Tarehe Sita: UPDF To Construct Monuments In Memory Of Fallen Soldiers

Uganda People’s Defence Forces-UPDF has started constructing monuments in remembrance of the efforts and sacrifices of the people from Greater Mbarara in the liberation struggle. The monuments are being constructed in Mbarara City and District, Ibanda, Kazo, Isingiro, Kiruhura, and Rwampara districts.

The Army has also unveiled plans to preserve the 2nd Division Army Barracks commonly known as Makenke, formerly Simba Battalion as a heritage site. Col. Nelson Ahebwa, the UPDF Deputy Political Commissar, says the documentation of this important history in form of monuments and preservation of Makenke barracks as a success story, is not optional if the future generation is to appreciate where the country came from and guard the gains of the revolution.

He adds that the monuments will ease the tracing and link the current peace, security, stability, and development, to the earlier efforts in the struggle, particularly, the anti-Amin Front for National Salvation-FRONASA. Ahebwa says that Makenke was selected for preservation because it is a reminder of the struggle and efforts to liberate Uganda.

Ahebwa narrates that the construction of these monuments and commemoration of this year’s Tarehe Sita celebrations in the region is appropriate and timely because of the battles along the Mbarara-Kabale road, in areas of Rugando Rwampara district, the killings at Rwemiyenje and the establishment of camps at Kigaragara- Kashumba Sub-county and Ngarama Sub County Isingiro.

He says the army installation has one great memory of September 1972, among others, when President Yoweri Museveni, together with 330 comrades attacked Simba Battalion Barracks at Makenke in Mbarara City.

Micheal Kanyamiyenga,69, a Veteran appreciates the construction of the monuments and the preservation of Makenke Barracks noting that he holds a huge memory because he was arrested there in 1985. According to Kanyamiyenga, he is among the few survivors that were kept in underground detention at the barracks.

Yekoyada Nuwagaba, 67, another veteran says that he was part of the struggle from 1967 until 1986. According to Nuwagaba, despite the construction of monuments in recognition of many fallen comrades, they have not been recognized. He urges the responsible authorities to make full research so that their names can be put on the monuments. 

Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Rweshande, the Chief of Civil-Military Cooperation, says that Tarehe Sita celebrations will take place in Kakyeka Stadium in Mbarara city unlike in the past where they have been celebrated inside Makenke Barracks. 

He says the celebrations are a great thank you to the comrades and parents of greater Mbarara because the historical background of the NRA was founded on strong civil-military relations. 

The celebration will be held under the theme: “Recognising the Sacrifice of the founders of the Peoples Revolution for social economic transformation.”.”

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