President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday, September 14, honored the fallen and living heroes of the bush war that enabled him to become president 37 years ago.
Museveni was celebrating the heroes who took part in the 1985 Katonga battle, involving the National Resistance Army (NRA).
NRA was later transformed into Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) with President Museveni as the commander-in-chief.
The NRA bush war struggle between 1981 and 1985 at Katonga Bridge, which is in present-day Mpigi District enabled Museveni to overthrow President Tito Okello Lutwa’s government and take over power.
“Today we gather to express our heartfelt profound admiration for the brave men and women who served our nation with utmost valour,” said Hadija Namyalo, office of the national chairman coordinator.
According to reliable sources, 17 government soldiers were killed, while 82 were captured during the war.
General Caleb Akandwanaho, President Museveni’s brother who led the Katonga bush battle, urged the youth to emulate the bravery that was exhibited by fighters during the 1985 war.
“My dream is to see that all the grandchildren are not diverted by politics but fight poverty because President Museveni is leading the fight against poverty,” said Gen. Akandwanaho.
President Museveni’s brother is remembered for his bravery and the fearless tactics he displayed while commanding the rebel army which was successful.
Speaking during the event, President Museveni recounted some of the major occurrences before the struggle at Katonga Bridge.
“It was bloody and I will show Ugandans proof by sharing some of the pictures that were taken during the gun war on social media,” said Museveni.
He added that many of his soldiers died during the war, but they remained committed to the mission.