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NRA bandits emerging from Luwero bushes where they had left a trail of blood
32 years ago today about now….a trail of little boys (many hardly 9 or possibly emaciated 12 year olds), all armed – dragging guns possibly taller than them (check my facebook page background pic)- poured across Makerere university; they were obviously with their commanders (much older) and weather beaten. These were NRA’s bandits emerging from Luwero bushes where they had left a trail of blood, skulls and ghosts but now, on their way to the final ‘BALLOT BOX’ that delivered Museveni to power.
On December 10th, 1980, the people of Nyabushoozi (as indeed the rest of Uganda) had roundly rejected mbu, ‘Uganda Patriotic Movement’ (UPM), the political party and candidate Museveni. Except for one seat in Tooro won by former DP Crispus Kiyonga, UPM obtained 0.8% of the polls and instead of heading to the Courts (if they had any electoral petitions worthy of mention), they strolled all the way from Mbarara North to Kabamba from where they started their massacre, claiming elections had been ‘rigged’ in favour of UPC which had convincingly won over 61% of the votes. In which constituencies Kagame, Bunyenyezi, Baingana or Rwigyema stood, that’s for you young historians and ‘cadre’ professors.
Largely defeated, on the run and (Museveni having sought asylum in Sweden), a life-line had been granted when in collaboration with DP and through the go rmless Okellos, they had managed to form a league to overthrow the UPC government 6 months earlier and, 5 months to the next elections. With DP, they were scared : an election in December 1985 would see an even increased majority for UPC, a cabinet reshuffle and reforms -including within security forces – that would have nailed their hopes possibly for ever. From July 27th 1985, Museveni had dragged his DP and Okello partners with conditions including a resource-wasting expedition to Nairobi in the guise of ‘peace talks’ (aptly referred, Nairobi Peace Jokes). How certain Ugandans allowed themselves to be duped this far….is a subject of my book tomorrow. He had used this time to rebuild, regroup, gather free resources and, expose the naivety of DP and the gormless Okellos. Above all, with the help of their imperialist bosses and Pike media, the various militias operating after the coup had been exposed as ‘terrible’ except ‘disciplined’ NRA. Ask Andrew Kayiira (RIP).
Having broken into State House and now a permanent squatter who no longer even knows his age, Museveni – whose grandfather’s names I forget – is today showing off his trophies at – of all places Arua in West Nile, a region that should historians ever establish the facts of the military units that first entered Amin’s home town after 1979…..I will only say ‘no comment’. Worse, those going will pass through Tororo where some NRA victims were buried while still breathing, Mukura where hundreds were boiled alive in railway wagons, greater Teso whose cattle were rustled South into Kampala, Lango some of whose citizens still live in concentration camps and in Acholi – an area in which genocide was perfected – and now documented (watch A Brilliant Genocide by Australian journalist and activist, Ebony Atlanta Butler).
The man and gang that wrought havoc on a nation and peoples that had just survived Amin’ regime of terror, claiming ‘election rigging and fighting for democracy’ now stands ‘tall’ in the world, claiming Donald Trump as his icon, having amended his own ‘constitution’ to allow him rule for life (for himself and grandchildren) and with zombie like followers in the names of legislators, boldly pushed for a 7 year term parliament. Sane Ugandans, where are you?
This is a sad day, I mourn for the dead, stunted and regressed. Except, I believe too, that this country is possible – if ONLY you believe in better.