Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah has cautioned the Uganda army hierarchy to help fix some black spots that have marred the rather good work by the forces.
Oulanyah, who presided over the launch of 38th Uganda People’s Defence Forces Terehe Sita activities on Tuesday, January 29, cited corruption as a major hindrance to development.
Terehe Sita activities will be performed in all eight districts making Acholi region starting on Wednesday January 30 with the major celebrations to be held on February 6 in Kitgum district.
Some of the services to be offered – such as free medical services, constructing and renovating public structures like schools and health facilities among others – will be performed as a symbol of heroism, reminder to Ugandans that UPDF is their army.
“I may not necessarily say in UPDF, but this (corruption) is a general problem we face as we celebrate this day. Also, we must know that poverty levels are increasing due to unemployment, if you happen to slope in down town, children that are homeless are full on those streets, we must do something,” added Oulanyah.
The deputy speaker appreciated UPDF soldiers – both living and fallen that fought hard to see that peace returns in the Acholi land.
“History will recall the blood of our fallen brothers and sisters whose blood was shed in the struggle to restore peace in Acholi. This time our army returns to Acholi land not fight but to offer communal services in a civilian manner,” said Oulanyah.
The UPDF Chief Political Commissar Brig. Henry Masiko said the army is ‘giving back to our people and they must feel loved’.
This year’s theme is “UPDF and the People: “Consolidating Peace For Sustainable Development and Prosperity.”
“We want to share the dividends of peace with the locals,” said Gen. Masiko.
Terehe Sita is celebrated every February 6 to commemorate the day the National Resistance Army launched the first guerrilla attack in 1981 on Kabamba Barracks that culminated into the five-year war that eventually brought NRM to power in 1986.
According to Chief of Defense of Forces, General David Muhoozi, Acholi sub region was chosen because they contributed much in restoring peace in their homeland.
“As we celebrate this day, I want to inform the public that the army is giving back services for free. Still I can say we are maintaining discipline which has marked us as unique in the whole of this region. If we can render help to our neighbors, then why not give back to our people?” Muhoozi asked.
On the same note area Members of Parliament asked the UPDF to always engage them while planning such activities.
Beatrice Atim Anywar, the Kitgum Municipality Member of Parliament said, “I am glad that this day is going be in my constituency but I urge you to always engage us.”