A total of 650 people will tomorrow receive medals of honour from President Museveni to mark this year’s national Heroes Day, which falls every June 9.
Last year 1,000 people received medals of honour from the President.
According to Mr Frank Tumwebaze, the former minister for presidency, the event to be held at Ssi T/C, Ssi Sub-county, Buikwe District, on the shores of Lake Victoria, will be celebrated under the theme “Concretising the gains of our heroes is a duty for every Ugandan”.
“From the theme, it means every Ugandan by their contributions, however modest, is expected to know and take as their duty and obligation to build Uganda through hard and honest works so as to pay vigil and eternal tribute to our heroes and champions, and ourselves to strive to be role models to future generations,” Mr Tumwebaze said.
Since the National Honours and Awards law was enacted in 2001, more than 18,000 medals of various categories have been awarded, some to foreign Heads of State.
The venue, Buikwe District, Mr Tumwebaze said, was chosen to host this year’s festivities because of its historical contribution to the liberation struggle between 1981-1985, “especially hosting another liberation movement (Uganda Freedom Movement) that was led by the late Lutakome Kayiira”.
He added: “Thursday this week, June 9, marks 35 years since a resistance supporter, Eddidian Babumba Mukiibi Luttamaguzi, was brutally murdered by the fascist second UPC regime, and from his sacrifice we use the day of his death to pay tribute to some of our forbearers.”
The day, he said, will also be used to remember the young men and women, who trekked long distances and endured humiliation, lost limbs, eyes, lost their studies and others who died and remain in unmarked graves.
Amnesty International, a global human rights body, estimates that the Obote regime was responsible for more than 300,000 civilian deaths across Uganda during the guerilla war which brought the current government into power.
The National Resistance Army (NRA), however, is likewise said to have , committed atrocities, including the use of land mines, specifically against civilians and child soldiers as guerrillas.