Hoima War Veterans Coordinator Denies Unlawful Registration

Sgt (Rtd) Peter Bagonza, addresses some National Resistance Army (NRA) civilian war veterans at Buhanika Cell in East Division, Hoima City in August 2023. PHOTO/FILE

The Special Presidential Assistant on Political Affairs has issued a letter addressed to the Resident District Commissioners of Hoima and Kikuube, as well as the Resident Commissioner of Hoima City. This correspondence, dated August 21, 2023, is from Brigadier General Jacob Asiimwe and pertains to alleged unauthorized activities related to the mobilization and registration of war veterans in Hoima and Kikuube districts.

According to Brig Gen Jacob Asiimwe, reports reaching his office suggest that Sgt (Rtd) Peter Bagonza, who serves as the Coordinator for War Veterans in Greater Hoima, is engaged in the mobilization and registration of war veterans. This activity is reportedly linked to the process of disbursing their “akasiimo” (gratuity) from the Ministry of State for Luwero Triangle. Notably, it has come to light that Sgt Bagonza, a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (SNCO), is allegedly requesting monetary contributions from unsuspecting veterans as a prerequisite for accessing their gratuity.

Brigadier Asiimwe has expressed concern that Sgt Bagonza’s actions are clandestine and should be halted, particularly since neither of the responsible offices overseeing veterans is aware of this assignment. He further asserts that there is credible information indicating that veterans are being charged a fee for the registration process. In light of this, Brig Asiimwe wishes to clarify that neither his office nor the Ministry of State for Luwero Triangle has authorized Sgt Bagonza Peter to conduct such registrations. Additionally, even if such registrations were to occur, they would be carried out free of charge.

The communication concludes with a request to the Resident Commissioners and Resident District Commissioners to cease the ongoing registration and ensure that veterans and the general public are not subjected to financial exploitation.

In response to inquiries made on Thursday, September 7, 2023, Sgt Bagonza has denied allegations of soliciting money during the registration process. He maintains that he is acting in accordance with directives from higher authorities and intends to continue the registration exercise as instructed.

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