UPDF Builds Monument to Recognize Brave Late Rutaraka in Ibanda


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The Uganda Peoples Defense Forces have built a monument to recognize Rutaraka, a peasant from Ankole region believed to have killed George Galt, the then British officer in charge of Ankole province on May 19th 1905 at Katooma, 3KM from Ibanda town while protesting harsh punishments by colonial officials.

It is said that Rutaraka, alongside Emperors Menilek II, Haile Selassie, Omukama Kabalega, and others, struggled to defend black people from the shackles of colonial rule.

Fearing retribution by the colonial administration, Rutaraka later committed suicide by hanging, and instead the British collectively punished the natives on the grounds that they conspired to kill Galt.

Rutaraka’s action earned him respect from the natives within western Uganda, who referred to him in a local dialect as “RUTARAKA EMANZI YAITSIRE GOOTE,” literally translated as Rutaraka the brave who killed Galt.

Like Pro. Harold Bloom (late) once said “Greatness recognizes Greatness”, the UPDF have recognized and will celebrate fellow great warrior “Rutaraka” for putting spirited resistance against harsh British administrators.

According to Brig. Cyrus Bekunda, the UPDF Engineering Brigade Commander, in honor of Rutaraka’s heroic action, the Force has embarked on the construction of the Rutaraka Monument at Katooma in Ibanda district ahead of Tarehe Sita and Defense Forces Week celebrations.

The monument is part of the wide UPDF activities being conducted ahead of the 2023 Tarehe Sita celebration.

Who’s Galt? 

Harry St. George Galt was born on January 28, 1872, in Emsworth, Hampshire, in the United Kingdom. He first served in the British Protectorate of Uganda as a tax collector for the Ankole kingdom.

Galt was later appointed the sub-commissioner in charge of the Western Province of Uganda.

However, his fateful day came on May 19, 1905, while on his way from Fort Portal to Ibanda, where it’s believed that Galt had a girlfriend known as Kibubura. It is said that he forced locals to carry him on their head for about 110KM from Fort portal to Ibanda where there was government houses.

The colonial administration set up a pyramid-like feature with 5 meters in length and 3 meters in height as the Galt Monument.

The UPDF celebrates Tarehe Sita every year as a tradition to remember the 6th February 1981, when the NRA launched a five-year people’s protracted war that brought the current government into power.

During the Tarehe Sita and Defense Forces Week celebrations, the UPDF conducts different community outreach programs, such as medical camps, engineering works, sanitation, sensitizing the population about the mandate of the force, and others.

This year’s Tarehe Sita and Defense Forces Week celebrations will be conducted within the districts of the Greater Mbarara sub-region under the theme “Recognizing the sacrifice of the founders of the people’s revolution for social and economic transformation.”


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