EDWARD MAKANIKA AND FAHAD MASEREKA
For 16 years, 42 year old Joyce Kathungu has endured a life of suffering and pain. During this period, the mother of five has not heard from her soldier husband and therefore does not know whether he is dead or alive.
Kathungu, now living in Kasese district , was the wife of a soldier , Pte. Aggrey Onyango Balongo, whose army number is RA 156339.
She told us that she has heard that Balongo died during a military training course at Kabamba Barracks in Mubende district between May and September 2003.
Kathungu said the two got into an affair during the time when the UPDF was fighting in the DR Congo.
After the war, they settled in Kasese town.
According to Kathungu, her husband was transferred to Ntungamo district towards the end of 2002 and was later, in February 2003, taken for a course at Kabamba Barracks in Mubende.
Then she heard that he had died although the army has never officially confirmed Balongo’s death.
Kathungu, now a resident of Kidodo cell in Kasese Municipality said she has never seen his husband or his remains for 16 years. She has been told that he was buried in Kabamba barracks.
She said that since 2003 she had moved from one office to another demanding an explanation on the whereabouts of her husband and gratuity in the event that he is dead but the movements have yielded nothing.
“Nobody seems to care about the family of a soldier who served this country tirelessly,” she said.
She called upon President Museveni to prevail over his forces to take action over the matters concerning the education of the five orphans that Balongo left behind.
From 2003 up to date, the UPDF has never officially communicated to the family about Balongo’s death and Kathungu, said she is considering legal action over the matter.