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Liberation Day Celebration is Worthless-Luwero Civilian Veterans

Several civilian veterans in Nyimbwa Sub County in Luwero believe that there is nothing to celebrate due to poor social services and abject poverty.
Salim Bay Bugembe a civilian veteran speaking to MP Brenda Nabukenya about NRA War

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The celebration of the National Resistance Movement-NRM Liberation Day is worthless, civilian veterans in Luwero District have said.

The theme for this year is ‘Celebrating the 36th NRM victory day, a call to duty for all compatriots to continue towards Uganda’s Social Economic Transformation Journey.’

On January 26, 1986, National Resistance Army guerilla fighters captured power after a protracted war in the districts of Luwero and Nakaseke district.   During the war, the NRA fighters recruited civilians to work as spies. The civilians also provided food and shelter to the rebels. 

However several civilian veterans in Nyimbwa Sub County in Luwero believe that there is nothing to celebrate due to poor social services and abject poverty.

A mass grave where 780 skulls of fallen fighters was constructed at Ssambwe village in Nyimbwa sub-county, the civilian fighters still have fresh memories of the war.

Fred Wasswa Mubiru the resident of Ssambwe village in Nyimbwa Sub County was recruited into the war in 1982 at age of 13 years and used to spy on government forces as well as supply food supply to the rebels.

Wasswa says that during the war, the NRA fighters promised that after capturing power the individuals, as well as communities, will benefit from social services. He adds that the majority of civilian veterans received about 150,000 Shillings and less than 10 iron sheets before the government cut communication with them.

 Wasswa says that although it is not possible to compensate everybody, the government should have constructed secondary schools and equip health centers with drugs.

// Cue in: “Era Nze sakwatta…

 Cue out;…mu kitundu kino”//

Salim Bay Bugembe another civilian veteran says that the government health center where they seek services is just a shadow. He says that residents still traverse long distances to access better services at a cost as before.

Bugembe says that they regret sacrificing their food and energy to fight along with the rebels yet their motive was to enrich themselves.

// Cue in; “Bampa amabaati….

 Cue out;…nasigazza fuuti”//

Yoweri Kigongo the Chairman LCI Chairperson Ssambwe Village says that apart from peace, there is nothing to celebrate on liberation day if the NRM has failed to construct government secondary schools in parishes as well extend electricity to promote social-economic transformation.

// Cue in; “byetufunyemu mpozzi…

 Cue out;….babonereza”//  

Other veterans decried abject in homes over lack of stable markets for agricultural products and road networks.

Erastus Kibirango the LCV Chairperson Luwero District says that he is happy that veterans are now able to express their dissatisfaction with the NRM fighter for the lies. 

Kibirango says that Luwero was the key agricultural area in the region but it’s unfortunate they lost cattle and coffee plantations which until now are yet to be restored.

Brenda Nabukenya the Luwero District Woman Member of Parliament asked the NRM government to stop wasting resources to verify and claim that they are compensating veterans because they failed to fulfill the promises. She says that the government should effort into improving social services.

Nabukenya says it’s a shame that Nyimbwa sub-county which is located only 23 miles from Kampala City, the residents are still sharing water with animals and others trek long distances to access clean water.

// Cue in : “Tulina Munnaku … 

 Cue out;…Ku Luwero”//

In August last year, Alice Kaboyo, the State Minister for Luweero Triangle opened a regional office for Greater Luwero districts constructed by the Office of Prime Minister at Luwero district headquarters.

The regional office is expected to register the applications for compensation, coordinate, monitor, and supervise projects targeting former National Resistance Army fighters in the region.

Apart from deploying an officer in the officer, veterans and local leaders are yet to see any impact of its establishment. 

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