“After the war, ISO promised to give Mr Mugisa 8 million shillings to enable him rehabilitate himself. However, up to now, this poor man has not yet received anything and he is now a laughing stock before the Movement detractors,” reads Jacob Asiimwe’s letter
A man who
treated civilian fighters that were falling sick during the bush war that
ushered in President Yoweri Museveni's government in 1986 is demanding for
compensation of 1 billion shillings.
Mugisa, a retired Medical Assistant and resident of Bukuuku Sub County in
Kabarole District, says that during the bush war, he supplied drugs and treated
all the fighters that would sustain injuries specifically in areas of Kazingo
and Rubona but has never been paid for his services.
He adds that
on top of giving treatment, he was also involved in intelligence gathering, a
job that he says put his life at a high risk and indeed, he has since lost his
left eye, is deaf and generally too weak to sustain himself.
He has about a dozen of
documents confirm that the 71-year-old is indeed known by top government
officials including President Museveni as a civilian war veteran and one who
immensely contributed to the liberation struggle.
instance, in a letter dated April 15, 2002, Jacob Asiimwe, the special
assistant to President Museveni wrote to the Minister for Security in the
office of the President confirming that Internal Security Organization – ISO owed
him some money.
war, ISO promised to give Mr Mugisa 8 million shillings to enable him rehabilitate
himself. However, up to now, this poor man has not yet received anything and he
is now a laughing stock before the Movement detractors,” reads part of Asiimwe’s
recalls that as he was still chasing for compensation, his health deteriorated
and he needed urgent medical attention. He was losing the sense of hearing and
a wound he says was caused by a bullet around his left eye was causing a
serious eye infection.
It is at
that time that Mugisa started roaming around offices looking for more help.
After an exchange of several letters between the Ministry of Health, State
House and Ministry of Labor, Gender and Social Development, his fears were
Nose and Throat – ENT Surgeon Dr Byenkya from Mulago, in his letter to then Minister
of State for Disability and Elderly, Florence Naiga, noted that Mugisa had a
hearing impairment due to acoustic trauma – an injury to the hearing organ due
to excessive loud sound.
suspected that the deafness could have been from grenade explosions. He then
recommended that Mugisa seeks treatment from health facilities abroad.
interest of definitive treatment and follow up of his condition, it is prudent
for Mzee Mugisa to get a third/fourth expert opinion of our counterparts in
better-equipped centers in Central Europe,” reads part of Byenka’s October 2002
letter to Naiga.
Even though Mugisa actually went to Germany and received some treatment at the expense of State House, he
adds that he is now partially blind and has never regained his hearing ability.
In 2004, Mugisa
embarked on his chase for compensation. State House asked him to summarize all
the relevant documents and claim his money.
In his April
2004 letter, he wrote to President Museveni and claimed over 100 million shillings.
This partly included 18 million shillings that he says was for his clinic in
Kazingo and the drugs he used to administer to the sick Bush War fighters.
demanded that he gets a pay for his contribution to the liberation struggle since
he was a widower after losing his wife who was also a Bush War veteran, in 2003 leaving him as a single father to seven children. But his demands have never been met.
//Cue in: “Nali
mutabani wange Rwempango.”//
daughter, Unit Kwerwanaho, narrates that at times her father’s health worsens but
they fail to take him to hospital due to financial constraints and is afraid
that they may lose him in the near future.
says that she has been contacting different leaders in the district to get her
father’s compensation but her efforts have never yielded results.
she says that when she approached the Chairperson of Kabarole Civilian War
Veterans, John Kinuge, he told her that his father and mother were all compensated
in the early 2000s and they squandered the money.
//Cue in: “So,
part, Kinuge says that there is no single coin that Mugisa is owed by the government. He explains that the civilian veterans in Kabarole are now about 5,000
and 3,366 of these have since been compensated with money between 1.5 million
shillings and 5 million shillings depending on their contribution to the
adds that Mugisa was compensated long time ago and he is not part of the civilian
veterans that he heads, though he did not produce evidence that the frail man
//Cue in: “Nahabwekyo,
taibaine ibanja lye.”//
now wants to meet Museveni and explain his woes and why he needs the 1 billion
shillings, insisting that the president has records that he was never paid.