(PPU, June 9, 2017)
The five-year liberation war that brought the NRM to power and ushered in peace, was very costly in terms of human life, President Museveni has said.
Ugandans should safeguard this peace jealously so that the country never returns to such turmoil, he added.
The President was this afternoon speaking in Zirobwe Town Council, Bamunanika County, Luweero District at the National Heroes Day celebrations.
Explaining the rationale for the commemoration, President Museveni told thousands of people that on June 9th, 1981, government soldiers attacked villages in Luweero and killed in cold blood nine freedom fighters.
The crime of the nine led by one Lutamaguzi, was refusal to reveal the whereabouts of NRA military camps.
The country lost over 300,000 people, most of them non-combatants killed because they were perceived collaborators of NRA.
“We buried 70,000 skulls in 33 mass graves but the total number of people that lost their lives was 300,000. This freedom was expensive and we shouldn’t play with it,” said the President.
“I salute the people of Luweero Triangle and the entire Uganda for standing together and liberating your country,” he added.
The President thus tasked the National Resistance Movement secretariat led by the Secretary General Kasule Lumumba to document and circulate the NRM history, ideals and literature right from the liberation struggle through the different development phases for benefit of future generations.
The President used the occasion to strongly warn those unlawfully evicting Ugandans especially Bibanja holders from their land, saying the government will deal with them decisively.
“It’s criminal and unlawful to evict a kibanja holder because they are lawful occupants, protected by the law. Even the busulu you levy must be determined by the government. You can’t force a Kibanja holder to own a tittle it’s his or her wish to have a title,” he said.
“I have appointed a commission of inquiry led by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire to dig out all land related matters and we shall act decisively on those taking the law in their hands,” he added.
On development President Museveni said although the government has done most of her part by bettering the transport, health, education, water and will continue to improve them, the country is mainly faced with the two problems of household poverty and unemployment.
He said that to tackle household poverty, government launched Operation Wealth Creation with instructions to officers to promote commercial farming using the parish as a starting point.
He said for the Luweero area, people are advised to grow coffee, fruits, rear cows, poultry, piggery and in some areas fish farming.
The President added that to create jobs the government has been attracting investors to the country, saying Luweero Triangle has a number of industrial parks being developed in Luweero, Nakaseke and Nakasongola.
Investors will establish industries in these parks to create jobs especially for the unemployed youth.
Earlier the President had led senior government officials in paying tribute to fighters of the Mwanga Unit who were killed during the war and their remains buried in a mass grave at Zirobwe Sub-county headquarters. A total of 470 people were buried in this particular mass grave.
The Chairman of the Luweero Triangle Veterans Association, Hajj Badru Sedungga hailed the fighters of the Mwanga Unit and particularly crediting their commanders; Maj Kakooza Mutale, Maj Jero Bwende (RIP) and Lt.Col. Stanley Muhangi (RIP).
The President also presided over the award of medals to 363 recipients and launched an Operation Wealth Creation magazine.