President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday contributed Shs80m to redevelop a shrine that sits on a hill which was destroyed during the war against former President Idi Amin.
The Uganda–Tanzania war (usually referred to in Uganda as the Liberation War) was fought between Uganda and Tanzania in 1978–1979, and led to the overthrow of Idi Amin’s regime.
Uganda declared a state of war against Tanzania, and sent troops to invade and annex part of the Kagera region of Tanzania, which Amin claimed belonged to Uganda.
Nyerere mobilized the Tanzania People’s Defence Force and counterattacked.
In a few weeks, the Tanzanian army was expanded from less than 40,000 troops to over 100,000 including members of the police, prison services, national service, and the militia.
The Tanzanians were joined by several anti-Amin groups consisting of Ugandan exiles, who at a conference in Moshi (Moshi Conference) had united as the Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA).
These included Kikosi Maalum commanded by Tito Okello and David Oyite Ojok, FRONASA commanded by Yoweri Museveni, and Save Uganda Movement commanded by Akena p’Ojok, William Omaria, and Ateker Ejalu.
Idi Amin’s forces included thousands of troops sent by Libya, and some Palestinian support.
Museveni says one of the sites that were affected by this war houses Our Lady Queen of Peace Kiwamirembe Shrine in Lweza Parish.
The President returned to the shrine on Tuesday as the Catholic Church commemorated the Assumption of the Virgin Mary to Heaven.
“This hill on which this shrine stands was destroyed during the struggle against bad leadership of Amin,” Museveni said.
He pledged Shs80 million as contribution to redevelopment of the area.
The president urged the faithful to pray to Maria, thanking her for the peace and good things they have achieved but also present their problems both personal and as a country.
“On seeing the good roads and the industries below this hill, I thank Jesus Christ, Maria, the Holy Spirit and God for a visionary government that has aided this development,” the president said.
He said Christians and indeed everyone should work hard, just as St. Paul commands that “Those who do not work will not eat”.
The president said Africans concentrate on multiplying and not dominance over other creatures yet in Genesis, during creation, God commanded humans not only to multiply but also dominate over other creation.