Civilian veterans in the greater Luwero region who supported the armed rebellion that brought the NRM government to power have been called to reject being used by wrong elements to undermine the same government.
Amid the rising cases of armed robberies in the region including attacks on government armed personnel to steal guns, the veterans were urged not only to reject being lured to be part of this criminality, but to also report the wrong elements that could be hiding among them.
This call was made by Minister of State for Luwero and Rwenzori Hon Alice Kaboyo who was meeting the veterans at the ministry’s regional office in Luwero.
Hon Kaboyo met with the civilian veterans from Luwero on Wednesday
“We know that there are terrorists within your communities, and we know that they are talking to some of you, urging you to overthrow your own government, the government that you fought to bring to power,” she said.
“I am here to listen to you so that we can find ways to address some of these issues.”
Speaking during the meeting, one of the veterans, one Mzee Lutaaya informed the minister that there were indeed ongoing underground operations which veterans are aware of.
“On the issue of the guns, I advise you to come out of your office and talk to some of us, you will learn a lot about who is behind these attacks,” he said.
The vets expressing their concerns to the minister
“You need to set up a meeting because some of our people are very good at planning violence; the guns are all over the place and it’s only a few people. You need to use us to find out about these networks.”
In response, Minister Kaboyo, asked the veterans to work hand in hand with their RDC and other leaders to address this security issue.
“We have to put ears on the ground and find out what is going on,” she urged.
“These terrorist who have no plan should not be allowed to kill our people.”
In the same meeting, the veterans complained to the minister about powerful land grabbers who had rendered many of them homeless, poor infrastructure and lack of medical care for the aging veterans.
However, Mr Richard Bwabye the Luwero RDC revealed that in the past few months, he and his team had managed to reign in on the land grabbers.
“This is the 7th month I have been here as RDC, but when I had just arrived, people would come with graders and destroy acres of people’s crop gardens. Some of them came with military escorts,” he said.
Mr Richard Bwabye the Luwero RDC speaking in the meeting
“You’d find a person who was born in a village and is now a grandfather and is being accused of trespassing on his own land. And then our police would shamelessly investigate this old man, process a file and take it to a judge, who would also rule that this person is trespassing on his home.”
In response, the RDC said the district security team started rounding up the land grabbers, and also demanding that police get local council clearance before investigating trespassing cases, and as a result, these cases dropped from 200 per month to only about ten.
Meanwhile, Minister Kaboyo promised to provide 1000 hand hoes to the veterans in Nakaseke district after they complained that the ones she sent earlier were not delivered.
Hon Kaboyo listening to the civilian veterans
She also revealed that arrangements had been completed to have all sick veterans access free health care at the military hospitals of Bombo and Mbuya.
“The army leadership were delaying us on this, but the president finally wrote to them, and now we are going to set up a desk for you at each of these hospital,” she said.