Uganda, a nation with a rich cultural heritage and diverse history, commemorates Tarehe Sita on the 6th of February each year. This day holds special significance as it marks the anniversary of the then National Resistance Army’s (NRA) and now Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) that launched an armed rebellion against the government of Milton Obote, ultimately leading to the liberation of Uganda from years of political instability.
Tarehe Sita, which translates to “6th day” in Swahili, is a day of great historical importance for Uganda. The event is tied to the efforts of the National Resistance Army led by the current President and Commander in Chief of the armed forces, Gen. Yoweri K. Museveni. On February 6, 1981, the NRA launched an armed rebellion that ultimately led to the seising control of the capital city, Kampala, bringing an end to years of political turmoil and civil unrest.
The 43rd Tarehe Sita Anniversary will take place in Buyende District within the Busoga Sub-region. The theme for this special occasion is “Celebrating People’s Struggle for Unity, Security, and Peace for Socio-economic Transformation.” The event aims to honor the history of the Front for National Salvation (FRONASA) and revisit the footsteps of Uganda’s revolutionary founders. It’s also a chance to recognise and thank the people of Busoga for their important role in the liberation struggle. The celebration emphasises the importance of unity, security, and peace, setting the stage for positive changes in the region’s socioeconomic landscape.
This historic day is observed through various events and activities that celebrate the resilience and patriotism of the Ugandan people who helped NRA fight for the liberation of this country. It provides an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices made by those who contributed to the liberation struggle both civilians and militants and to honor the principles that have shaped the nation’s journey towards stability and progress. Additionally, it emphasises the importance of a strong Civil-Military Corporation, establishing the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) as a people’s army.
The activities include military parades honoring the armed forces’ role in securing peace and stability. Political leaders, including the President, use the day to reflect on Tarehe Sita’s historical significance, emphasising national unity, development, and progress through supporting government initiatives such as the poverty eradication programme, PDM.
Tarehe Sita also encourages community engagement, with local leaders organising cultural performances, exhibitions, and discussions that highlight the nation’s achievements and aspirations. This collaborative effort strengthens the bond between the military and the populace, fostering positive interactions and mutual understanding.
The day serves as a poignant time to honor and remember the sacrifices made by individuals who contributed to the liberation struggle, including those who lost their lives or were injured in the pursuit of a free and stable Uganda.
Tarehe Sita is a powerful reminder of the importance of unity, resilience, and collective effort in overcoming challenges. It symbolises the triumph of the Ugandan people over adversity and underscores their commitment to building a prosperous and harmonious nation.
As Uganda faces new challenges and continues to evolve, Tarehe Sita remains a day to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and envision a future filled with promise and possibilities. It stands as a symbol of national pride, unity, and the enduring spirit that defines the country, its people, and the mighty Uganda People’s Defense Force.
The Writer is an Administrator at Government Citizen Interaction Centre – State House