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The Katonga spirit and the 17-year-old Ugandan girl

The recent weeks have been a cascade of parte after parte from lavish homecomings, opulent thanksgivings to national birthday celebrations courtesy of our political leaders.

On September 8, President Yoweri Museveni and chair of the ruling party National Resistance Movement (NRM) celebrated his 79th birthday. The celebration organised by the NRM Office of the Chairman (ONC) also sought to commemorate the Katonga battle. Historical accounts posit that the Katonga battle (September to December 1985) was the final and fiercest battle, which ushered in the fall of Kampala and victory for the NRA/NRM.

So significant was/is the battle that the NRM government named one of the national medals, Order of Katonga - the highest military decoration awarded to individuals for extraordinary heroism. Museveni received the Order of Katonga in February this year in recognition of his enormous contribution to Uganda’s liberation struggles.

The first awardee was former Libyan president Col. Muammar Gaddaffi who received the award in April 2004 for his contribution to the NRA bush war. Former Tanzanian president Mwalimu Julius Nyerere was awarded in 2007 for his efforts against colonialism and Idi Amin.

In his birthday celebration remarks, a jovial Museveni thanked all those who fought in the Katonga battle and assured the war veterans that he would soon call them for a meeting where they would talk about their challenges. ‘Museveni awooma’.

In the lead-up to the celebration, senior presidential advisor, Political Affairs and head of the Office of the NRM National Chairperson (ONC), Hajjat Hadijah Namyalo Uzeiye, visited Katonga in Mpigi district on September 4. Namyalo listened to the grievances of the veterans and promised to return with household income-generating items like sewing machinces, chicks, hairdressing tools and machines.

The ONC will return like a dazzling yellow Father Christmas, dragging sacks of shiny trinkets. Yet in 2011, the regime set up a vocational school, the Katonga Technical Institute to honor the men and women who fought the Katonga battle.

In 2018, Uganda Radio Network reported that the school was on a slow and steady decline owing to poor management and lack of funding. A stark departure from the glory of the Katonga battle.

Thirty-seven years after the bush war victory, Museveni is in the evening of his supremacy as Uganda’s longest-serving president. Leading one of the youngest populations globally, Museveni is the official jjaja of the nation whose citizens he christened bazzukulu - his grandchildren.

Oddly, many bazzukulu can hardly articulate the ins and outs of the Katonga battle. In a September 17 article for the Conversation, historian Derek R. Peterson writes, “Most of the 41 comrades who launched the bush war have died or retired.” Peterson comments that with most Ugandans being born after 1986, the memory of the bush war heroism is dimming.

What do the bazzukulu make of the Katonga battle? More than you suspect apparently. The ONC asserts that the bazzukulu organised Museveni’s birthday and the Katonga Spirit celebration.

The event was a massive success with a mammoth crowd in attendance because in these matters - we go with crowds. There is no shame in helping your crowd come to your party, complete with free lunch lunch, transport and party paraphernalia. The crwod was so successful the ONC media desk gloated that the opposition quaked like quislings.

Yet, when the euphoria of birthday cake and the Katonga celebration wears off, what does the average muzzukulu/Ugandan look like today?

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in its 2022-2027 Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) for Uganda highlights that the average Ugandan is a 17-year-old Ugandan girl.

The USAID CDCS explains, “The average 17-year-old girl lives in a rural community where she has limited access to high-quality education and health care; she is unlikely to finish primary school and may be unable to read or write, which limits her agency and ability to make informed decisions; she struggles to find reproductive health information targeted to her unique needs; she lives in poverty and her family struggles to cope with shocks and stresses; she is disenfranchised by the political system and is blocked from participating in community-level advocacy, and she is also at high risk to be married young and to become infected with HIV.”

Such a mouthful of pessimism these foreigners and their donor aid imbibe!

Fortunately for this unfortunate 17-year- old Ugandan girl, she exists in the realm of Katonga. May that fire that imbued the veterans of the Katonga remember the 17-year-old Ugandan girl and set her ablaze!

smugmountain@gmail.com

The writer is a tayaad muzzukulu

Comments

+1 #1 Remase 2023-09-21 10:36
Tayaad, I guarantee you that M7 is tayaad of the out cry of Ugandans due to his empty 40 years in power!

M7 is completely immune from the out cry of Ugandans and he has blocked his ears, masked his eyes and insensitive/heartless to any feelings! To him, he is not a servant of anyone but his family.

The bush was all about him, his family, relatives, tribesmen and militant. That is clearly explained in the NRA/NRM. Resistance is the key and/or underlining work.

M7 is the most violent jaja [Sabalwanyi] of all time, and he will resist all kinds of our cries Ugandans are making, be it the 17 year-old Ugandan girl!

So, since all hope is currently out of sight, let's buckle up and continue crying until we could be able to stand up against M7. That will only happen after we unite and start speaking with one voice but not in stereo. Kyagulanyi is one of those who is speaking in stereo and swimming in total confusion, which has led Sabalwanyi to kill and persecute a lot of bazukulu!
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+5 #2 Kalibbala 2023-09-21 19:27
#Remase your Stereo is Camouflage ! Uganda's Problems are not Personal!!

The Devil went to the Bush and Massacred 1.000.000 Ugandans to Cling to Power! No Case to answer! He vowed to Kill Ugandans until they get Tired of Dying!

