KDF Nursing Officer Major Risper Murunga taking a blood pressure test for a patient at Kamuge Health Center III in Pallisa District Uganda on 1st Feb 2018.
By Sergeant Cecilia Wanjiru Kagunda Photographs by Senior Private Felix Muvevi
A contingent of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) led by Lieutenant Colonel Kyalo Musyoki is in Uganda joining their counterparts from the East African Community (EAC) Partner States for the First EAC Defence Forces Week which will culminate into to the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) Day also referred to as ‘Tarehe Sita’.
Tarehe Sita is the day Uganda’s Army marks the attack on Kabamba Barracks in 1981, which essentially launched the five year guerrilla war that eventually brought National Resistance Movement (NRM) to power in 1986.
KDF contingent comprises of personnel from medical battalion and enginneers brigade. The medical team is headed by Major Risper Murunga and Captain (Dr) Laurine Kigamwa whereas the Engineers Battalion soldiers are under Captain Gilbert Gitau.
The East African Community Armed Forces Week is a collaboration by EAC armed forces to serve the citizens through Civil Military Cooperation Activities. It resonates with the decision of the EAC Defence Council to link the military cooperation with civilians as the region integrates.
The regional army activities, which are being held concurrently with the UPDF’s 37th Tarehe Sita anniversary, were officially flagged off by the Second Deputy Premier and Minister for East African Community Affairs Hon Ali Kirunda Kivejinja at the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs Headquarters in Mbuya on 31 January, 2018. The Civil Military activities will climax on February 6, 2018 with the EAC Armed Forces Day and Tarehe Sita celebrations in Buteleja District.
The civil military activities include free medical camps, light engineering works, repairs and construction works in Bukedi Region. Officiating at the national launch, Hon. Kivejinja expressed gratitude that such events as EAC Armed Forces Day are right steps towards the East African Federation, which himself and comrades have since aspired to see through. He noted that once full East African integration is achieved there will come enormous regional benefits such as huge markets for goods and services produced within the region. UPDF Chief of Defence Forces, General David Muhoozi said the civil Military activities preceding the Regional Army Day and Tarehe Sita celebrations in February 6, 2018 are very vital in strengthening relations between the army and the people they serve. “It’s the day for the army to resonate with the people from who we come” General Muhoozi said.
Each military contingent has been allocated regions in which they will carry out the civil Military cooperation activities. Kenya in Pallisa, Rwanda contingent will be operating in Tororo, Burundi in Kibuku, South Sudan in Busia and Tanzania in Budaka districts.
The Kenya Defence Forces contingent has been allocated two sub-counties within Pallisa District-Kamuge and Apopong where they will carry out free Medicare and light engineering work.
On Wednesday 1 February 2018, the Minister of State for Defence Hon Col (Rtd) Charles Okello Engola flanked by Major General Sam Kavuma-Deputy Commander Land Forces in UPDF and Brigadier Kyamukama Kasura-Director National Leadership Institute (NALI), Lieutenant Colonel Kyalo Musyoki of Kenya Defence Forces, Resident District Commissioner Mrs. Collins Odwokayot, Mr.Okurut Michael- Chairman Local Government in Pallisa District officially launched the CIMIC activities at Pallisa District Headquarters.
The CIMIC activities officially kicked off at Kamuge Health Centre with renovation of Out Patient Department by the KDF and UPDF soldiers from engineers brigade.
The CIMIC activities are symbolic and are aimed at further enhancing the strategic relationship between the people and the military. This year’s Tarehe Sita and EAC Armed Forces’ Week will be celebrated in Butejela District on Tuesday 6, 2018 under the theme “Reaffirming the contribution of the armed forces towards regional integration for our strategic, security, development and prosperity.” .
Minister of State for Defence of Uganda Colonel (Rtd) Honourable Charles Okello Engola signing visitors’ book at Kamuge Prison as some of the officials present look on.
Minister of State for Defence of Uganda Colonel (Rtd) Honourable Charles Okello Engola administering polio vaccine as some of the officials present look on.
Captain (Dr) Laurine Kamwanga from the Kenya Defence Forces attending patients at Kamuge Health Center III in Pallisa District Uganda.
Minister of State for Defence of Uganda Colonel (Rtd) Honourable Charles Okello Engola with some officials during the Ground Breaking Ceremony at Kamuge Health Center III in Pallisa District Uganda.
Minister of State for Defence of Uganda Colonel (Rtd) Honourable Charles Okello Engola addressing Kamuge Residents.
Medical officers from KDF and UPDF attending patients at Kamuge Health Center III in Pallisa District Uganda.