By Ahmed Kateregga Musaazi
As the country cerebrates national heroes day on Wednesday on June 9th, there are some individuals or groups of individuals, that missed medals that should be given in the spirit of national reconciliation.
The significant individuals/ families or groups of individuals, are former President of Uganda, Idi Amin Dada, and former Chairperson of Military Commission, Paulo Muwanga.
One May 24th at Kololo Independence Grounds, the President recalled how on that day, Central Government Forces commanded by Idi Amin, who was Army Chief of Staff, on orders of the President Milton Obote, invaded Mengo palace to flush out the Kabaka of Buganda Sir Edward Muteesa ll dead or alive although he escaped narrowly to England via Burundi.
The President said the crisis was a tug of war between Bantu in the South and Nilotics in the North, adding that the election of Jacob Oulanyah Norther as Speaker of Parliament, and Annette Anita Among from North Eastern Uganda as Deputy Speaker on the same date, was a sign of national reconciliation.
Earlier in 2012, while marking 50 years of independence, President Yoweri Museveni awarded medals to all past heads of state and government posthumously except Idi Amin and Paulo Muwanga. He awarded to Ben Kiwanuka, first Prime Minister of Uganda, Sir Edward Muteesa, first President, Milton Obote, the founder of the Republic of Uganda, Idi Amin, Yusuf Lule, Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa and Tito Okello.
Yet, out of good will and national reconciliation, the President has catered for all families of his predecessors, without discrimination. He restored kingdoms in 1993 and the main beneficiaries are the family of Sir Edward Muteesa ll where his heir, Ronnie Mutebi succeeded him as Kabaka of Buganda and was crowned on Saturday July 31st 1993. Ben Kiwanuka’s son, Maurice Kagimu was a Minister in Vice President’s Office. Taban Amin, son of Amin is Deputy Director General Internal Security Organisation (ISO) and his daughter is the Koboko District Woman MP on an NRM ticket. Waswa Lule , son of Yusuf Lule was Deputy Inspector General of Government and Member of Parliament. Okello Oryem son of Tito Okello is the outgoing Minister for Foreign Affairs in charge of International Cooperation. To mention but a few.
There are arguments that Paulo Muwanga was not a head of state, and the ceremonial heads of state by then including the late justices; Musoke, Namiconco and Wachwa Olwol were awarded. But there is no doubt that Paulo Muwanga was the defacto Head of Government deputized by now President Yoweri Museveni. He should be awarded.
At the first anniversary of the coronation of the Kabaka that was held in Bulange gardens in 1994 , President Museveni said that one of his daughters who was an amateur in arts and design, had designed a monument in memory of the restoration of institutions of traditional and cultural leaders. But this has never been unveiled. Yes, the President was given an honorary title of a lineage leader in the Nte Clan, in appreciation for the restoration of the traditional and cultural institutions.
However, it is more prudent for Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi ll to also award the President the title of Ngabo n’amafumu (Shield and Spears) he awards to his loyal subjects that excel. His predecessors; Daudi Chwa ll and Edward Muteesa ll l awarded it to those that mattered for the kingdom. it will also cement personal relationship between President Yoweri Museveni and Kabaka Ronald Mutebi ll.
Haji Ahmed Kateregga Musaazi is a veteran journalist and a Communications Assistant with Digital Team of the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance. He was , in 2018, also awarded National Independence Medal for his contribution to the nation especially in areas of media and mobilization in 2018.
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