Today marks a very important day for our country. A day our gallant sons and daughters of this country gave up their comfort to confront the challenges of the time. They abandoned their families, careers and risked lives for the safety of the whole country. Many died but others are living.
We commemorate not only the individuals but the spirit of resilience and steadiness which defines our country and countrymen.
Then, blood shed was the order of the day, families were broken as parents were slaughtered and children massacred. Until the present day, families and the country grapple with recovering from bad governance of the past.
It’s this reason we commemorate Heros Day. Carl Sagan says “You have to know the past to understand the future”.
Testimonies of members from distorted families are heart wrenching to the present day. The government has been intentional through its various programmes in reaching out to people and families of this lot. Luweero Rwenzori Development Programme, is a comprehensive development programme that covers Luweero triangle and Rwenzori sub-region with a main purpose of improving the economic wellbeing of households and supporting the rehabilitation infrastructure that promote household incomes, value addition and better social services.
Civilian veteran support programmes which focusses on paying ex-gratia to civilian veterans and a total of 84,918 civilian veterans have been paid as of March 2022.
The Luweero triangle continuously engages with families of civilian veterans to establish the statuses of their livelihoods and also guides them on income generating activities as per the portfolios programmes. For instance, the ministry procured and distributed 57,143 hand hoes, 10,742 iron sheets, 536 tons of cement and 1655 spray pumps among other items.
The ministry also focuses on parish community associations and six coffee hullers and their engines were procured and distributed to six groups in Bugoye, Isingo, Karambi, Kisika, Maliba and Mpondwe sub-counties.
In the past 11 months in office, I have had the privilege of visiting homesteads especially of people who contributed to the liberation struggle mostly from Luweero District. It’s been an experience filled with reminiscing of veterans’ contributions to the success of the liberation struggle.
Lessons from this tour have been tremendous. As a country, we should pick lessons if we are to advance further. The unity which brought people from all walks of life to confront the governance plague then should be employed in improving household incomes.
Fortunately, President Museveni has devised different models for the betterment of household incomes, the recent being the Parish Development Model.
The main purpose of the NRA struggle was to better livelihood focusing then on security. However, over the years security has evolved to encompass other factors such as food, health, education and many others.
It’s important to note that there have been tremendous efforts towards the economic social transformation of our country. Several industries have been built in Luweero and other areas, and are employing thousands of young people who in turn better not only their households but the country as a whole.
Government continues to plan for various interventions that are aimed at uplifting the livelihood of people and especially veterans in Luweero -Rwenzori region for instance construction of low cost houses for families of civilian veterans in the region, agricultural support to organised civilian veteran families, the youth and marginalised persons.
The famous Buddha saying goes “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” Just like our heros did for our country, so should we. We celebrate them and their good deeds. Happy Heroes Day!
Ms Alice Karamuzi Kaboyo, Minister of State for Luwero Rwenzori region.