Tomorrow marks 34 years since the National Resistance Army (NRA) under the patriotic leadership of a youthful Yoweri Museveni captured power in what was referred to as the liberation war.
This according to Minister for Presidency Esther Mbayo is the day Uganda was liberated from bad leadership and commenced on an unstoppable journey to socio-economic and political transformation.
According to her, the Liberation Day reminds us about a fight for the people the reason it was called the people’s war.
It was a climax of an armed conflict that began on 6th February, 1981 at Kabamba Barracks by the National Resistance Army fighters ending in the capture of Kampala and restoring peace and order in the country.
“Lasting five years, the NRA protracted people’s war had been executed consciously by ordinary citizens who exhibited extra ordinary heroism, sacrifice and skill bearing in mind that it was not their fight but a fight for the masses,” Mbayo says.
Up to this time NRM has remained committed to ensuring peace, security and order in the country by ensuring the protection of every Ugandan and their property.
Mbayo says the NRM is fully committed to ensuring a secure and peaceful Uganda by promoting and upholding democracy and good governance as core values for national socio-economic transformation.
This year’s celebrations will be held under the theme: ‘Celebrating NRM/A’s Patriotic struggle that ushered in national unity and socio economic transformation’.
In order to ensure security of every person and their property, the NRM government has over the years focused on investing in crime prevention and reduction, promotion of peace and internal as well as external security.
This has been through further improvement of the capability of the defence and security forces by acquisition and maintenance of equipment and human capital development.
This has been realized mainly by professionalizing the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) and the Uganda Police, training and equipping other intelligence forces, increasing the vigilance of the population through training and sensitization.
The UPDF has become an internationally recognized and enviable Force especially following its contribution to the peace and stability in the region such as in Somalia, South Sudan, Rwanda, DRC and helping bring peace to other countries on the continent in addition to its ability to crack down on terrorist and rebel activities in the country such as Kony, ADF and People’s Redemption Army.
Both the UPDF and UPF have established clear command and organizational structures and consistently ensured training of personnel over the years through their professionalisation and modernisation programme.
“In order to improve policing and meet the increasing demand for police services, government will continue with the recruitment and training of police personnel to attain the international requirement of 1:500 ratio. Police presence will be increased across the country to keep law and order,” reads information from the NRM Party website.
A Police Academy will be established to offer specialised training of police officers in command and control skills. It will also offer specialised training in areas such as cyber crime and anti-money laundering. The academy is intended to be a regional centre for specialised police training in East and Central Africa.
Government also promises to employ appropriate technologies such as CCTV cameras to help the Police fight crime. In addition, it will focus on investing in community policing, which promotes citizens’ participation in ensuring their security.
The NRM government will also continue with the construction of barracks to provide a conducive and habitable living environment for the personnel, as part of the welfare improvement programme in the UPDF and UPF. Temporary structures in barracks will be replaced with permanent ones. This will include developing and rehabilitating other welfare facilities such as health, education and sports infrastructure in every barracks.
In order to keep pace with global trends in science, technology and innovation, the Defence Research, Science and Technology Centre (DRSTC) at Lugazi and the Avionics Research Centre at Nakasongola will be developed into centers of excellence for collaborative research with the private sector, universities and other agencies.
The overall aim is to have a pro-people, modern, professional, effective and accountable UPDF and UPF that are well trained, equipped and which will maintain conditions in the country that enable economic growth, stability, democracy and national unity.
The internal and external security of the country will also be strengthened by enhancing information collection and analysis capabilities. The government will institute measures including advanced detection techniques and appropriate technologies to deter and curtail terrorists and other hostile activities against the country.