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INDEPENDENCE DAY

Tuesday, 09 October 2018

This holiday is Uganda's National Day and is always celebrated on 9 October.
Independence Day marks Uganda's independence from the United Kingdom in 1962.
History of Ugandan Independence Day
The first European to visit Uganda was the British Explorer John Hanning Speke in 1862. By 1877, British missionaries started arriving with the blessing of the Bugandan King, Mutesa I.
Did you know?
Uganda takes its name from the Buganda kingdom, which forms a large part of the south of the country including the capital Kampala.
The British government chartered the Imperial British East Africa Company to negotiate trade agreements in the region from 1888. In 1890, Britain and Germany signed a treaty giving Britain 'rights' to the region.
The conversion to Christianity of some Ugandans had led to sectarian conflicts. As the trade route to the Nile was seen as important, to quell the violence, the British Government annexed Buganda and some surrounding territories to create the Uganda Protectorate in 1894.
By the middle of the 20th century, Britain had been weakened by its involvement in World war II and with the call for independence sweeping across Africa, many British Empire territories in the region had started to be granted independence.
On 9 October 1962, Uganda gained its independence from Britain as a parliamentary democratic monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II remaining as head of state. The kingdoms of Ankole, Buganda, Bunyoro and Toro received federal status and a degree of autonomy. Milton Obote the leader of the socialist Uganda People's Congress (UPC) became the first prime minister.
Did you know?
The bird on the Ugandan flag is the grey crowned crane and is the national symbol of Uganda. The crane was the military badge of Ugandan soldiers during British rule. The raised leg of the crane represents the forward movement of the country
In October 1963, Uganda became a republic but remained a members of the Commonwealth of Nations. Buganda's King Mutesa II became the first president

CELEBRATIONS MARKING THE 56TH INDEPENDENCE DAY ANINIVERSARY
TUESDAY 9TH OCTOBER 2018
THEME: “STANDING TALL AS WE CELEBRATE ACHIEVEMENTS OF OUR 56 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE.”

SYNOPSIS:
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." Ronald Reagan.
Over the ages, nations or human beings have yearned for a free will to chart their own lives and destiny.  Independence is the possession of sovereignty by a nation, a country or even an individual to enable the beneficiaries to decide or shape, through democratic means, the fate of that particular nation, country or state.

It is for the above consideration that, today, the 9th of October 2018, Ugandans of all walks of life join the people of Kasasa, Kyotera District, to mark the 56th Independence Anniversary.  On this auspicious occasion, we are afforded an opportunity to remind ourselves about the events and day when Uganda joined the family of nations that enjoy full sovereignty.

Ugandans welcomed the dawn of nationhood with ecstatic pride. Expectations were high as young and old looked forward to reaping the fruits of independence. Indeed, the early fruits of Uhuru were a mixed bag of initial joy and later despair.  Yes, Uganda had become independent but the strenuous tasks of nation building, had been laid on novice hands. Naturally, we had our fair share of mistakes but we have learnt a lot along the road to nationhood and we continue to improve ourselves along the way.

Although seemingly abstract, Independence is like a living thing; it grows, flourishes and bears fruits. It can sometimes become sick, or undernourished. It can even die! For Independence to grow and yield fruits, there are conditions under which it must be nurtured. Independence thrives best where there is democracy, justice, security and prosperity.

Regrettably, the two decades that followed Uganda’s early post-independence period were marked by tribal and religious sectarianism, intolerance, and chauvinism, State abuse of power and human rights, State and economic collapse, intermittent conflicts including civil wars. As pointed above, our independence which had started as “well-nourished plant” had deteriorated to a state of “undernourishment” to near “death”.  

It was not until 1986, that the NRM / NRA through a combination of measures undertook the Herculean task of cleaning the much fabled “Augean stables” this country had descended to.  It was a colossal task in which a handful of determined and focused Ugandans led the way to engender national security, peace and stability, democracy as well as socio-economic transformation. No doubt, Uganda is now on the right track.  To the NRM/NRA, we are most obliged to say a big thank you for restoring Uganda to the ideals envisioned by our Independence heroes.  In this regard, a number of achievements in the fields of infrastructure; energy as well as innovation, among others, have been registered over the last thirty-two years as summarized below:

Infrastructure:
The budget for the roads was raised from Shs 398 billion in FY 2005/06 to Shs. 4.786 trillion in FY 2017/18 . As a consequence, we now have tarmac roads to almost all the corners of Uganda.  Right from Kampala, tarmac roads are now connecting to all our major border points namely: Nimule; Oraba; Musingo; Vurra; Malaba; Busia; Busuunga; Mpondwe; Mutukula; Mirama hill; Katuna; Cyanika and Bunagana.  For instance, the distance between Cyanika in Kisoro District and Oraba in Koboko District, is 1,048Kms (655miles), all of it connected by a tarmac road.

