Through Minister of State for Defense in charge veteran affairs, Hon. Bright Rwamirama, the current regime under the command of Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni had known they would face both political and insecurity challenges ahead.
Mr Rwamirama, while meeting Lango sub-region’s army retirees at Lira district Council Hall last year on the 5 October, 2017, says government would recall all former army fighters should political temperature worsen.
“When things get tougher in Uganda, Defense Ministry shall recall all retired soldiers who have taken less than three years in retirement,” defense Minister said then.
In that meeting, importantly convened to discuss pension payment to ex ‘fighters’, the retirees ‘welcomed’ the good gesture.
Mr Rwamirama further told the meeting that government plans to pay pension to ex soldiers within two years and that plan to give them projects to boost their livelihood was also being worked on.
He emphasized: “If the going gets tougher, all of us will come up. Those who have not taken three years in retirement (active reserve) shall be recalled anytime of tough moments.”
According to Rwamirama last year, if the worst come to the pits, government (Commander in Chief), President Museveni would not hesitate, adding that it would be done to calm the worsening situation.
Countrywide, he says there are over 80,000 former fighters (veterans) many of whom are demanding government to speedily pay their retirement funds [pension].
Rwamirama blasted ‘chaotic’ opposition and rebel MPs who in previous month caused chaos in Parliament and were suspended, calling them men ‘without brains’.
“I have my gun but I keep it at home. I don’t fight; I do so with my brain in Parliament and I can’t fight anybody like opposition did,” he added.
Prior to the meeting, Lango army retirees had petitioned Defense Ministry to reconsider recruiting them as Gombola Internal Security Officers [GISOs].
In their letter addressed to Minister of State for Defense in charge Veteran affairs Bright Rwamirama and handed over to him that day, Lango former fighters, estimated to be around 1,500, agreed to be recruited as Gombolola (sub-county) Internal Security Officers (GISOs).
Jimmy Akasa, a chief petitioner who retired from the army in 2015 to take a political mantle told Minister Rwamirama from Lira District Council Hall that some of them were willing to resume work, working as ‘spies’.
Responding to the request by ex fighters, Rwamirama assured the ‘applicants’ ‘all is possible’, advising them to position themselves well for the new tasks.
“You should be willing to ride motorcycles as GISOs. I applaud you all for being vigilant. Without vigilance, you don’t serve people,” Minister responded.
In that meeting, presents were Lira LC5 Chairman, Patrick Alex Oremo Alot, RDC Robert Abak and CAO, Mark Tivu, among others.
Now, with Uganda’s political atmosphere appears to be threatening some people’s lives and rampant murders at its crest, especially in Kampala, Wakiso districts, President Museveni last week announced and directed recruitment of Local Defense Unit [personnel] to man insecurity in Kampala and Wakiso districts.
According to Museveni, the exercise would slowly be enrolled to the entire country.
Meanwhile, recruitment of Ugandans into LDUs have started in Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono districts according to UDPF/Defense spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemira.