“Thank You for Supporting and Winning the War,” President Museveni Appreciates War Veterans

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has pledged continued support to the National Resistance Army (NRA) war veterans in Greater Kibaale over their tremendous role in the struggle that brought the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government into power.

Greater Kibaale consists of Kibaale, Kagadi and Kakumiro districts. 

During a meeting held on Wednesday, June 26, 2024 at State House Entebbe with a group of 291 civilian war veterans under Birembo War Contact Group Association, H.E the President promised to extend a total of Shs300 million with each of their Sacco association receiving Shs100 million. 

Recognising their immense contribution to the struggle in 1985, the President also promised to provide each family with a heifer and a tractor to each of the districts namely; Kagadi, Kibaale and Kakumiro to support commercial agriculture.

“I want to thank you for supporting your war and winning it. They were doubting our capacity, but I thank you for your resilience and believing in our struggle. After all that struggle, we have had so many achievements and you can see the development by yourselves in the area,” President Museveni said.

Birembo in Kagadi district is so significant in the 1981- 1986 liberation struggle because it’s where the NRA guerilla fighters traversed as they engaged the sitting Obote government in artillery exchange in January 1985 before emerging victorious in 1986.

Gen. Museveni assured the veterans that despite the competing national priorities, the government is now in a better position to support its people through prioritisation.

“You as leaders, you need to know that when we came into the government in 1986, the economy was down and there was nothing in the national treasury. We started from scratch to put something together amidst the overwhelming priorities. Issues like paying off absentee landlords in greater Kibaale can be done in one year but we have other equally important priorities like education -construction of schools, health, security, roads. We have not failed or forgotten about you,” the President said, further noting that as they demand for their package of appreciation (akasiimo), they have to be careful bearing in mind that there are other national priorities to handle.

He promised to follow up with the Ministry of Luwero Triangle and Rwenzori Affairs to ensure that all the veterans receive their kasiimo according to their role in the struggle which ranges from Shs5 million for frontline fighters to Shs1 million for supporters and contact groups. 

“This is not enough but if you use it wisely for example in agriculture, it can help you,” H.E Museveni added.

President Museveni also promised to send 100 iron sheets and cement to each of the 160 veterans whose houses were destroyed during the liberation war. He said the support will help them construct better houses for themselves. 

President Museveni further implored the veterans to encourage their children to concentrate on doing science and engineering courses whose services are much needed in Uganda. He welcomed the children of the veterans who are eligible and others who did arts courses but with no jobs to register and join the Uganda People’s Defence forces or Uganda Police Force.

“The scientists I can struggle with. I’m also interested in the ones in accountancy and auditing, if there could be some because we’re in this war against corruption in which we need these young people who must be at the frontline against corruption,” the President said. 

The Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja thanked President Museveni for improving the infrastructure especially roads in Greater Kibaale which she said has enhanced development in the region. 

Rt. Hon. Nabbanja also expressed gratitude to the President for the Shs20 billion set aside in the national budget for the establishment of Bunyoro University.

The Prime Minister who is also the Woman Member of Parliament for Kakumiro district further appreciated the President for establishing the Land Fund under the Uganda Land Commission that has benefited the people of Greater Kibaale. 

“Land titles that have been presented for compensation in greater Kibaale (Kibaale-kakumiro and Kagadi) are worth UShs 108 billion but only UShs 17 billion was in the budget of Financial Year 2023/24 covering the whole Country. We request that you help us to adequately capitalise the fund and direct it to focus on greater Kibaale to solve this historical problem once and for all,” Rt. Hon. Nabbanja added.

The Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Hon. Matia Kasaija highlighted the positive impact of government funds sent to the region. 

Hon. Kasaija who is also the Member of Parliament for Buyanja County in Kibaale District informed the President that in Kibaale district alone, a total of Shs8.9 billion has been dispatched, benefiting 8,445 people into wealth creation. 

He also called upon the President to reign in and save Kangombe central forest reserve in Kagadi district that has been encroached on to save the environment. The forest measuring 17,000 hectares in Kagadi district was gazetted in 1932 for the purpose of water and soil conservation. It also stretches to Kibaale district.

Hajji Moses Barakuraaha, the Chairperson of NRA Veterans and Contact Persons in Greater Kibaale appreciated President Museveni for the great work he has done since he liberated Uganda on 26th January 1986 describing him as a good and exemplary leader with an incredible vision.

“Your Excellency, we the contact group and the people of Bunyoro, promise you our continued unwavering support to you as our President and the NRM government. We kindly request you to offer yourself as our Presidential candidate in 2026 and beyond. Long live your Excellency, Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni,” Hajji Moses said.

On the other hand, he further thanked the President for mentoring their leaders; the Prime Minister of Uganda, Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja who is also their association matron, Hon. Matia Kasaija and Hon. Fred Byamukama, the Minister of State for Works and Transport (Transport) who is also their association patron and a model farmer in the area.

The meeting was also addressed by Hon. Byamukama.

Others in attendance included Members of Parliament, LCV Chairpersons, Security bosses and Resident District Commissioners from Greater Kibaale.