Andrew Gitta rolled back the years as he led his former schoolmates on a 25.44km walk from St Mary’s College Kisubi (Smack) to King’s College Budo on Saturday.
The walkers sought to use the power of sport in uniting people to re-enact an incident 34 years ago at the climax of the NRA bush war in 1986.
“It was either the morning of January 23 or 24, 1986 when we heard several volleys of gunfire,” Gitta, who was then a Senior Three student at Smack, told Daily Monitor.
“The NRA soldiers said the area would turn into a battlefield and advised us to go to secured places like Masaka,” he said.
“We found shelter at King’s College Budo until Kampala fell. So this walk, which we plan to do annually, is certainly to commemorate that journey but also to thank Budo for the hospitality they showed us.”
On Saturday, Gitta was joined by 25 others, including 1992 Olympian Joel Otim, his former national teammate Patric Serwadda, former footballers Anthony Kimuli (UCB and Umeme FC), Michael Mungoma (Sheraton), Richard Adubango (Nsambya) and Mike Mukasa (SC Villa and Cranes), as well as Centenary Bank managing director Fabian Kasi – who led the four-and-a-half hour long walk.
Gitta was Uganda’s table tennis representative at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and the 1991 and 1999 All Africa Games.
The cool weather on the morning aided the first 10km kilometres before a few of the trekkers branched off to Sissa Primary School, where some of them camped at that January 1986 night en route to Budo.
“Towards Kasenge, the temperatures shot up and that is when it really got challenging for everyone. Fortunately, none of us stopped,” Smack old boys association (Smackoba) president Charles Odaga, said.
The walkers were welcomed by the school head teacher Patrick Bakamale. The Smack Old Boys were joined by 15 Hashers (social runners) and 23 ladies.