Gen. Elly Tumwine, the national chairman of the medals awards committee, says the Shs1bn spent on medals is still too little.
“Very little money is allocated to medals. Just $1bn [Shs3,390,099,950,000—three trillion three hundred ninety billion ninety-nine million nine hundred fifty thousand]. Sometimes it’s less,” Tumwine said while appearing on NBS TV Friday morning.
He said President Yoweri Museveni has directed that more money be given to the committee to spend on medals.
To him, the value of the medal is not in its amount but what it recognizes.
“These medals are important. Those who have them should value and wear them. Those who don’t should work for them,” Tuwmine said.
He added: “The prices of these medals vary. The highest ones cost between £50,000 [Shs219,551,348] up to £100,000 [about Shs439,158,632].”
This comes days after government awarded former Members of Parliament with medals for the service provided to the country.
According to Tumwine, the purpose of the medals is to encourage young people to aspire towards doing more.
“In 2001, we came up with the National Honors and Awards Act. I encourage the public to study that law.”
He says every person is eligible to receive a medal.
“We have civilian and military medals for different categories and levels. Medals have since become a big issue. Everyone wants a medal. If you have no medal, you are still doing your exam.”
Tumwine says recognizing people was unheard of for a while until the NRM government came to power–that’s why recipients are many.
He cited a huge backlog of Ugandans who have distinguished themselves and deserve a medal–there are different medals each with its own rank.
Parliamentarians were given the Golden Jubilee Independence medal.
A huge list of 10,000 names was approved in 2012 to be awarded medals. Not all have been given yet.
Names are submitted, then the committee sits and recommends some names to the president.