Africa Uganda divided on 36th National Liberation Day

Uganda divided on 36th National Liberation Day

James Sekkayi, 64, will slaughter a goat for a feast with his family on Wednesday, coinciding with Uganda’s National Liberation Day commemorated on Jan. 26 every year.

Sekkayi said on this day, he celebrates the coming to power of the ruling party in 1986 and the overthrow of dictators.

“We were liberated from dictatorship by President Yoweri Museveni and his party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM),” he said.

Museveni came to power after waging a guerilla war for five years.

“The NRM overthrew a government that was corrupt, that abused human rights and also cheated in elections to remain in power,” Sekkayi said.

However, the opposition claims that Museveni has long lost his chance at gearing the country toward progress rendering the Liberation Day meaningless.

Among those is opposition parliamentarian Nakaseke Paulson Semakula Kasana Luttamaguzi, who insists that the government is marred by corruption and nepotism.

He said it is useless to celebrate the day because those who claim that they liberated the country simply liberated themselves from poverty.

Yunus Mugerwa, a resident of Kikyusa, one of the places where the liberation war took place, said in an interview with Anadolu Agency that he lost all his property and children during the war, but he has not been compensated so far.

He said: “When Museveni came with his fighters, we gave them shelter and food. All our cows were slaughtered to provide them with food. We also encouraged our children to join him. Some of our children died during the war. The government promised to compensate us, but nothing has been done so far.”

Ugandan government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said in his weekly message: “While many Ugandans acknowledge achievements of the past three decades, the old malaise of corruption and abdication of responsibility by public servants and citizens need stronger actions.

Despite those challenges, Ugandans should recommit themselves to continue the journey of building a prosperous Uganda.”

Uganda gained independence in October 1962 but descended into chaos with the infamous eight-year regime of dictator Idi Amin.

Amin was replaced by President Obote in 1981, whom Museveni accused of cheating in elections and waged a guerilla war. He managed to win the war in 1986 and became the president.

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