Today, marks the 37th anniversary since the National Resistance Army launched the first guerrilla attack in 1981 on Kabamba Barracks that culminated into the five-year guerrilla war that eventually brought NRM to power in 1986.
Since then, the UPDF have been commemorating Tarehe Sita (Swahili word literally meaning the 6th), always preceded by a week-long civil-military activities by soldiers to enhance civil-military relations. However, not being a public holiday, the commemoration is always done only by UPDF soldiers, leaving out other Ugandans.
My feeling is that, like other public holidays, which arose from the liberation struggle, this is equally a very important day in the history of our country.
February 6 gave birth to important days like the NRM Liberation Day and Heroes Day, which are recognised as public holidays. I believe other Ugandans equally want to be seen to be part of this day. But until it is recognised as a public holiday, their involvement won’t be easily possible.
Our country has had a troubled past, with European colonisation followed by political and military unrests, several coups and a succession of rulers, including the ruthless dictator Idi Amin. Some Ugandans attribute the relief from such terrible pasts to the courage taken on February 6, 1981, by a few Ugandans, who sacrificed their comfort and dared to attack a military installation so as to liberate this country.
The peace, stability and economic progress the country is enjoying are attributed to that day. It is like the first date (a day out with a girlfriend) that eventually ended in a stable and a very successful marriage.
Serious couples always recognise such a day to reflect on the humble past of their relationship so as to stabilise the marriage. That said, I appeal to fellow Ugandans to always take February 6 very seriously. Let us not look at it only as a UPDF day. It is our day. Let’s join the UPDF and celebrate together.
It is then imperative that the relevant authority gazette this day as a public holiday to enable other Ugandans authoritatively join the UPDF in the celebration. Happy Tarehe Sita!
Bernard Odida,
concerned Ugandan
[email protected]