His Henchmen the Kandiho,Tumukunde, Kayihura, Muntu and Besigye are Covertly Operating to Fulfill the NRA (Notorious Robbers Army) Legacy of Death!..Only a Brutal Ending will see These Mongrels Out of Our Country! Rwanda was a Joke!
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+1 #3 Akot 2023-09-24 13:46
Quoting Remase:


M7 is completely immune from the out cry of Ugandans...

The bush was all about him, his family, relatives, tribesmen and militant.

let's buckle up and continue crying until we could be able to stand up against M7. That will only happen after we unite and start speaking with one voice but not in stereo!


Thanks.

Time Ugandans become ONE PEOPLE to stop M7 & family owning their land or selling it to foreigners piece by piece!
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0 #4 Akot 2023-09-24 13:57
Quoting Kalibbala:


Uganda's Problems are not Personal!!

The Devil went to the Bush and Massacred 1.000.000 Ugandans to Cling to Power! He vowed to Kill Ugandans until they get Tired of Dying!

His Henchmen the Kandiho,Tumukunde, Kayihura, Muntu and Besigye are Covertly Operating to Fulfill the NRA (Notorious Robbers Army) Legacy of Death!


Understood, but,

What if Bobi Wine becomes that ONE National Leader by calling for an end to the tribalistic system & to UNITY?

Then who will be brutal with Ugandans to ensure Rwandese make Uganda their second land?

Who will stop Museveni if powerless tribaly divided ruled Ugandans just complain, fight one another, go for fake elections to legalise the demon?
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0 #5 Remase 2023-09-25 12:35
Kalibbala, say what you will, I [shall] remain true to my conviction. That's we must unit for the good of our country.

You, on the other hand, are hell bent on dividing us and I wont let you. You are trying to include Besigye in the mix of M7's "henchmen."

Yes, Besigye is among thosr who went to the bush. In fact he was M7's personal doctor in the bush. However, despite his shortcomings, Besigye was the first to make us jump (Otubuusa) about who really M7 is.

He has paid a great deal for that. M7 has tortured and/or persecuted Besigye like no other. Kyagulanyi is made of Besigye. If it wasn't Besigye's tenacity, Kyagulanyi wouldn't emerge.

However, Kyagulanyi came after Besigyr instead of M7. That's Kyagulanyi main problem and the reason why we ere more divided than ever before. That is the reason why M7 is continuing to kill innocent people, especially the youth, with impunity. Kyagulanyi is swimming in total confusion. Today he says one thing, the next day he says anther!
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0 #6 Remase 2023-09-25 12:42
Today Kyagulanyi tells us that there's democracy in Uganda and Besigye is the problem because he keeps losing against M7 but keep standing against him.

The same Kyagulanyi, who assured us that he would show us that democracy works in Uganda, is now saying that " elections" alone won't outs M7.
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0 #7 Remase 2023-09-25 13:07
Kalibbala, let me ask you a strange rhetoric question, is there democracy in Uganda? That question is premised on your comment.

However, by sayings that elections alone can't or wont outs M7, Kyagulanyi is leading us to continue going to the bogus polls, with clear knowledge about the winner beforehand.

Kyagulanyi further continue to urge NUP members to contest in each and every bogus elections! That's the stereo I am talking about. Guess what, I am relentless and wont stop.

M7 is killing and persecuting innocent people with impunity, however, [currently] there's no hope in sight that he will one day face the repercussions!

Currently, Kyagulanyi is the leading opposition figure, and ever since he decided to fight for change, M7 has killed more people than those killed during Besigye's era. That doesn't translate into hope but hopelessness because, Kyagulanyi is speaking in stereo!
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0 #8 Lysol 2023-09-27 05:48
Some people always throw a lavish birth day party, because that may be their last. Nothing special about it.
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0 #9 Lakwena 2023-09-27 16:11
Thanks Tayaad Muzzukulu.

But do the Tanzanians know that the Katonga Bloody Medal our "Problem of Africa" pinned on Julius Nyerere (RIP) in 2007, is also stained with blood of Tanzanian soldiers, whom the Gens Tumwine, Otafiire, Jim Muwhezi, etc. of this country and Ge Kagame and Fred Rwigyema of Rwanda murdered in cold blood in Kabamba Barracks?

In other words, the first bloodshed at the launch of the bloody NRA rebellion, was the blood of the Tanzanians soldiers who were then Instructors and Drill Sergeants at the Kabamba Military Training College.

Kabamba Barracks was a soft spot for Tibuhaburwa the coward because, there were only then ill-trained, puppy-head UNLA Military recruits, who scattered in disarray when bullets started wheezing and RPG blasting away their dreams.
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0 #10 Lakwena 2023-09-27 16:22
If I were the Tanzanians I would request for the return of the Bloody Katongo Medal back to our "Problem of Africa" Gen Tibuhaburwa.

Otherwise, who in his/her right state of mind and soul would wear a Bloody Medal, crafted by a bloody dictator, who wants to fossilize and mummify himself in our State House?

Obote (RIP) told Ugandans and the whole wide world that Mr. M7 is a killer! But nobody listened.

No wonder many callous Ugandans, including his (Obote's) son, Jimmy Akena have no problem, receiving one of the bloody Medals on behalf his father, Obote whom the diabolic dictator had already referred to as SWINE!

What a dark underworld history spirited and low country we are in; that even our religious or spiritual can't see in broad-day-light.
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