MASINDI. Masindi District will host this year’s National Resistance Movement (NRM) victory celebrations.
The celebrations to mark the day when the ruling party captured power in 1986 will be held on Thursday at Masindi Ground.
President Museveni who has been in power for more than three decades will preside over the celebrations.
Asked why Masindi was chosen to host the celebrations, the government spokesperson, Mr Ofwono Opondo, said it is the government’s principal to rotate national celebrations in each region so as to give people in each region a feel of such occasions.
Secondly, Mr Opondo said, much as NRA fighters attacked Masindi District twice during the bush war, the February 20, 1985 attack led by Gen Salim Saleh decisively changed the course of the war.
“They captured a cache of arms from Masindi Barracks and ransacked the town where they obtained vehicles that transported the arms and other supplies,” he said.
The fighters are said to have retreated through Kalyamusenyu to Ngoma in the present day Nakaseke District.
According to Opondo, 101 medals will be given to people in various categories for their outstanding national contribution.
“Because previously many elderly people would fail to travel to such national celebrations, Government has provided each of the medalists with a transport refund of Shs 180,000,” Mr Opondo said.
Gen Museveni led a five-year guerrilla war against the UPC government which had won the controversial 1980 polls.
Mr Museveni, who stood under the Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM), contested the poll outcome alleging that the elections which gave victory to UPC’s Apollo Milton Obote had been rigged.
He led the National Resistance Army (NRA), a military wing of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) which on January 26, 1986, captured power from then Tito Okello Lutwa’s military Junta which had overthrown the Obote government.
Asked if the Opposition leaders have been invited, Mr Opondo said it is standard procedure that all Opposition leaders are invited at such celebrations.
“We usually send invitations at the respective secretariats usually addressed to secretary generals” he said.