We are Proud We murdered you in – Luwero!
I have heard those words over again and again – directly being spoken to me, on assumption that Baganda are docile – you can imagine!
I had last visited Nakyesawa, Nakaseke Luwero Bulemezi, exactly 18 years before I visited again in 1997. When I arrived from Sweden, one of my friends argued me on to go home – quickly!
The following day, I boarded a taxi – which took me to Nakaseke. Nakaseke was still a ghost town. I got a bodaboda, as it is now; there are no regular taxis, between Nakeseke and Kiwoko!
Nakaseke is just some 50 miles away from Kampala but very far from Civilisation!
Our home is spread in five villages (Kiwoko, Nongo, Nakyesawa, Matabi, Lumpewe); I visited three and my uncle’s village and including the main homestead in Nakyesawa. Nakyesawa was a very big aristocrat like, country home of about 25 family members. The rst lived in other homes. I do not know exactly when this huge home was built.
This time around, in 1997, the home was a well-piled piece of rabble. A half foot ball sized cemented coffee drying platform was not speared. It had thoroughly been boomed into pieces in what appeared to be systematic destruction. I stood some minutes, wondering why the house was destroyed and by who. One of the mahogany wallboard which belonged to us – I saw it in a nearby shack down the road.
The rest of the houses, through paths to other destinations I took, were either abandoned with doors ajar, indicating quick exit.
One house, which was round shaped, in over grown coffee plantation, caught my eye – it had two small chairs, appositive each other and a mweso well placed on a bench in the middle. For all the years, and I do not know since when, there had been no players of mweso, or occupants in the house for all the past years. The door on the opposite at the end, was half open, letting in the afternoon sunray of lights, which appeared ghostly. The rays appeared strong, trouncing had on the dust floor of the house.
The silence was maddening. I felt a shudder in my body.
Not until, we reached the next village in the middle of the forest, where I located my uncle a former NRA combatant – did I realise, I, my companion and boda boda man had not talked to each other!
Why my uncle, had decided to leave in the middle of a forest alone? This was not only shocking to me but raised many questions in my mind. He was so wretched – he panicked on seeing me and he instantly set a fire and black kettle to prepare me a dry cup of tea. We sat on mud bricks and sipped on the dry tea as we barely talked anything to each other, for most part of the 30 minutes. He looked dejected, in shame and had no pride what so ever. He look down most of the time – there was no soldier in him at all but took courage to point to tomatoes he had planted a just a few meters away.
One of my uncle, was a tomatoes farm, he religious grew to make thousands of shillings then in the 70’s.
Onwards, I had managed to locate my cousin, the lonely daughter to my only surviving aunt. She recognised me instantly and directed to where my aunt’s has taken refuge in a small house nearby.
On arrival, I was dumbfounded when Aunt requested to know, why exactly, I had come to Luwero. “Don’t you know, there is a war here, you want to die my son”, she asked worriedly?!! That is in 1997!
I told her I arrived yesterday, and all these years I too has also been worried about your health and situation, I told her. She told me looking fiercely straight into my eyes, “It is good you came to visit but you should equally leave immediately”.
Before she was done, She went through a lengthy list of all names of those who have died or simply disappeared during the war. And then she physically forced herself to see me off!
I pointed the bodaboda, in the opposite direction to visit my uncle some fifteen km away new Kikamulo.
On my way, I stopped over at Matabi one of our other home – our old house was removed and few meters on the left side, a new house was built – the occupants where not known to me. The courtyard had been planted with banana plantations and the big mango tree in the court yard, had also been removed.
I neither asked the occupants who they were, but we talked briefly about other issues and I left.
Uncle recognised me instantly and called his wife: To my surprise and contrary to norm, me whenever I visited uncle, instead of calling on my cousins to chase a big fat cock or pull out a big he goat for me – this time around uncle and his wife, speedily called me to the back of the house, to usher me to some well laid out fourteen graves of my cousins.
Uncle had lost all his children to NRM’s war! He was clearly devastated. From then on we did not talk much – I wanted to proceed to Kiwoko but my other uncle had also died.
I eventually decided to proceed to Kiwoko where I got a taxi to Luwero then onwards to Kampala.
Rebuilding Luwero by NRM
– Before 1980 Luwero was filled with coffee, cotton stores – these bought off coffee and farmers went smile all the way home. These and many others were systematically destroyed by NRM. Other foodstuffs like beans, maize and cassava found market – through government agencies working for foods and beverages. Cassava used to go to Kawempe for protein biscuits Idi Amin made for his army. Ensoga Songa and cottonseeds used to also find their way to Kawempe factories to make cooking oil. Some of these industries where destroyed in 1979. There was a starch-making factory in Luzira or industrial area – were Luwero farmer made a killing. Maize if not bought to find its way to Kenya was sold to Maganjo – who own maganjo these days?
– Bulemezi as well as Buruli fed on each other. People coming here retiring from public or private service returned to the villages and set up small farms. This was the pattern. Hence, Bulemezi and Buruli had so many rich small-scale farmers – but all commercially oriented gradually expanding into large-scale farmers, industrialists and produces. Buruli supplied a lot of milk and fish. Bulemezi supplied food and to some extent labour services. A reason why they were a lot of permanent houses in the region. NRA destroyed all these farms to steal cattle for food. Mind you these riches passed from one hand to another – father to son and so on.
NRM/NRA to rebuild Luwero should restart
– Stores or warehousing system as it were and stop telling lies that every home will get an acre of crops, pigs, cows and goats. Sembeguya has failed to sell of his goats where will all the animals and produce in Luwero be sold?
– Start processing of crops as it were during Idi Amin’s times. Kawempe was a full-fledged industrial town with basically food processing capabilities.
– Physically plan towns of Luwero, Kiwoko(remove NRM/A build mud houses) Nakaseke, Kiwoko, Wobulenzi, Ndejje, Kapeka, Kyankwanzi and Ngoma.
– Restart the farmers and transport cooperative unions as it were and citizens must run these not state marionettes and thugs.
Less of that NRM leave us alone.
Bwanika, Nakyesawa Luwero. via the UAH forum