By Richard Drasimaku and Benedict Okethwengu
The Forum for Democratic Change Party (FDC) president retired Major Gen. Mugisha Muntu was one of the 96 people who were awarded 50th independence golden jubilee medals.
The medal is awarded to the people to recognize their outstanding services and loyalty to the country, Gen. Elly Tumwine the national chairman of the awards committee said.
This was during the Terehe Sita celebrations held at Arua Hill Boma grounds in Arua district on Wednesday.
The awardees were the second batch to receive the medals following the 35 people including President Yoweri Museveni who got their medal during the celebration of the National Resistance Movement liberation day last week.
Muntu, however, was absent to receive his award. His party ally, the former FDC party President Rtd Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye who served in the NRA/UPDF before falling out with the current regime missed out in the award.
Gen. Tumwine explained that the “50th Uganda independence golden medal” is given to individual by the President in recognition of their outstanding service and Loyalty to the county from 9th October 1962 to 9th October 2012.
Army chiefs past and present were also awarded the jubilee medal. They include, Brig. Shaban Opolot, Gen. Caleb Akanddwanaho (Salim Saleh) the presidential advisor on security, Gen. Jeje Odong, the state minister for Defence, the late Maj. Gen James Kazini and Gen. Aronda Nyakarima, the Chief of Defence forces.
The medal was also given to the police and prison chiefs who served in this country since independence.
Other notables who received the golden jubilee medal included Brig. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the commander of the Special Forces command, Lt. Gen. Katumba Wamala, the commander of the land forces and Lt Gen. Kale Kayihura, the current inspector general of police.
Robert Masolo, the director General in the external Security, and Col. Ronnie Balya of the, the director internal security organization also got the 50th Uganda independence Medal.
A total of 129 men and officers were awarded the Luwero Triangle Medal given to officers - men or women- who joined armed struggles against dictatorship in Uganda.
Tumwine added that it’s also given to civilians who operated closely with the armed freedom fighters during the struggles against dictatorship.
A total of 141 civilian activists were awarded the Nalubale Medal, which Tumwine explained goes to civilians who have contributed towards the political development of Uganda through armed struggle or civil disobedience in the period 1981-86.
The people of west Nile dominated the award with 99 getting the medals among them the leader of the defunct Uganda National Rescue front II (UNRF II) Maj. Gen. Ali Bamuze and Arua RDC Ibrahim Abiriga.
Tumwine appealed to the people to treat with respect, they deserve the holders of any of the three categories of the medals.
“The people who are holding these medal deserve special attention at national functions , if there are three chairs at important national functions and seven people to occupy them, please consider the medal holders first,” he urged, warning that abuse of the medals is a criminal act.