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Ex-Servicemen's Registration Turns into Museveni Election campaign :: Uganda Radionetwork

Ex-Servicemen's Registration Turns into Museveni Election campaign

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The registration of ex-combatants in Masindi has turned into a political campaign issue for President Yoweri Museveni's 2010 re-election.

The ministry of defense today started documenting details of all Ugandan ex-combatants dating way back 1939, with an aim of compensating them or their families.

In Masindi, about 2,000 former combatants, widows and children turned for the registration exercise at the Resident District Commissioner's office.

Colonel Mark Kodili, deputized by Lieutenant Colonel Sezi Mugasha were leading the Midwestern region registration exercise.

RDC William Kabarole and Masindi Woman Member of Parliament Jalia Lukumu used the opportunity to tell the anxious crowd that the hand that gives deserves a reward.

Amidst ululations and chants of No-Change, a campaign slogan for the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM, the RDC and the MP urged the ex-service men to vote for Museveni for remembering them.

91-year old Sergeant Alexander Byembandwa, a veteran of the Second World War and the Italy-Ethiopian war was amongst the veterans.

Byembandwa moved with his neatly kept identification card number 379 of Uganda Ex-servicemen's Association in the British Common wealth ex-service league.

Byembandwa, a resident of Kihanguzi, whose father was also a fighter in the First World War, was all beaming as he was being moved in a wheelchair to register.

George Nyakaana, a veteran of the National Resistance Army that propelled Museveni to the helm however says that some of the would-be beneficiaries may not show up because they were called at short notice.

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By noon, only three people were about to complete the exercise that ends tomorrow for Masindi district.

Nyakaana says it is difficult to understand why, after all the resistance, government has now come up to hurriedly recognize the services of ex-service men, majority of whom are dead.

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Some people, seemingly hard-hit by poverty turned up in tattered clothes and locally made sandals called "Rugabire" or "Bunyoro Kweyamba"

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