KAMPALA – A section of members in the opposition have lashed out at Government for awarding medals to soldiers who reportedly barred Justice Catherine Bamugemereire and her team on land Commission to investigate a contested plot of land in Mutungo.
While addressing journalists at Parliament on June 11, Betty Nambooze, the Shadow Minister for Information and Kampala Affairs said that it was time the country considered amendments to the National Honours and Awards Act 2001 to clearly stipulate the qualifications for the heroes who have to be celebrated.
She explained: “We as opposition demand that the National Honours and Awards Act should be reviewed so that awarding of the medals goes to real heroes in all the sectors and not army men and politicians most of whom don’t fit the definition of the word hero.”
“So what outstanding nobility, what act of courage did the soldiers who stopped Bamugemereire from accessing contested land, those are villains, criminals so we are going to move as opposition and sponsor and amendments so that Museveni stops misusing it.”
According to Nambooze, among the proposed amendments is the need to define heroes.
She also cited that recipients identified shouldn’t be politicians or from the army.
Further arguing that they should have a clear way of honouring them apart from being given only medals, secure places where heroes’ biography can be kept and their homes be made National heritage and include the procedures to vet who should qualify to be a hero.
Ms. Nambooze has further protested government’s decision to award the late Lutakome Kayiira with a medal before a report for his assassination is released 32 years later after his assassination arguing that all that the deceased’s family need is justice to prevail.
The medals were dished out to the officers by President Yoweri Museveni to commemorate the recently concluded Heroes Day celebrations in Wakiso districts that saw the controversial officers including; Sgt. Julius Katuliba commander of the team), Sgt.David Kyabona, Sgt. Tumusiime Venalenda, Kanyihira Robert and Igga Siraf.