By Ishaa Otto Amiza
The military has been at the center of political and social life of Uganda and yet all stories about their legacies and life is filled with negativities and elements of curse which is alleged to be the making of the military since the independence from the Colonial administration .
No doubt UGANDANS are wonderful fighters stretching from the pre- colonial times to post independence, where many sacrificed their lives for liberating Uganda and humanity across the World.
Many UGANDANS bravely fought the colonialists within and without Uganda ,leading to ” Gen”. Field Marshal Okello commanding a successful military independence campaigns in Zanzibar.
Many of our people also sacrificed their lives and families to fight alongside the colonial master “Britain”, against Adholf Hitler of the Second World War.
Special tribute to my grandfather , Sgt. Stefano Oyena( RIP) and his comrades , who bravely fought the Nazi Hitler of Germany alongside the British colonial masters.
The many battles fought by our gallant brave soldiers can’t go unnoticed. The charismatic David Oyite Ojok( RIP) who commanded the Kikoosi Maluum of the UNLA against the dictatorship of Amin until 1979 displayed one of the most skillful character in the military history of Uganda.
Overtime , on the whims of the dictatorship in Uganda , our brothers, sisters and relatives have sacrificed lives fighting insensible wars in Congo, Rwanda, Kenya ,South Sudan ,etc . Its also on record, that our soldiers have been fighting in Somalia to try to keep peace and yet many have been victims .
Maj. Gen. Paul Lokech alias “The Lion of Mogadishu”, goes down the history of the uniformed men as a heroic stature that stood tall to command AMISOM successfully in Mogadishu against Alshabab terrorists although his sacrifices to lift UGANDA’S flag and peace keeping mission high soon caused him problems.
Many of our children who were in uniforms to defend the sovereign intergrity of their motherland have often fallen victims of their own regime or made to pay heavily with life at the expense of their own life and families.
Right from Obote, there are a number of men in Uniform who have been exploited to defend the sitting regimes but end up falling victims of the same regimes.
In our post independence history neither Obote, Amin nor Okello and now Museveni have ever bothered to protect and the men and women in uniform instead they are often made to be instruments for regime and individual protection at the expense of the very Country they swear to protect and defend with their own blood.
In America, the uniformed officer who sacrifices their service and lives in defence of the sovereignty and the foreighn Policy interests of American people is not only a treasured HERO but his family is regarded at super level posthumously.
In Uganda the uniformed person and family is seen as a tool for survival of a regime and it’s beneficiary.
It’s time UGANDANS come out to appreciate the sacrifices our uniformed men and women do during their service of the nation other than using them as exploits for selfish interests of the regime or Presidential cults.
The author is the former MP for Oyam County South and a political activist .