By Hajj Ashraf Simwogerere
ASALAAM ALAIKUM WARAHMATURAHI WABARAKATUH.
After the 1980, elections those who were not satisfied with the results decided to fight the UPC government. It was alleged that UPC rigged (stole) the elections. The UPC government was so weakened that later it was ousted by its own army led by the late General Tito Lutwa. Lutwa was in turn forced out by NRM/NRA rebels led by General Museveni.
During that war which brought NRM into power many innocent people lost their lives. The killings were done by both sides, that is of UPC government and the various rebel groups. The government forces killed those whom they suspected to be rebel collaborators, and in turn the rebels murdered many UPC supporters, which included village UPC chairmen, youth wingers, Miruka and Gombolola chiefs.
At my village Namulonge the UPC chairman Mr George Bukomeko was murdered with six members of his family in a night. The muluka chief Sabadu was shot as he moved to his office. The Gombolola chiefs of Busukuma and Kira were shot in their offices, same time on the same day in broad day light.
It was a well coordinated attack to kill these two innocent supporters of UPC. In Kasayi kyagwe Mr Muwuluzi and Mukasa the UPC supporters, who were 2km apart were beheaded and their heads exchanged onto their bodies. At my ancestral village Kabonge, late Sali was caught and carried to knock at Buruhan a fellow UPC supporter.
Only both of them to be slaughtered as their families watched. It was a nasty scene as the members of the families narrated. In Kasawo, one of the rebel groups approached parents to allow their sons and daughters to join them. Most parents refused, two days later that village was raided and over 25 homes lost their parents in a night. Tho the raiders wore government uniforms, it was later found obvious that it was the rebels act.
Many young men and and women of that area, joined the struggle. It was another tactic, to force the Wanainchi join the rebels. Meanwhile, whenever the rebels killed UPC supporters, the community were silently jubilant. WHY????. Because they were tired of the government atrocities. Hence supporting the rebel’s nasty activities and killings. The UPC government reacted with impunity, losing all the support. Insecurity became too much. NGA TEWALI KWEBAKA KU TULO. plus the daily “panda gaali” especially in Kampala.
Like in 1980, again the 2016 elections were disputed. Mr Mbabazi went to court, but FDC went offensive and declared defiance, Dr Besigye swore himself as a president. Comparing this situation with that of 1980, it was like Besigye had declared war against the NRM government. In 1981 when NRM declared war over stolen elections other rebel groups like UFM, FEDEM etc, also went to the bush.
Today when Besigye (FDC) declared, Kyagulanyi (people power), has joined the struggle.
“FORTUNATELY, UNLIKE IN 1981, WHERE UPC SUPPORTERS WERE SHOT AND KILLED, TODAY THE SUPPORTERS OF NRM ARE PELTED WITH HARMLESS PLASTIC BOTTLES”. The young generation of today who are struggling for change are a bit “civilised” they haven’t picked guns to kill, but plastic bottles to humiliate. And mind you the tired population is silently happy.
Having lost many Ugandans during that 5yr war, why shouldn’t I be happy to see flying harmless plastic bottles other than killer guns, machetes, and “Bundoyas?”.
Its this very reason why I’m angry with General Katumba, when he claims that he will go back and fight those who want to end the peace we are enjoying today. GENERAL KATUMBA I BEG YOU MIND YOUR AGE IN THE BUSH AGAIN. You very well know that it is the rebels who disturbed the peace wherever they raided. Otherwise we would have remained peaceful with stolen elections if they had gone to court like Besigye and Mbabazi did in the previous elections. If I may ask the General; Are you going to pick PLASTIC BOTTLES or live ammunition to fight back?. I think the answer is as good as mine.
In the 80s wherever the rebels raided to fight, the UPC government, responded by opening up a detach of notorious special force units plus the notorious roadblocks. The raided area would became a danger zone. This is how the so called Luwero triangle was created.
Our family from Namulonge we relocated (internal exile) in Busoga Namwendwa. There was some relative peace and businesses were running normally because there were no rebels to disturb the peace. That is why I totally disagree with General Katumba when he claims that its the population that disturbed the peace. It was the then rebels now in government who disturbed our peace. Because wherever they invaded the government responded by deploying and raiding the particular areas. So for those who are pelted with plastic bottles for supporting NRM just thank God. Otherwise in 1981-86 you wouldn’t even have a chance to talk about it. You would be dead already.
I urge the General to talk to his fellow freedom fighters to allow free and fare elections. It is the only way peace will prevail other than threatening that you will go back and fight with guns. As General Katumba you accept that “ENO UGANDA NDALA”, you should also accept that time has changed, and people are different they fought by killing then, today they don’t kill but humiliate with plastic bottles. Lets forget the Bush and the gun. Allow everybody to campaign freely including people power. I tell you General the throwing of PLASTIC BOTTLES is a sign of rebellion, don’t act like UPC in the 80s, and use guns to assert authority. Restrain yourself, pray for and play peace.
I’m confident General Katumba you will be the happiest retired Soldier for having ushered in the peace, you say we are enjoying.
For God and my country.
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