It was a bitter-sweet experience as war veterans in Kasese were accused of hypocrisy on the same day they received a 60 million cash injection from government to boost their development initiatives.
All started well this Tuesday when State Minister for Luwero Triangle, Dennis Ssozi Galabuzi presented the long awaited grant to Kateebwa –Kyabarungira War Veterans Development Association (KAKWAVENDA) at Kasese Multi-Purpose Hall, in Kasese town.
Addressing over 800 veterans in attendance, the minister clarified that 50m of the sum was meant to boost the group SACCO while10m was a contribution to member’s joint fish pond investment.
“This is just a small contribution to get you started as government looks into your other issues,” the Minister said, calling for transparency in the association’s leadership if it is to help members develop.
The minister further advised the association’s leadership to seek technical advice and support from the RDC and other line civil servants on how best the monies received can be used to benefit all the group’s members.
Keep your promises
However, Kasese deputy RDC Joshua Masereka took issue with the veterans for being less than candid in perennially committing themselves to support government, and then doing the contrary come Election Day.
“You have all the structures at the village and parish levels but we have been getting zero [votes] even at some polling stations where you have been; and yet you are here committing total support [to government]. Are you really being genuine?” Masereka wondered.
Earlier, children to the veterans had denounced government for ignoring their plight and called for its intervention if the NRM party is to regain popularity in the district. Once a bastion for the ruling party, Kasese has in the last couple of elections emerged as an opposition stronghold.
Grace Biira, of Mahango sub-county, also a veteran’s daughter, requested government to consider setting up a loan or bursary scheme to support the children of veterans in their pursuit of education so that they can ably compete with the rest of the population, who “enjoy the fruits of their parents”.
“I pray that government soon delivers on the land it promised to veterans, and sets up an education loan scheme for us,” she said.