By Herbert Bukenya
While launching the Tarehe sita activities at Boma grounds in Butaleja district, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Affairs Rt. Hon Kirunda Kivejinja urged the armed forces from the East African Community represented at the function to work closely with the civilians to consolidate the peace and stability they have established over the years.
Highlighting the strength of the UPDF, Kivejinja said part of this strength had been built on the foundation of corporating with other armies.
He pointed out that if civilains and the military worked seamlessly together they can scale the heights and achiever greater development together. Specifically commenting about the Tarehe sita festivities that are ongoing till February 6th the Minister said the military’s departments involved need to coperate well with the civilains inorder to achieve the aims of the celebrations.
The seasoned diplomat and politician also reminded the forces and civilans present at the function that the military plays an important role in the foundation of a nation but this can only be sustainable with discipline and enlightened leaders in charge.
Kivejinja however cautioned civilans not to leave their responsibilities to the army because the later had just come to help out adding that they should take advantage of the prevailing peace in the country to engage in more development activities.
Defence State Minister Rtd Col Charles Engola commended the UPDF for maintaining peace and stability in the country. While speaking at the function he also congratulated the people of Bukedi region for being the first ever to host the first East African Armed Forces week celebrations combined with the Tarehe sita celebrations together.
Senior UPDF Officer and former Deputy CDF Lt.Gen Ivan Koreta speaking on behalf of the UPDF fraternity thanked the other armies from the region for joining the UPDF to celebrate the important Tarehe sita festivities together. He added that they look forawrd to having successful celebrations that will involve HIV AIDS counseling and testing, immunisation, minor civil works among other activities.
A number of other senior government and military officials were present at the function including Local government State Minister Hon. Jennifer Namuyangu, Butaleja District Chairman Richard Waaya, Deputy Airforce Commander Maj Gen Gavas Mugyenyi, Brig. Timothy Sabiti Commander Engineering brigade, Deputy UPDF Political Commissar Col Bahoku Barigye, Defence Attaches and representative officers from the other participating forces.