President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Tibuhaburwa will turn 79 on September 15th 2023. Socially, a human being reaching such an advanced age in his or her life is worth celebrating especially when the average life expectancy of a Ugandan male is not above 55 years.
However celebrating Gen Museveni’s birthday at Kololo Independence grounds on the 8th September is just more than a mere celebration but rather to thank God for the life of a man whose idea to go to the bush and liberate Uganda marked the beginning of the social economic transformation of Uganda.
Those of us born after 1986 can hardly tell what Uganda was like before but through stories from our elders and videos we watch, we surely have to appreciate the courage and bravely that the son of Kaguta demonstrated all in the vein of having a new Uganda that we are all proud of.
Today many youths take the prevailing peace for granted calling it a right forgetting that their parents and grand parents at one time could only ask God to have some peaceful sleep ( Okufuna ku tulo) because surely the country was in total tatters and in a reign of Turmoil.
Because of Museveni’s deep history with the National Resistance Army (NRA), his birthday has been conjured with the heroes of Katonga who fought with brave hearts to liberate Uganda.
Just like the battle of Stalingrad during world War II that turned the war in favour of the allied powers and the battle of Lukaya that marked the beginning of defeat of Gen Idi Amin, similarly the victory in the battle of Katonga in 1985 was a turning point in favor of the NRA liberators.
After Kantonga and the nearby areas were captured, the Tito Okello government was a just a stone throw away from being defeated. This victory however came at a price of many lives as many NRA soldiers died in the due process. This was a bravely fight of sacrifice that the wicked could not persevere.
We are however also lucky to still some of the heroes of the battle alive led by Gen Museveni himself, Gen Salim Saleh, Gen Matayo Kyalingoza, Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi among others. Had Katonga battle ended in defeat of the NRA, may be we would not see the new Uganda that we are all proud of.
Therefore we shouldn’t take such memorable days for granted as they are worth celebrating. Since the capture of power in 1986, Uganda has gone through a number of social economic transformation.
More children have been educated, economic growth, infrastructural development, reduction in mortality rate, not forgetting the peace and security that we are enjoying as a nation.
I can therefore justify that celebrating Jaja’s birthday is worth a while as we thank God for his life because hadn’t it been him to make the first step towards the liberation of Uganda, perhaps we would still be stuck in the cabin of suffering. He surely liberated us!!