General public asked to nominate persons for National medals

Former Chief Justice Bart Katureebe decorates President Museveni

NEWS- The president’s office has embarked on a Nation-wide citizen awareness program in relation to their stake in awarding National medals to persons believed to have served the country exemplary.

The Ugandan honours system consists of orders and medals awarded for exemplary service to the nation by individuals as provided for by the National Honours and Awards Act, 2001.

Ugandans have always criticized the medal awarding process, citing bias in the way the awardees are selected, an accusation the government has always denied.

In recent years, critics have questioned why opposition leaders like Col Kizza Besigye have never been awarded medals despite their roles in the NRA bush war that brought Museveni to power, coupled with their outstanding contribution to the democratization of the country.

However, Alliance for national transformation party president Maj. Gen Mugisha Muntu was in 2013 selected to be given a medal as one of the army commanders, but refused to pick it, arguing that president Museveni’s regime had lost integrity to corruption, injustice and undemocratic tendencies.

While meeting journalists in Rubanda and Kisoro district today, Mulambe Tonny, a principal assistant secretary in the office of the president under the department of Chancery, said that the president’s office intends to end such debates by thorough public sensitization programs spearheaded by the media.

He noted that Nomination of persons is done at village level and names are forwarded to the RDC for vetting and are further forwarded to the awards committee which recommends the names to the president. However, one has to give reasons for the proposed names, because the awards have to be based on excellence.

Mulambe says that the government has formulated the national honors and awards regulations, which further guide the implementation of the National Honors and Awards Act, to enable a broader category of civilians to qualify for the awards.

According to the Act, the honour or title or award can be revoked where it was conferred upon the wrong person, where a recipient has been sentenced to life imprisonment or imprisonment of not less than five years or committed an offence involving fraud, dishonesty or moral turpitude, among others.

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