By Ndawula Ronald
This year marks about 40 years since the National Resistance Army (NRA) ‘Abayeekera’ (Guerrillas) as they were then dubbed, laid an attack on Luwero police station killing several police officers and going away with their guns.
This was a turning point for most people in the area as lives were affected forever.
Recounting the cost of war in terms of innocent lives alone makes you think we should never do it again as there seems to be no justification.
The week that followed that attack, we had to walk from Luwero to Kampala with our luggage on our heads, a journey which took us 3 days. I was about 10 years old. I still vividly see those days as if it were yesterday.
After a week or so, we had information that the army had taken over the town and everything had been looted. After a while my guardian wanted to go back home because he was a civil servant in Luwero, working with the ministry of rehabilitation and was responsible for the refugees stationed in Luwero.
The following month we left the family in Mukono, (Ewa Antony) I still don’t know why that place goes by that name!
He came back with me to be his helper.
On arriving we found our house had been bombed to open the door for looters and there was nothing left. We stayed at the late Mulayi’s home for a few days in Bukuuma and later proceeded to Nsaasi at Mzee Kayise’s home.
Covid-19 is locking down the country but Museveni locked Luwero more than earlier than the pandemic.
We spent several months without school and people were dying. Fear pervaded the whole place and sometimes we used to sleep in the coffee plantation as rumors spread that rebels would come for Daddy’s (we used to refer to my guardian) motorcycle.
Stories of tough army men coming from Bondo in Arua also scared the hell out of us and we had to foot again from Luwero to Wobulenzi -Waluleeta and we stayed for some time to assess the situation then move back.
These and many other disruptive events were the order of the day and spontaneous killings by Sebirumbi, the army and other UPC’s Obote men in the name of looking for guerrillas.
Five years under constant deprivation, fear, loss of lives and property means a lot. When I see the people of Luwero not having anything to be proud of, yet they immensely sacrificed during the war, it pains me. Even the Ministry has been given to Kaboyo, raising questions about what the President is thanking her for.
People can forget!
Hajji Nadduli represented us so well and filled this gap wholly but still we deserve a museum, stadium, an office block or a fully facilitated Hospital.
When I see Full figure, Buchaman and Catherine Kusasira calling the tunes with our people languishing in abject poverty it is disheartening.
Who will ever talk about the police officers who died on duty keeping law and order? Who will ever pay for the collateral damage of life and property? Who will ever tell the stories of those who were taken alive like my uncle Kaboggoza and never came back up to now?
How will we ever explain to the next generation and the justification for the war that killed their grandparents? If this government can’t create a ministry out of the 80 openings to pay tribute to the Luwero’s war dead then who will ever do? Who will ever be happy to know that they were duped to fight a war of self-aggrandizement?
On Independence Day, covid-19 gone, God willing we are going to organise a memorial service for the Luwero war dead.
The writer is the Chairman NRM Luwero and former LC5 Luwero District
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