Much of this work has been done by the Uganda Government money. For instance, 58% of the funding for roads, has been done or is being done by the Government of Uganda money. This is one of the key achievements where both the ardent critics as well as the passionate supporters of the NRM may agree that this is an unprecedented feat in the history of Uganda!  It is therefore, cause for all of us to stand tall in celebration of such an infrastructural achievement.   
 
In terms of electricity coverage, all the District headquarters, except for Kaabong and Buvuma, have now been connected to the national grid. The generation capacity of Uganda will soon be 2,216 megawatts, once Isimba, Karuma and many of the mini-hydro power stations are completed.
 
These developments are in line with the NDP II 2015/16 – 2019/20, which identifies frontloading of investment in infrastructure and power generation, among others, as a key factor to strengthen Uganda’s competitiveness for sustainable wealth creation, employment and inclusive growth.  Indeed, the Centre for International Development at Harvard, in the USA, recently predicted that Uganda will be one of the fastest growing economies in the world by 2025 . For this rosy future, nothing should fetter us from celebrating with pride, our 56th Independence anniversary.  Thanks to the NRM Government for playing its part in laying the blocks for upholding our Uhuru!    

Agriculture:

During the FY 2017/18, the agriculture sector grew at 3.2%.  Among the four leading sectors namely: Industry (which grew at 6.2% per annum), services (at 7.3%) and ICT (at 7.9%); Agriculture registered the least growth in Uganda.  The slow growth in agriculture continues to be a cause of concern.  Fortunately, the Government has laid out the necessary boosters for agriculture.  These will be the use of irrigation and fertilizers by more Ugandan farmers than at present . In the coming financial year, the Government will work on the following irrigation schemes: Doho phase II in Butalejja District; Mubuku phase II in Kasese District; Wadelai in Nebbi District; Tochi in Oyam District; Ngenge in Oyam District; Atari (Bulambuli and Kween); Katete in Kanungu District; Kawumu in Luwero District; Amagoro (Tororo District); Nabigaga (Kamuli District); Rwimi (Kasese and Kabarole District); Nyimur (Lamwo); Musamya (Kayunga); Kabuyanda (Isingiro); Matanda (Isingiro); and Igogero-Naigombwa (Iganga and Bugiri) .

Increased usage of irrigation, will put Ugandans in a better position to produce more food for both domestic and export needs.  
 
Innovations:

Achievements by Ugandan Scientists are also a major cause for us to stand tall and celebrate!  Making use of the Government Innovation Fund, a number of these Scientists have patents for industrial formulae.  These include:  
    Dr. Muranga who is the brain behind an aggressive food-value addition effort, yielding a range of matooke byproducts including (a) tooke biscuits (cookies) (b) tooke powder for porridge (c) tooke flour for matooke meal and bread-making (d) matooke chips for snacking (e) matooke flakes for cereal and (f) matooke starch and others,
    The late Dr. Isharaza who is remembered for developing the herbal molluscide from the plant Phytolacca Dodecandra (omuhoko) which is used to kill liver-fluke-harbouring snails that flourish in cattle-wearing wells and infect the animals.  Omuhoko was developed into an appropriate formulation for use in cattle-watering dams that has the added advantage of killing Bilharzia-carrying snails.  Experts have since confirmed Omuhoko to be a highly effective and environmental friendly molluscide.
    The Center for Research in Transportation Technology, at Makerere University has developed the Kayoola Bus Solar concept. The Kayoola bus represents the next generation of public transport for cities within the region. The first of its kind on the African continent, the Kayoola Solar bus relies on lithium-ion batteries to power an electric motor that is coupled to a 2-speed pneumatic shift transmission . This technology serves to conserve the environment and public health. The signatures of traditional diesel engine buses – emitting plumes of dark smoke through a tailpipe and a grumbling engine sound — are replaced by a soft buzz as soon as the electric bus accelerates. We congratulate all our scientists and wish to encourage them to continue playing their part in promoting our Independence.

Regional Integration and markets:

The NRM, always looking ahead, has already negotiated and arranged with our brother and sister Africans to ensure the market integration of Africa (EAC, COMESA, Africa Continental Free Trade Area).  These negotiations are aimed at providing capacity for the absorption of the greater supply of goods and services produced by the Ugandans wishing to take advantage of the huge collective market of Africa.  Besides the huge continental market Government has also negotiated for third party access to the USA, EU, Chinese, Japanese and Indian markets, in varying degrees.  Hence, fellow countrymen and women, the NRM has addressed or is addressing all the factors that are necessary to open the gates to Ugandans engaged in wealth and jobs creation. Let everybody, then, play his or her own part.

Finally, as we celebrate this auspicious day, we must increase our collective vigilance in the fight against those vices that derail our road to full modernization. Through combating vices like: corruption in public offices, land fragmentation, environmental degradation, poor service delivery, all forms of sectarianism and tribalism, we will be saying thank you to those who paid the ultimate price to win our independence.  At the same time, we will be placing a mark on our history by bequeathing to our posterity a “Transformed and Prosperous Uganda” as envisioned in the Vision 2040.

Wishing you Happy Celebrations of the 56th Independence Day Anniversary.
For God and My Country.