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VIDEO: Trek: Locals in NRA Battlegrounds Tell Museveni: We Need Tarmac Roads, Decent Hospitals

Locals living in areas where National Resistance Army (NRA) rebels held fierce battles with Milton Obote’s forces in the 1980s, has President Museveni to construct roads and hospitals in the area.

It all started on Saturday with President Museveni making what was seen as a heroic entry into Kabale township, about 9 kilometres from Galamba in Wakiso district.

NRM supporters had organized cultural dancers to entertain the head-of-state and his fellow trekkers traversing routes used by NRA fighters through the seven districts of Wakiso, Nakaseke, Mityana, Kiboga, Kasandha, Mubende and Kakumiro.

With intricate footwork, excited girls vigorously wiggled their waists as they performed the traditional Bakasimba dance.

On the loud speakers, area residents showered praises on President Museveni and the ruling party.

They hailed Museveni for defeating Obote who “killed our parents and children in large numbers” and ushering in a new era of peace, security and economic transformation.

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Museveni, who was accompanied by thousands of youthful leaders from education institutions, corporate bodies, government agencies and NRA historicals among others, arrived in the town at around 11:30am.

Traders locked their shops to listen to Museveni’s speech.

The area youth, majority of whom earn a living from selling merchandise in grocery shops, chapatti stalls and riding boda bodas, listened keenly as the president spoke.

“I greet you all,” said Museveni as he waved at the large cheerful crowd.

“Welcome Mzee,” the crowd responded.

“Thank you for supporting NRM. Thank you for supporting the NRA war. I can see you are building metal roof houses. This is impressive,” said Museveni.

‘We need help’

The president asked a man, who appeared to have a burning issue, to address the gathering.

“We thank you very much for transforming our country,” the man, who identified himself as Mulwanya, started.

“But the challenge we have is the state of our roads,” said Mulwanya, adding, “The Chinese engineers working on our roads are doing a shoddy job. May be you get us better companies to construct decent roads.”

The roads were dusty with poor drainage.

Locals said the roads are always muddy and impassable during rainy seasons, affecting the mobility of persons and movement of goods to markets.

Mulwanya did not mince his words, telling Museveni: “We also want to walk and ride our bicycles on decent roads. We fought in the war but we never get good services.”

He emphasised: “We are doing badly. Please try to fix issues that affect the common man.”

Museveni would later send his aide, Major Knight, to take Mulwanya’s contacts.

But Mulwanya was not done.  He also accused government officials of “eating our things.”

He told Museveni: “The things you send to us are eaten along the way. We hear you’ve sent things for us but they never reach us. The situation of these young men riding boda bodas has not improve.”

Maj Knight prepares to take Mulwanya’s contact

Mulwanya was referring to Operation Wealth Creation (OWC), an initiative aimed at economically empowering the rural folks with agricultural inputs.

In response, Museveni promised to tarmac roads feeding Kiroro, Masulita, Mawale and Kakiri.

“We shall construct more hospitals. The plans are in the pipeline,” said Museveni.

He also pledged to call Mulwanya via telephone for a conversation.

The President is leading veterans, youth (Bazukulu) and well-wishers in a symbolic trek from Garamba in Wakiso district to Birembo in Kibaale district.

The six day trek which started this past Saturday has seen trekkers use routes which NRA fighters used during the liberation struggle.

Officials said trekkers are camping at 8 sites to celebrate freedom fighters’ heroic sacrifices for patriotism.

The historic trek code named “Africa Kwetu” ends on January 10 and has grown to almost 195km.

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