President Yoweri Museveni has congratulated all former MPs from the 1st to the 9th Parliament who were on Monday honoured with the Golden Jubilee Medals.
“In science, they talk about form and substance. When we got independence, there was appearance of democracy (form) but the substance was shaky,” the president said while presiding over the ceremony.
He recalled some of the MPs from the first Parliament like Mzee Bwambale, Hasahya, Muduku, who saw what happens if one deals with form and not substance.
“Things will collapse. It’s what happened four years after independence.”
He said this was because of two reasons; ideology of sectarianism.
He described this as politics based on identity and not people’s interests.
“I am this, I am that. So what? How will that help you? The post-independence parties had sectarian leanings.”
He cited the second weakness as the army saying independence people didn’t pay attention.
“They took on the Kings African Rifles, a colonial army. Which king were they representing? It was the British king. It was his army. Our people thought they could build a country around this borrowed army.”
The president recalled during the NRC, when Prof Timothy Wangusa, who was a student at Makerere just before independence, told them about a British man who was teaching them Literature.
“He spoke about many things but never mentioned the army. The students asked why he was not talking of the army. The British man told them, ‘Don’t worry about the army. It’s like tail of a dog, it wags it the way wants.’”
He noted that instead before long, the tail was wagging the dog.
“I am lucky I was old enough to know what happened at Independence and young enough to live afterwards. We are now here, we are happy.”
Museveni also commiserated with the families of MPs who were killed by government especially in the Amin days.
Some of the families include those of Hon Kasula of Rukungiri, Ssebugwawo of Mubende, Alexander Latim, Obonyo Gino, Alex Ojera, Martin Okello, Bazilio Bataringaya, Wakhooli, Gaspel Oda, Benedicto Kiwanuka—who were all killed by government.
He congratulated Ugandans, who started from far.
“There are things we didn’t see in beginning but when we did, some of us said they must change. We dealt with Amin, we are now here. Our people say when you heal a disease then you can talk about it. We can now talk about these things.”
He also saluted Speaker Kadaga for having thought of the ceremony and reminding him about it.
“I congratulate our Wazee, this reunion is great, it should be done more often. I also encourage these old people to write their stories.”