By Frank Kamuntu
The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) on Saturday ended their operation year 2019 and opened up a new year 2020 with a thanksgiving ceremony that was held at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds, under the theme: “2 Kings 4:36… taking thy son”.
The theme was derived out of the focus on children of both living and departed UPDF officers.
The event that was attended by hundreds of thousands of Ugandans was honored by the Chief of Armed forces General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the president of Uganda.
President Museveni arrived at 1:43 PM in presence of other guests, including Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanya, Lieutenant General Andrew Gutti, the Chairman of the General Court Martial, General David Rubakuba Muhoozi Chief of Defense Forces, Major General Steven Sabiiti AIGP, Brigadier Richard, Karemire UPDF Publicist, among others.
In his remarks, President Museveni thanked Ugandans who have joined the UPDF in different activities, including the Tarehe Sita celebrations.
He also encouraged them to keep seeking the Lord since He is the source of wisdom, adding that all fallen leaders of Uganda was a result of failure to respect, and value God.
“I didn’t know that we have hidden believers here. I have been used to attending UPDF celebrations and I first inspect long army lines. But today’s arrangements are different which is good, because the Bible says ‘Seek first the kingdom of heaven and the rest will fall in line, Give God His due and He will give back to you.”
The President also revealed that he will keep praising God because He rescued him with Brigadier Eria Kategeya in 1960’s when they were coming from Gulu and their vehicle knocked a sheep, causing a mechanical problem that delayed them to reach in Kampala, where strangers were waiting to kill Kategeya.
On his part, General David Rubakuba Muhoozi, the Chief of Defense Forces, asked youth to use their energy in serving their nation which he believes is the best way to lay a good legacy.
Gen. Rubakubs revealed that this year’s thanksgiving was to pay tribute to the army’s strategic partnership with the people of Uganda, which has helped to safeguard peace in the country.
Among other key guests was Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanya, who advised Ugandans to look at the celebrations as a reminder to where we came from in terms of nation’s security, where we are today and where we are going, and therefore look for the means to maintain the peace we have today, and resist any chaos that may destroy it.
Deputy Speaker Oulanya Commended president Museveni’s leadership which has transformed not only citizens’ standards of living, but also that of the army, comparing their welfare and dressing code in 1980’s and today.
“I thank President Museveni for transforming Uganda and the army because when I watch those clips and see people who were standing behind Museveni when he was taking his first oath, then I see that really there is a reason for this thanksgiving event,” said Oulanyah.
This thanksgiving follows the February 6 Tarehe Sita anniversary held in the Great Luwero region at Butalango in Nakaseke district.
Tarehe Sita, which means the ‘sixth day of the month’ in Kiswahili, commemorates the daring attack on Kabamba barracks by the National Resistance Army (NRA) rebels in Mubende district on February 6, 1981.