs. Your MPs should work with the Ministry of Health to stop this theft. On implementing free- education, we are going to make a fresh drive, which your local leaders should support, to ensure that there are no charges in Government schools. Education and health are not businesses, as some people think. Especially for the poor, they are a minimum public good. The parasites who regard education and health as a business, especially for the poor, must be firmly opposed. They are ruining the future of our children. The completion rate in primary schools is only 31%.  This means that if 100 children start in Primary1, by the end of Primary 7, 69 (2007-2013) will have dropped out. This is what I wanted to cure in 1996 when I started UPE and USE later. However, the money seekers, have been undermining this by failing to control the greedy and short-sighted Government school managers. They are responsible for the school drop-outs.

 

Coming to infrastructure, although initially the Government did not have enough money, we managed to tarmac Mityana-Mubende-Fort-Portal road and also reconstruct the Mityana-Kampala section; We tarmacked Busunju-Kiboga-Hoima and reconstructed Busunju-Kampala section; we tarmacked Matugga-Semuto-Kapeeka; we reconstructed the Kampala-Gulu road that goes through the heart of the Luwero-Triangle; we tarmacked Kasangati-Zirobwe and Gayaza-Kalagi; we tarmacked Mukono – Kayunga – Kangulumira – Jinja; etc.  All these roads were murram roads except the one of Gulu, which we reconstructed. It is, therefore, not correct to say that on the infrastructure side, the NRM has forgotten the Luwero-Triangle because those who say that they are in the tradition of the NRA should know that there is no Kiroombe (quarry) of money.  Money is a result of struggle and has got many demands.  Electricity wires have reached many places ─ I saw those wires in Ngoma and Kyenkwanzi.

The other pending roads for tarmacking are well known to me because I walked along them on foot.

These are:

 

Luwero-Butalaangwa-Ngoma-Bulyamishenyi-Masindi; Zirobwe-Kikyusa-Bamugolodde-Kajwaama-Nakasongola; Myanzi-Kassanda-Bukuya-Kiboga; Mityana- Sekanyonyi-Busuunju; Kanoni-Manyi-Mityana; Butalangwa-Kappeka- Kakinga- Nakwaya; Mawale-Masuliita-Kakiri; Wobulenzi-Nakaseke-Kapeeka;  Bombo – Ndejje – Makulubita – Kalasa; etc.

 

With our oil money, it will be easier to do all these roads. As of now, we do not have ekiroombe of money. We have been struggling and we have done well.

 

On the issue of homestead incomes, our Luwero Triangle has two parts: the crops area (Semuto, Nakaseke, Kapeeka, Zirobwe, etc.) and also the cattle corridor (Ngoma, Wakyato, Kyenkwanzi, Ddwaniro, Nakasongola, Masindi, etc.).  In 2013, when I deployed General Saleh’s OWC, I told them to first give the free coffee seedlings to the families of the fighters first. The following Army Officers were responsible for the following areas:

 

 

 

  1. Brig Jacob Asimwe and Brig Abiriga    –  Mwanga Unit
  2. Col Ssenkyanzi and Col Karuhanga   –  Ngoma Unit
  3. Lt Col Lwasi and Col Kaddu                –  Kabalega Unit
  4. Col Sambwa and Col Kalyowa        – Mondlane Unit
  5. Brig Segamwenge and Col Muwanguzi- Bulemezi Singo

 

They say that they distributed, 43,891,019 seedlings of coffee in Luwero District and 11,320,000 in Nakaseke District between 2013 and 2021 when we changed to PDM and Emyooga. What happened to those coffee seedlings? When I came to the Luweero Triangle, I saw some good gardens. What is happening now? In the cattle corridor, the dairy industry has caught on, yet we did not give free cattle to those people. We only brought enjiri (guidance) from the experiences in Nyabushozi-Kazo and a few milk coolers from Government. Study the Kawumu Model and copy it. The ones in the cattle corridor, improve the pasture and do not go back to the Bukafiri of land and property fragmentation when the head of the family dies.

 

On the issue of Kasiimo, the Ministry of Luwero -Triangle has, so far, given out a total of Ug Shs.230bn. Who got this money? I know by name those who gave us ebibira, area by area. Mondlane, it is Segirinya of Kanyanda, Omukaikuru and Lurika of Mugogo, Luutu of Kanyanda, Kezironi Ssonko of Kitema – Masanga, Kalibala of Kawumu, Majyambere of Kitebere, etc. It is easy to remember all our supporters — Nagawa of Kagembe, etc.

 

I have given alot of information to Alice Kaboyo. Therefore, use all these Government programmes and get out of poverty.

 

The issue of Mailo, should not be a problem. In the Land law of 1998, we provided that nobody should be evicted, the Busuulu had a ceiling of Shs.1000, initially, and nobody could kutema (reduce) on your Kibanja. Where is the problem, then? If people are being evicted, it means that the Local leaders are not doing their work. Ministers Nabakooba and Mayanja know how to defend your Kibanja against the colonial mailo land system.

 

Wishing you good luck.

 

 

Yoweri K. Museveni

PRESIDENT/SSAABALWANYI

 

 

Heroes.

A Special guest from UAE (R) and Shedrack Nzeire at the heroes day celebrations in Luwero. PPU Photo.

Some of the medalists chat with PM Nabanja after receiving their medals in Luwero on Friday. PPU Photo

A Special guest from UAE (R) and Shedrack Nzeire at the heroes day celebrations in Luwero. PPU Photo.

Some of the medalists pose for a photo with PM Nabanja after receiving their medals in Luwero on Friday. PPU Photo

 

Premier Nabanjja chats with some of the ministers and officials on her arrival in Luwero to preside over heoroes day celebrations. PPU Photo

Some of the medalists pose for a photo with PM Nabanja after receiving their medals in Luwero on Friday. PPU Photo

Some of the medalists pose for a photo with PM Nabanja after receiving their medals in Luwero on Friday. PPU Photo.

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