Source: New Vision
President Museveni decorating Cpl. S. Lotyang with a Damu medal
About 700 people, including Police chief Lt. Gen. Kale Kayihura, were yesterday awarded national medals for contributing to the liberation of Uganda.
The beneficiaries received different categories of medals that included Nalubale, Luwero Triangle, Damu and Kagera.
This was during the Tarehe Sita celebrations held in Kasese town. The celebrations are to commemorate February 6, 1981 when the National Resistance Army (NRA) rebel force, led by Yoweri Museveni, launched their five-year armed struggle with a dawn attack on Kabamba military barracks. The NRA has since transformed into the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF).
Museveni congratulated the recipients of the medals, saying they would consider offering financial rewards to accompany the medals in future.
He singled out one recipient, Karuletwa, who transported arms from the Burundian capital Bujumbura to the NRA rebels in Matugga. The weapons included 96 rifles, 100 land mines, five machine guns and eight rocket-propelled grenades.
Museveni also praised the late Lt. Gen. Mayunga, a Tanzanian army officer who was assigned by former Tanzanian leader Julius Nyerere and remained devoted to the NRA cause. Lt. Gen. Mayunga had earlier been awarded a medal but it got lost. So a new medal was handed over to his family.
The celebrations were attended by the Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, judges, cabinet ministers and MPs.
They were also attended by military delegations from neighbouring countries led by Kenyan chief of defence forces Gen. Julius Karanji, Central Africa Republic’s Gen, Lapo Guillaume, Rwanda’s Lt. Gen. Charles Kayonga, Tanzania’s Lt. Gen, Abdalhman Shimbo, South Sudan’s Lt. Gen, Kuol Dim Kuol, Burundi’s Maj. Gen. Diomede Ndegeye, DR Congo’s Maj. Gen. Massamba Mussumbu, Egypt’s Gen. Mohammed El-Hawry and Ethiopia’s Brig. Gene. Gebre Michael.
Museveni said the NRA had fought the war without sufficient guns. But as the war progressed, the rebel force acquired weapons from enemy forces and donations from friendly African leaders.
By Raymond Baguma, John Thawite and John Nzinjah