Luweero veterans’ families cry foul over unfulfilled pledges

Relatives at the grave bearing remains of Timothy Ssembiro who was murdered by Obote government soldiers at St Peters Church Kalasa, Luweero District in 1982. PHOTO | DAN WANDERA

A section of the Liberation war veterans and war survivors in the greater Luweero area have expressed concern over the slow response by the government in fulfilling of the pledges despite the many reminders.
Mr Timothy Ssembiro, one of the children of a catechist murdered at Kalasa Church of Uganda in 1982 when government [Milton Obote II] forces stormed the church and killed five people that had convened inside, reveals that the pledge for support promised to the family has never been fulfilled.
“President Museveni instructed the Minister of Luweero triangle to work with the family in ensuring that our father’s grave near Kalasa Church is reconstructed. We were promised a house but the pledges are yet to be fulfilled,” he said on behalf of the family.
Ssembiro was among the 10 children left behind by the slain catechist on January 17, 1982 when a group of soldiers stormed St Peters Church of Uganda Kalasa and murdered five people. “As a family, we had appealed to the government to allow us reconstruct our father’s grave but we were stopped. Many people laugh at our family for failing to reconstruct our father’s grave. We appeal to the government to honour this pledge,” he said.
Ms Regina Nandaula, another bush war veteran in an interview with the Monitor said: “It is true that many war veterans are crying foul over the unfulfilled pledges. My family has almost lost hope after failing to get the promised package as war compensation. It is sad that the war monument where the remains of hundreds of innocent civilians are interred have been vandalized.”
But State Minister for Luweero Triangle, Ms Alice Kaboyo, says her office visited the family of the late Ssembiro at Kalasa Village.
“We have a program where 34 graves were identified and will be reconstructed. The program will be undertaken by the department of antiquity. We are also looking for land where we shall relocate the remains at the different war monuments,” she said.
At the Candlelight memorial service for victims of the liberation war struggle held at Kalasa Church of Uganda, Makulubita Sub County in Luweero District on Thursday, the 3rd Deputy Prime Minister, Ms Lukia Isanga Nakadama, urged the people of Luweero to embrace the different development programs meant to improve their livelihood.
“Government cannot forget its people. President Museveni has never forgotten you people. This is the very reason why we have programs including the Parish Development Model (PDM) and Emyooga among other projects targeting better livelihoods,” she said.
The Luweero District NRM chairperson, Mr Ronald Ndaula, revealed that the rollout of tangible projects for the people of the greater Luweero by the government would greatly improve their livelihoods.
“The war memorial sites are among the features that can be upgraded to tourism sites. As we celebrate the Heroes Day, this is the time to reflect on the type of programmes that can help our people in the Greater Luweero,” he said.
Luweero will host the 34th Heroes day celebrations at Kasaala Parish, Butuntumula Sub County on Friday (June 9).
[email protected]