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GAMBIA-L  January 2004

GAMBIA-L January 2004

Subject:

Fw: Assessing the revolution through Nakiryowa, Museveni's cook :- Serves her right?

From:

uga479 <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

The Gambia and related-issues mailing list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 25 Jan 2004 22:31:45 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (91 lines)

"Too sad! But perhaps Nakiryowa like all revolutionaries might one day realise how revolutions eat up their own. And President Museveni might want to look out for the lay participants in the revolution; cooks, porters and messengers"

**********

----- Original Message ----- 
From: gook makanga 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2004 10:10 PM
Subject: Assessing the revolution through Nakiryowa, Museveni's cook :- Serves her right?


Assessing the revolution through Nakiryowa, Museveni's cook 
By David Kibirige 
Jan 25 - 31, 2004

      They fought and conquered. They proudly marched to Kampala. We are talking about the National Resistance Army (NRA) fighters led by President Yoweri Museveni, who captured power in 1986 after a five-year bush war. 

      Among these was a young lady Sergeant, Christine Nakiryowa. At the age of 12, Nakiryowa abandoned studies at Kapeka Primary School in Primary Seven and joined NRA rebels in 1981. Stephen Kashaka, now a Brig, recruited her into the rebel ranks.

      Her father, Mr Charles Muzanganda encouraged his daughter to join the NRA. UNLA soldiers later killed him. However, Nakiryowa's mother, Ms Edisa Nakazzi still lives in Luwero. Nakiryowa says she was the first woman to join the NRA.

      Her number is RA 0185. Museveni's is RA 001 while Honorary Brigadier Eriya Kategaya's (former deputy premier) is RA 002. Nakiryowa was in the Mandriana Unit. The unit comprised senior members of the High Command.

      The original members were Museveni, Kategaya, Jim Katugugu Muhwezi (now a Brig), Sam Katabarwa (RIP), Salim Saleh (Lt. Gen), Elly Tumwine (Lt. Gen) and later Olive Zizinga (Capt), Joe Mirembe and Gertrude Njuba (Capt). 

      Together with Lt. Night Nabunya (RIP), Nakiryowa was in charge of cooking for Museveni. He really loved eating chicken, prepared in a bokisi," (tiny saucepan with a cover) she told Sunday Monitor in a recent interview.

      "We also cooked for the other members of the High Command. If there was no chicken and we failed to get beef, we would cook whatever was available," 
      "He trusted us. There was no way we could poison him. After cooking, we would give it to a boy called Kambarage who would serve mzee," Nakiryowa proudly reminisces.

      During the 2001June parliamentary elections, Museveni introduced Nakiryowa to the electorate. "This was our first woman in the bush. She used to cook for me," Museveni said then.

      She says cooking was not her only job. She also fought to defend captured territory. She however does not want to discuss much of what happened in the bush.

      Nakiryowa remembers with sadness how UNLA troops drove them out of the fertile areas of Luwero. "We retreated to the semi arid areas in Nsakaziragula and Nakasongola. We used to eat the bark of trees when we failed to get anything to eat. It was here that many of our colleagues died. Not of bullets but of hunger and illness," Nakiryowa says. 

      She remembers that the NRA bush director of finance, (later Col.) Frank Guma (RIP) had lots of money and would buy for them what to eat. "I think he left Obote's army with a lot of money. He helped us a lot," says Nakiryowa.

      After the capture of Kampala, Nakiryowa got a man and produced children. This was the turning point in her life. "A jealous person said I was over producing children and so my name was mysteriously struck off the army payroll," she says.
      Today Nakiryowa has ten children and has even changed her name from Christine to Aisha.

      "I am now a Muslim. I am no llonger a Christian," she says. A letter dated November 5, 2002 by the then UPDF director of records, Col. Mark Kodili to Lt. Gen. Elly Tumwine confirms the mystery about striking Nakiryowa's name off the payroll.

      She started vending charcoal after her sad exit from the army. However, like the Biblical Job, law enforcement officers impounded her charcoal. She turned to her former comrades for help, but all her attempts hit a dead end.

      During last year's Tarehe Sita (February 8) celebrations at Bombo Army Headquarters, Nakiryowa masqueraded as a journalist and attended the function. 

      When Museveni saw her in the company of Maj. Gen. Katumba Wamala, Brig. Stephen Kashaka, Lt. Gen. Elly Tumwine and Col. Elly Kayanja, he called her. 

      He asked her what she was doing. "I told him I was unemployed but was still staying at Kawaala. He told Joan Rukalema Magezi, his secretary, to make an appointment for me to meet him. 

      "However, Magezi and Ezra Mwanje kept on tossing me". They asked me to explain what I wanted. Mzee should not tell me to explain why I want to talk to him because I think I know him better than those who now pretend," she says bitterly. 

      She says she keeps on wondering how some people attained high ranks when the original fighters are still sergeants or Captains.

      "They say I am not educated; that is why I was just a sergeant. But I know some Colonels who are not highly educated," she says.

      Nakiryowa says she is not a bitter person but her only regret is that she has become a laughing stock. "I am not bitter but at least mzee should meet me, just to say thank you," she says. 

      Too sad! But perhaps Nakiryowa like all revolutionaries might one day realise how revolutions eat up their own. And President Museveni might want to look out for the lay participants in the revolution; cooks, porters and messengers
     


 2004 The Monitor Publications


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Gook 

"You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom."- Malcom X 




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