NRM AT 38YRS: Let’s Remember The 27 Original NRA With Monuments at Kololo

NRM AT 38YRS: Let’s Remember The 27 Original NRA With Monuments at Kololo


In 1981, courageous men and women made a bold decision to step out of their comfort zones and head to the bush to challenge and ultimately bring an end to the disastrous Obote 2 government.

This marked the foundation of the peaceful, rapidly transforming country we now enjoy. Beginning with just 27 men, the five-year protracted bush struggle concluded victoriously on January 26, 1986, forming the basis of an indelible history that we have since celebrated every year.

On February 3, 1981, a group of rebels held a meeting at Matthew Rukikaire’s house in Makindye to plan the first attack, launching the war that brought President Yoweri Museveni to power in 1986.

The attack on Kabamba Military School aimed to secure more guns, even though the rebels numbered 41, with only 27 guns and a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG). Sources suggest that Julius Chihanda brought sixteen guns.

The rebels without guns were termed ‘commandos’ in President Yoweri Museveni’s book, “Sowing the Mustard Seed,” aiming to emphasize their importance. Despite starting with 41 individuals, the historical 27 are the most renowned in the history of the National Resistance Army (NRA).

Of the original 27, only eight are still alive, including Gen. Yoweri Museveni, Julius Kihande, Fred Mwesigye, Andrew Lutaaya, Jack Mucunguzi, Paul Kagame, George Mwesigwa, and Col. Charles Tusiime Rutarago.

Jinja’s NRM Liberation Day coincides with Uganda’s continued success in various aspects of its nation-building journey. Hon. Milly Babirye Babalanda highlighted numerous achievements by the ruling party, partly attributable to the sacrifices of those who fought in the jungles of Luwero.

Economic growth has surged from US Dollars 3.9 billion in 1986 to US Dollars 49.4 billion in 2023.

Electricity generation expanded from 150 Mega Watts in 1986 to over 1,300 Mega Watts in 2023. Tarmac roads increased from 1,000 kilometers in 1986 to over 7,000 kilometers in 2023.

Airports grew from 1 to 2, and airstrips expanded from 5 to 13. Water coverage stands at 68% in rural areas and 72% in urban areas. Life expectancy extended from 43 years in 1986 to 63 years in 2023.

The national referral hospitals increased from 2 to 5, while regional referrals now number 17, and district hospitals exceed 163.

Literacy rates reached 75%, universities expanded from 1 in 1986 to 11, technical colleges are now 77, secondary schools total 983, and primary schools number 12,433.

It is imperative to consider a lasting reward for these men and women in the spirit of “etasiima Ebula agiwa.”

Monuments should be erected in honor of the gallant sons and daughters, preferably at City Square or Kololo Independence Ground. This tribute should extend beyond the 27 who held guns in the Kabamba attack to include their unarmed colleagues, totaling 41.

Monuments would not only preserve the legacy of the heroes but also inspire others serving the country.

Preserving the history of this unique liberation period is crucial in a country with a low reading culture. Safeguarding our heroes through monuments will ensure this vital information is not lost over time.

Drawing parallels with Egypt, which preserved its heroes’ bodies, emphasizes the importance of requesting statues for those upon whose sacrifices the country rests.

Long live NRM, Long live Jaaja Mwaami, Ssabalwanyi, father of the region, Chairman NAM and G77+ China.


The Writer is the Regional Coordinator YKM 2026 Cyberforce in Buganda


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