War veterans task Museveni over Shs60b compensation

Yoweri Museveni in his living quarters at Mobile Brigade headquarters in July 1984. Mugisha Muntu, now an opposition leader, is beside him, hiding his face to protect his family. A group of war veterans have asked President Museveni to fulfil his compensation promise for properties they lost during the National Resistance Army (NRA) war between 1981 and 1986. FILE PHOTO | WILLIAM PIKE

A group of war veterans have asked President Museveni to fulfil his compensation promise for properties they lost during the National Resistance Army (NRA) war between 1981 and 1986.
The group that has pitched camp in Lwamata Town are residents of Kiboga, Mubende, Kyankwanzi, Kassanda, and Mityana districts.
They insist they won’t vacate the camp until Mr Museveni settles their compensation, reportedly amounting to Shs66 billion.

 “We are still waiting for President Museveni to fulfil a promise he made on March 16, 2017 when we met him. He promised Shs66 billion to cater for 5,000 veterans in the association and 40 iron sheets and 30 bags of cement to every member,” Mr Muwanga Nkalubo, the secretary of the Patriotic Veterans Association of Kasejjere-Kigemuzi-Nkurumah Unit of Singo Sub-region, said in an interview yesterday.
“It is possible the President could have fulfilled his promise to our association, but some politicians and civil servants close to him might have diverted the money,” he added.

But while recently launching Singo War Veterans Older Persons Savings and Credit Cooperative Organisation, Capt Francis Kiwanuka, the officer in-charge of veterans under the Office of the President, dismissed Ms Nkalubo’s group, saying it is full of “masqueraders who never participated in the bush war”.
“Nkakubo’s group should not deceive the public. They are not part of the team that participated in the bush war and police should evict them from that place,” he said. 

Ms Alice Kaboyo, the minister of State for Luweero Triangle, during the belated Hero’s Day celebrations in Kiboga District on June 17, reassured veterans in the area that the government is committed to paying their gratuity.
“As a government, we are also making arrangements to ensure the aging veterans receive free treatment from military hospitals,” she said.

When the veterans first made the claim in 2017, the then State minister for Luweero Triangle, Mr Denis Galabuzi, said the claimants were greedy, insisting that the government had already reimbursed Shs690m to the group.
Mr Galabuzi said the veterans first received Shs200m from Gen Salim Saleh, the coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation, and they later received another Shs240m that was released by the Office of the Prime Minister. 
 
President Museveni also gave the group Shs250 million.
Before meeting the veterans  in January 2017, Mr Museveni had earlier in December 2016 donated 200 bags of maize flour, 50 bags of beans, 40 bags of rice and 10 cows to the group to enable them enjoy the festive season.
In February 2016, the veterans resolved to move to State House, Entebbe on foot, but police intercepted them after they left the camp.

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