William Kangire, 72, a young brother of David Kagoro Kangyire narrates that his sibling dropped out of senior three at Kigezi College Butobere to join Fronasa at 20 years of age. He says that Kagoro was arrested by Amin’s soldiers while hiding in one of the Hotels in Gulu district where he was acting as a spy for Fronasa.
of the late David Kagoro Kangire, one of the victims of public executions in
1973 in Kabale District are crying foul over the failure by President Yoweri
Kaguta Museveni to recognize him.
Kagoro, a resident of Kasoni village, Central
ward, Mparo Town Council Rukiga district was among the first
recruits into the Front for National Salvation (Fronasa), a rebel group
formed by Museveni to fight the Idi Amin government, which took power in a military coup in January
Shortly after the coup, Museveni, who was
working as a researcher in the office of President Milton Obote left for
Tanzania and started mobilizing clandestine activities against the new
government. He started recruiting people into Fronasa. Among the recruits were
Kagoro, Joseph Karambuzi, and Joseph Bitwari.
In his book, Sowing the Mustard Seed, Museveni
narrates Fronasa's leading role in the September 1972 attack on Simba Barracks
in Mbarara, now the Second Division army headquarters at Makenke, in which the
government forces nearly annihilated the rebels.
the attack, the government launched reprisal attacks hunting the suspected rebels
and their collaborators. Security rounded up several young men from different
parts of the country, including Karambuzi, Bitwari and Kangire.
military tribunal sentenced the suspects to death by firing squad in their
respective home areas. In Kabale, the executions took place on February 10,
1973 at Kabale Municipal Stadium. Similar executions took place in Mbale where
a former soldier, Captain Tom Masaba from Bugisu and one Nkoko from Busoga were
William Kangire, 72, a young brother of David
Kagoro Kangyire narrates that his sibling dropped out of senior three at Kigezi
College Butobere to join Fronasa at 20 years of age. He says that Kagoro
was arrested by Amin’s soldiers while hiding in one of the Hotels in Gulu
district where he was acting as a spy for Fronasa.
Kangire says that much as the army handed over Karambuzi
and Bitwari’s bodies to their relatives for descent burial after execution, the
army never surrendered Kagoro’s body. To date, it is whereabouts is still
unknown. Kangire says that during the 2001 presidential election campaigns in
Rukiga, Museveni promised to construct a memorial commercial building and
donate a heifer and vehicle to the deceased’s relatives as a way of recognizing
his efforts towards the liberation of Uganda from bad leadership.
He later invited Kagoro’s relatives to State
House where he repeated the same pledges. Kangire however, says that when his
family members led by his father, Ephraim Kangyire contacted the then Principal
Private Secretary (PPS) office of the president, Ameria Kyambadde, who bounced
them and accused them of supporting the then Rukiga County, Member of
Parliament, Jack Sabiti, who belonged to the opposition.
//Cue in: “he pledged a lot…
Cue out:…his memorial.”//
//Cue in: “2001 yeija mparo…
Cue out: …ebi twatumushabire.”//
Kangire says that they have continued pursuing
the pledges with the Office of the Prime Minister but nothing has come through.
He says that their father died in 2008 a heartbroken man because of Museveni’s
failure to fulfil his promise.
//Cue in; “the body was…
Cue out: …memorial purposes.”//
//Cue in: “ekyo kishemereire kuzaho…
Cue out: …that just.”//
The deceased’s sister Grace Biramahiire, says
that since the deceased was executed before getting married, Museveni should
fulfil the promises because it is the only way for his family to remember him
for the role, he prayed in liberating the nation.
wonders why Museveni rewarded the family of the late Karambuzi with a
commercial complex in Mwanjari in Southern division in Kabale Municipality and
left their family since the duo was executed on similar grounds.
The Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda
promised to follow up on the matter when contacted by our reporter. Rugunda
explained that the fulfilment of pledges is done in phases, saying that Kagoro’s
family have the chance of benefiting since Karambuzi’s family has already benefited.