MANAFWA – A National Resistance Movement cadre in Manafwa District has accused the government of neglecting him.
Mr Steven Bitsentse, a former prominent contact of President Museveni between 1980 – 1996 said the government has not given him any financial benefits for his participation in the liberation war.
He said he served in Elgon thirteen, an NRM rebel outfit that fought alongside president Museveni in 1985/1986.
While speaking to PML Daily Mr Bitsentse said in 1995, he also saved President Museveni from being killed by Pakistan Islamic extremists who had been deployed in Mbale to assassinate him.
“I was deployed by then District Administrator for Mbale Lt Henry Rwigyemera at 3.43 am on July 3, 1995 to locate the Pakistan assassins who had been sent to assassinate President Museveni. I went out and moved around town before I traced them at Upland house in Mbale and booked a room close to them as I monitored them,” said Mr Bitsentse.
“And later when they learnt that I had noticed that they were heavily armed, they forced me into my room and ordered me to sleep or die,” added Mr Bitsentse.
He explained that the then had been invited to preside over the Islamic University In Uganda Graduation in Mbale 5, July 1995.
He said the assassins were arrested and the president promised to renovate for him his house that had been burnt, pay University tuition for his daughter and offset a loan in Housing finance bank but that to date nothing has been done.
A statement accessed by PML Daily from the president dated 16 August 1999 indicates that the president wrote that government would offset Mr Bitsentse’s loan at housing finance bank and renovate his house.
Reminder letters written to the president by Mr Bitsentse accessed by PML Daily dated Feb 1997, Nov 2004, Jan 2006, May 2008, Aug 2008, July 2010, June 2012 and April 2014 indicate that Mr Bitsentse has been writing to president Museveni through various leaders to remind him of the pledge he made.
“After aiding the NRM/NRA in the struggle to gain power, saving the president’s life and losing lives and property [my house], the government has not considered me as one of those who has helped it a great deal,” Mr Bitsentse, the chairperson of Elgon 13 said.
Letters written by various RDCs who have served in Mbale including LT Rwegyema, LA Tin Nyeko [SAS/PA],Mr Abbasa Sseguya, Mr Paul Nangoli and Mr Shaban Kachimette indicate that president has received all the letters through his state house desks.
Mr Bitsentse said he has tried to present his grievances, including meeting the President for a long time in vain.
When contacted for a comment, the RDC Namisindwa Mr Moses Kigai said the president could be aware of Mr Bitsentse’s plight but that he is too busy to attend to him.
“And he should know that he is not the only person president wants to meet and help, there are many people, it is difficult for the President to go around the whole country and to every person’s home saying thank you for your contribution,” Mr. Kigai said.
However, Mr. Kigai said the issue of the veterans has been handled and that since Mt Bitsentse is a former veteran, he should use that opportunity to meet President Museveni.