President Museveni has said government will compensate former Uganda National Liberation Front and West Nile Bank Fighters.
The UNLF and UNLA as its military wing was a political group formed by exiled Ugandans opposed to the rule of Idi Amin who fought alongside Tanzanian forces to overthrow government in 1979.
On the other hand, West Nile Bank Front was a rebel group under the command of Juma Oris who wedged war against government in 1994 basing in West Nile but were defeated and granted amnesty.
On Saturday, the First Deputy Prime Minister, Gen.Moses Ali who was a former fighter with West Nile Bank Front asked the President to consider compensation to the two groups.
“On the issue of UNLF and West Nile Bank Front, we have had meetings with the State Minister for Defence in charge of Veteran Affairs and the head of Operation Creation. We have also sent a communication to you and we shall be happy to hear some good news from you,” Moses Ali told Museveni who was commissioning Lokopio Hills Technical Institute in Yumbe district.
Many people like us who fought ought to be recognized and paid. Think of us. We fought and have supported you. We have given you and now is the time you also give back to us.”
Speaking in response, the President admitted having seen the communication in form of a letter from Gen.Salim Saleh with a total of shs11 billion as compensation to the two groups.
“It will be paid. If you see, money we are going to spend on the Atiak-Laropi road, it is more than this one(shs11bn) . There is nothing we can’t do. We started with these roads because they were serving more people. The one who was in UNLF and one who has never been in the bush are all served by roads and electricity,”Museveni said.
Explaining the reason for the delay, the President said because government has many competing needs, it first deals with the most pressing ones, but assured Moses Ali that the former fighters would soon be compensated because money is available.
“Now that we have the core done, we can deal with other smaller things. This shs11 billion is nothing. It is not lack of money but what you start with and why start with it. Definitely, this one will be done,” he said.
Museveni who had earlier commissioned the refurbished and upgraded Yumbe hospital and a fruit factory at Pani village, Lodonga sub-county asked the people of Yumbe and West Nile, in general, to vote for NRM in the forthcoming 2021 polls.
Earlier, the local leaders had asked Museveni to consider creation of four more districts out of Yumbe considering its population has grown to over 900,000 because of the refugees.
The leaders also asked Museveni to consider setting up a regional blood bank, oxygen plant, health training school, industrial park and a factory to add value to cassava.