Two ladies Susan Namono Wagima ( the late IGP Maswele’s widow and Beatrice Nandudu are born in Sironko district. The widow’s NRA bush narrative is attached. She should therefore be allowed to re-tell the story to the main man (Author of Luwero war machinery).
Nandudu Beatrice is a gospel artist who fuses tradition and Christianity to deliver interesting message(s). One such piece is “Arabica Coffee” without which there would be no independence for Uganda in 1962 that she presented at her last year’s launch at Uganda Museum on 1st of July 2018. She should be programmed to present the same song at Independence Day celebrations in Sironko on 9th October, 2019.
- “You cannot see the skin of a cock until the wind blows”
30 years of a widow’s best kept secret
We lived at the police fire brigade headquarters at Queen’s clock Tower off Entebbe road in Kampala. I later got a job as banker in Kampala but continued to live with the family.
On one ordinary day during the regime of Marshal Idi Amin, there was the fierce Nakivubo fuel tanker inferno and my husband headed the operation that eventually controlled and put off the fire. I was married like any other woman except that I was married to a senior police fire man. A police fire man who used to rescue and ferry National Resistance Army Combatants under the pretext of putting off city and rural fires in the country
President Idi Amin having been very pleased with his performance promoted him (Mr. Maswere) as head of Uganda police fire brigade).
After the fall of Idi Amin’s government, my husband and the whole family fled to the country side. I and the children relocated to live in the village with my father’s family. Micheal went to live though clandestinely with a police colleague, the late Sakwa at Namunsi on Mbale- Soroti road.
The ensuing governments of Yusuf Kironde Lule, Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa and Paul Muwanga eventually recalled the police officers who were on the run back into service. They (officers) reluctantly went back but fearing that they were being set up for arrest.
Fortunately for the officers, those regimes desperately needed their service because the latter had no other options but to re- instate professionals into public service.
The 1980 general elections was another turning point for Micheal Maswere’s family. Doctor Milton Obote was sworn-in but his opponents disputed the results and many of them including Prof. Y.K.Lule, Kakooza Mutale, Kayiira, David Nkwanga and Yoweri Museveni reneged and decided to take the option of an armed struggle.
During this time, the family lived under constant risk as we regularly received and hosted strangers in the fire police barracks and when we inquisitively inquired from the head of the family (Mr. Maswere) would refer to his popular house motto above “You cannot see the skin of a cock until the wind blows”
It was after the National Resistance Army (NRA) had taken over the capital –Kampala that the family discovered that the strangers the family was regularly hosting were actually the NRA combatants more especially the Namugongo – based Black Bombers headed by then Commander Matayo Kyaligonza.
The family had lost one of our daughters, Rita Khainza to a stray bullet at the storied residence but were unable to proceed for the funeral in Mbale because of then insecurity in the rest of the country.
Their (NRA) cover was blown out that occasion when the new president (Museveni) gave our family military escorts that assisted us transport the body to Bugisu for burial.
One of the strangers we used to host was delegated by the president to come to the vigil and this time he was in combat uniforms and this was Matayo Kyaligonza of the black bombers Unit of the NRA.
When the family returned from the burial, the President (Yoweri Museveni) summoned then his new friend Micheal Mawere Wateya ( my husband) to State House where the latter was notified that he was being considered for appointment as the first ever Mugisu Inspector General of Police (IGP). I personally did not go with him but he was accompanied to meet the president at State House by two relatives: one Yona Wilson Wasikye a retired police officer from Busoba and Mr. Silver Weasa Nangoye a nephew and former NRA war contact from Busano.
Since Muzee Maswele’s death on 31st January, 2011, the widow is in a sorrowful state with her family in Bugema where he was laid to rest because the deceased’s pension was freezed the same month and we (family) continue to lament why the president and commander – In-chief, Yoweri Museveni has never to date come to mourn with the family.
Even on the insistence of the president for Maswere to take the top job of IGP in the presence of his relatives, the former declined and preferred to be Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) – Operations instead.
Susan Namono Wagima (Mrs. Susan Maswele)