By Pascal Kwesiga
President Yoweri Museveni has honoured Independence heroes ahead of the Golden Jubilee independence celebrations slated for Tuesday.
Museveni paid tribute to the late President, Yusuf Kironde Lule and Ignatius Kangave Musaazi at a function held in memory of the heroes who fought for the country's independence at Kololo National grounds in Kampala on Sunday. Musaazi and Lule were buried at Kololo National Grounds after being declared national heroes.
President Museveni at Kololo National Grounds
Museveni said honoring the Independence heroes was a step in the right direction to encourage the Ugandans to sacrifice for their country. If this is not done, the president explained the next generation of Ugandans may not see a point in sacrificing their lives for the county.
"If you don't remember the pioneers, you plant cowardice in the next generations," he said
The President directed his advisor for veteran affairs, Kirunda Kivejinja to compile a list of all independence heroes who are not documented so that they can be recognized and their families assisted.
President Museveni with First Lady, Janet at Kololo Nationa Grounds.
"That is why I told these people agitating for salary increase that when you do something outstanding people will look for you even when you are not around," Museveni added.
This, Museveni added is why he directed the formation of the veterans association after taking over power in 1986. He however noted that the veterans association was not spared by corruption when the list of veterans was inflated. He called for an audit of the list of veterans.
Lule who served as president for only 68 days was installed as the country's leader by the Uganda National Liberation Front (UNLF) shortly after the fall of dictator Idi Amin Dada in 1979.
He was involved in the struggle against Amin. Lule was a leader of the Uganda Freedom Fighters that merged with Museveni's National Resistance Army (NRA) in 1981. He passed on in 1985 before NRA captured power.
L-R: Prime minister Amama Mbabazi, Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, First Lady, Janet Museveni and the president at Kololo National Grounds
He is described by some as having been the only unifying factor of all Ugandans to form a post-Idi Amin government in 1979.
Musaazi formed Uganda's first political party, the Uganda National Congress (UNC), with the aim of liberating the country from colonialists. By the time Uganda got independence in 1962, Musaazi's party had been fragmented into different factions and was no longer popular.
When Obote captured power in 1966, he appointed Musaazi to head the Uganda Land Commission until 1971 when Amin overthrew him. He was declared a national hero after his death.
Musaazi was born in Timuna, a village off Wobulenzi on the Kampala-Gulu highway. He was jailed 37 times in his pursuit of Uganda's independence.
Musaazi died in 1990 at Namirembe Hospital at the age of 85 years.He formed the Uganda African Farmers Union in 1945, through which he opposed the low price of cotton and coffee being paid by the Indians. Musaazi allied with other Ugandans across the country like Otema Alimadi (Gulu), Cathbert Obwangor (Teso), G.W Magezi (Bunyoro) and others in eastern Uganda. He was among the leaders of rebellion Number 9, against the prices of coffee and cotton.
He wanted Ugandans to stop buying commodities from Indians, and when Indians realized how bad the situation had become, they started selling off their ginneries and coffee processing plants to Ugandans.