By Ddungu Jordan
In what started as a short journey to tour the source of the Nile in Jinja City, I found myself engaging in a long trip that covered the entire Eastern region.In the course of my journey, the bus made a stopover at Namawojolo in Mabira forest along Jinja highway. We got out of the bus to get something to eat. Several people asked for roasted meat & chicken which is similarly known as “mchomo”
I got myself a drink and unexpectedly met an old woman wearing a T-shirt with printed words & a portrait; “General Muhoozi Kainerugaba is my next president.” I was much astonished by her hospitality that I decided to buy 2 bottles of mini sodas instead of one from her. While asking her about the nice T-shirt she was putting on, she briefly said in Lusoga “Bwekibanga babawe yasobola okwilizawo banna Uganda emirembe, Kati lwaki mutabani we omukuudulu/oweisanu talikuuma.” which translates “If his father managed to restore peace for Ugandans then why can't his son maintain it”
I heard the bus hooting to leave. Amazingly as I was running to enter the bus, I heard the old woman shouting; “Mwidukulu wange, tandiika okuvaala omudoozi oti no’ gwange” which translates to “My grandson, you should also start wearing a T-shirt like mine.”
Deep inside Mabira forest, our bus slowed down as it approached a security checkpoint, peeping outside to see what was going on, only to see another person wearing the same T-shirt with Gen Kainerugaba's portrait. Throughout my journey to the source of the Nile, the two incidences including the first of the old woman & the gentleman I found riding a boda boda at the checkpoint triggered a tumultuous thinking about “Why different people are donning Muhoozi Kainerugaba T-shirts” are on the increase!
As I approached the source of the Nile bridge, I found numerous taxis parked while others were loading passengers and my bus stopped to drop a passenger at Kayunga Road Stage. By the road, I saw two chapati makers who were very busy working while wearing two black faded T-shirts of General Muhoozi Kainerugaba with the words “Muhoozi K is my next president 2026”.
Upon landing at the market street in Jinja city now, time check 3:00 pm, I grabbed a boda boda to check into my guesthouse around Mpumudde market. This time around the town was bustling with activities & some streets still colored with posters of our president H.E Yower Kaguta Museveni. I quickly rushed into my guest room & shortly left for the source of the Nile, upon my arrival I found several people including both whites and blacks enjoying the beautiful sceneries of the Nile. At this point, I grabbed myself a soft drink & started strolling around where I heard many people talking about the peace, security, stability & freedom they usually enjoy in Uganda.
This reminded me of insurgents many years ago that had rocked the Eastern region including the LRA rebel group that was fiercely fought by the UPDF soldiers commanded by General Muhoozi Kainerugaba even when he was a junior officer then. In 2003, just at the age of 29 after completing intensive military training both in Uganda & abroad, General Muhoozi Kainerugaba took a deliberate sacrifice & risked his life when he pitched camped in Teso subregion commanding UPDF troops to flash out the LRA rebels that had invaded the area.
During his many months of operations, spending sleepless nights & restless days within Teso, General Muhoozi Kainerugaba & UPDF soldiers were able to restrain the LRA rebels from waging attacks on civilians. In this same operation, the LRA’s most notorious Division Commander, Charles Tabuley and hundreds of LRA rebels were killed in an ambush mounted by the UPDF & arrow boys under the command of General Muhoozi Kainerugaba. No wonder several people of different age groups & backgrounds are now seen comfortably, openly appreciating and identifying themselves with the positive contributions of General Muhoozi Kainerugaba to peacebuilding, stabilizing the Eastern region & Uganda at large.
The writer is the youth and good governance activist.
Contact via Twitter @jordan_posts