Museveni Bush War trek pan Africanism
President Museveni ends 6 days Bush War trek with a call for pan Africanism. File Photo

President Museveni urges Ugandans to embrace the spirit of pan Africanism as he concludes the 195km Bush War trek

The long 195km six-day bush war trek titled Africa Kwetu led by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni finally ended yesterday on Friday 10th, January 2020 with a call for pan Africanism.

The bush warfighters began their walk from Galamba in Masuulita, Wakiso District on the 4th, January 2020 at about 10:45 am with stopovers in the evening in which the trekkers received first-hand information from the bush warfighter on what transpired those times.

And ended their journey in Bireembo in Kakumiro District. The purpose of the trek was to mark freedom fighters’ heroic sacrifices for patriotism.

During this walk, President Museveni who was together with National Resistance Movement (NRM) supporters, government officials and some Bush war heroes walked but at some point, they drove and then walk again until they completed the journey.

Explaining the reason why they drove the biggest part of the journey and walked for only 78km, Museveni said it’s because he had to make several stopovers, which included some activities like checking on his Bush War comrades.

“Through this trek, I have been able to relink with the widows of our departed comrades, and again personally reach out to those who harboured and supported us during the liberation struggle,” said Museveni.

Bireembo is the area where the fiercest fight between the National Resistance Army (NRA) rebels and then President Milton Obote’s troops.

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President Museveni returns to the liberation war jungles reincarnated the ideals of a five-year struggle for freedom as he retraced the NRA Bush War routes before he overthrew the then Milton government of the Gen Tito Okello 34 years ago.

In this walk, President Museveni met families of the fighters, widows, senior citizens and other people who defended the five-year struggle and reunited with them.

Ssemujju Nganda Museveni trek
Museveni narrates how Gen Elly Tumwine lost his eye during the bush war. File Photo

Addressing trekkers yesterday in Kasambya, Kakumiro District, President Museveni asked Ugandans to embrace the spirit of pan Africanism to enhance prosperity in Uganda, East Africa and Africa at large.

Museveni says it would take “purpose, Discipline, and preparation” to realise pan Africanism and unity. The tenets that saw the Bush War heroes through the struggle.

He also asked Ugandans and leaders at all levels to copy the spirit the NRM fighters portrayed.

“The other day I told you that one needs an ideology and also have a clear aim of the way forward for Africa. Secondly is the discipline, then you may not be able to fight for it,” Museveni said.

“For me, I am going to fight even today. We should fight for it.”

Continuing, President Museveni urged Ugandans particularly his “Bazukulu” to stay away from people who drive them away from the right way.

“Sometimes we get sick people because of alcohol; the other issue is eating too much. Because food is also a disease. Because even if you have the ideology, you must have discipline.”

He then thanked the Bazukulu for participating in this long rigorous walk, saying they have at least felt what the bush warfighters went through.

“To the Bazukulu who joined me on this (trek), I am happy that you now know some history and have felt a bit of how much people sacrificed for the collective gains of this country. I thank you,” President Museveni said.

Museveni in his further remarks thanked all participants saying the walk was a health one and encouraged all Ugandan to embrace the culture of physical exercise.

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However, he said he refused to fall into temptations of driving the last 14km of the 195km walk, that’s between Kasambya District where they spent the last night and Bireembo, Kakumiro District.

“This walking is good for health. When we sit in those offices of ours, you die slowly. The muscles are not working. You think you are clever but you are not clever,” Museveni said.

“So, I want to encourage the culture of physical fitness,” Museveni added.

The closing day of the 195km trek was marked by routine assemblies, briefings in given units and testimonies from the bush war heroes.

Museveni trek tourism venture
Tourism Ministry to set up Museums along President Museveni’s trek routes. Photo/PPU

Testifying, Oliver Zizinga aged 83 narrated that the five-year war period left various scars in her life.

“That time was not easy and coming through those times was very tough. A time came and I told my brother that why don’t we die. I told him that let us go and look for the enemy and he kills us,” Zizinga narrated.

After, President Museveni treated all trekkers to a bull and goat roasting yesterday evening as they closed the event. As they feasted, they trekkers also received music performances from some artistes and the army band.

About 2,000 people participated in the trek, they went through Wakiso, Nakaseke, Mityana, Kiboga, Kasanda, Mubende, and Kakumiro Districts. The trekkers made six overnights each characterised by a campfire in the evening.

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The idea of this trek was brought in by the Senior Presidential Adviser, Alice Kaboyo. After creating the idea, she approached the president and her idea was put into consideration.

A similar trek happened way back in 1999, 21 years down the road. During this time, President Museveni retraced the NRA guerrilla bases in Luweero Triangle, which started from Galamba forest in Wakiso District to Bureembo.