FULL Statement By Okae Lawrence, UPC National Chairman
Kampala, 9 June 2020: Uganda is today celebrating a scientific National Heroes Day that falls every year on June 9, under the theme, “Celebrating a Memorable Day as we reflect on the selflessness of the heroes / heroines who put Nation above all else”.
Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) welcomes this theme as the issues at hand indeed requires us to put the country first as opposed to individual interests that sometimes undermine the gains of our Uhuru!
1. UPC mourns and pays tribute to gallant men and women who watered the tree of freedom with their blood as well as those who put in other efforts to have a better free Uganda where all lives matter!
(a). All the gallant men and women who resisted the introduction of Colonialism in Uganda like Kabaka Mwanga and Omukama Kabalega (Lamogi Rebellion). This is an important resistance profoundly referred to as primary resistance.
(b). The pioneers of our modern Nationalism led by Ignatius Kangave Musazi who came together and founded Uganda National Congress (UNC) in 1952, with a militant motto, “One man one vote, we want self-Government now”. In March 1960, UNC merged with Uganda Peoples Union (UPU) and gave birth to Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) who subsequently led the Journey to the final destiny on 9th October, 1962, when Uganda attained her Independence!
Meanwhile, other progressive Ugandans joined the modern Nationalism ushered in by Ignatius Kangave Musazi and UNC. The grandson of one of the regents of King Chwa, Stanislaus Mugwanya contributed positively. In 1954, Matayo Mugwanya founded Democratic Party (DP) that was later to form the first internal self-Government in Uganda before independence. This is a great achievement in our Journey of Uhuru!
(c).With Imperialism and Colonialism on the neck of Uganda, they imposed their stooge Idi-Amin in the seat of power through the military coup of 25th May 1971. This invoked immediately anti Idi-Amin struggle that was led by our Founding Father, Dr. Apollo Milton Obote.
Idi Amin Government was toppled on 11th April 1979 with the help of Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) and all our Liberation forces under Uganda National Liberation Front (UNLF), the dominant forces being Kikosi Malum (KM) of UPC followed by Fronasa.
On 27th May 1980, Our Founding Father, Dr. Apollo Milton Obote returned from exile in Dar es-salaam Tanzania and this day is regarded as Heroes Day or Bushenyi Day and was ever celebrated between 1980 -1985. The good news and development is that UPC fully celebrates all National days and on top of UPC days, which include the return of our Founding Father from exile on 27th May 1980.
2. As a country, we observe this day to celebrate among other things our grand and mini achievements. For Heroes day celebrations to have real practical meaning and relevancy, we must ensure that the gains of our Uhuru are jealously protected and promoted, as primarily they are issues to do with our independence and sovereignty.
3. However the recent degeneration in rule of law, murders of children and women, reckless arrests and torture by those who are meant to enforce the law and/or lead by example, darkens our Heroes Day Celebrations! UPC challenges Government to bench mark heroes day celebrations with right to full enjoyment of human rights and freedoms.
4. The Heroes’ Day of the year 2020 comes at a time when the Nation is battling with Covid-19 pandemic that has put the entire world to its knees! It is disheartening to hear that some health workers who are our frontliners or heroes/heroines in this gigantic struggle to contain the Coronavirus that has claimed a number of people’s lives in other parts of the world, have also contracted the virus!
According to media reports, it is due to lack of enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs). This is unbelievable as the Ministry of Health received the required funds to cater for such things! Even the National Taskforce has and continue to receive funds and donations from different companies, embassies and people of good will. With that point in mind, we believe that the Government through her Ministry of Health has now the full capacity to procure PPEs and other related items. Such acts undermines our efforts. UPC therefore urges Government to urgently do the needful!
5. As we celebrate this scientific Heroes Day, UPC calls upon Government to recognize those worth recognition! We also call upon all people, both in Government and private sector, to be patriotic and serve in the national interest. This is the only way we can promote Nationalism and develop our mother land, Uganda.
For God And My Country