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CHANGE OF GUARDS – At a certain stage, the hardships and internal ethnic divisions coupled by the pressure from the UNLA, the cohesion and survival of NRA was in balance. To resolve the impasse, Museveni convened a crisis meeting of top leadership. The question of whether the NRA should talk to the UPC government or not was tabled. The meeting got divided along those for and those against. Museveni together with the Bahimas and the Banyarwanda were aginst but the voices of those for were louder. A one Sam Katabarwa who was a Mwiru from Bushenyi had been the most vocal of the pro-talks group. Museveni adjourned the meeting without reaching a decision. When he reconvened it hours later, he simply announced that it was Sam Katabarwa who was to proceed to Kampala and make contact with the UPC government. Katabarwa intended to start by contacting Lt. Namiti Kagata from Bugisu region who was UNLA’s Director of Legal Services.

Katabarwa and Namiti had been together at Makerere University to study political science and law respectively. They together joined the post Iddi Amin army, UNLA and went for Cadet Officers training at Monduli in Tanzania. While at Monduli, the two rivaled on who was to be the Course Leader.  The issue divided the entire batch of trainees along the pro Obote (Kikosi Maluum) and pro Museveni (FRONASA). Cadet trainee, Namiti Kagata took the day. Upon return to Uganda, Namiyi Kagata became the Director of Legal Services while Sam Katabarwa became the Director of Political Education under the UNLA. Sam Katabarwa deserted and joined Museveni’s guerrilla NRA while Namiti Kagata continued serving the UNLA.

Before Katabarwa left the bush for peace talks in Kampala, Museveni instructed him to contact Kintu Musoke and Bidandi Sali and ask them to link him to Namiti. By doing so, Museveni wanted to keep track of Katabarwa’s movements. When Katabarwa reached out to the above two politicians in Kampala, they shunned him before he decided to go it alone. In between, he was arrested but he delivered the message and the government gave him a response to deliver to the NRA. On the way back he was waylaid, killed and buried by the NRA. In June 1985, the army (UNLA) magazine (Mkombozi), published in Kampala said that Lt. Sam Katabarwa ‘was killed in an ambush laid by bandits (NRA).’ In a statement issued in Nairobi, the NRA disputed the claim by Mkombozi;
         “We do not believe the story, NRA believes Lieutenant Katabarwa was murdered in cold blood … at the hands of the Ugandan army.  Our High command last heard from Katabarwa in late April. He had been sent to Kampala to assess the chances of establishing contacts with the ruling UPC to work towards a peaceful resolution of differences.” 
The statement furrher claimed that Katabarwa was betrayed and arrested a month after he had arrived in Uganda from Nairobi. Further, that they believed he was murdered after he refused to provide useful information about the rebel operations.

Those in the NRA who had been against the peace talks took the day and the war continued. The UNLA was so forgetful that one year later, they initiated peace talks with the NRA in Nairobi. As they say, the rest is history. After the NRA took power, no one wanted to acknowledge the contribution of Sam Katabarwa. It is his own family members that were privately assisted by Capt. Mario’s Katungi aka Sucide who had already been sidelined to locate where Sam Katabarwa was buried by the NRA in order to retrieve his remains. Almost 36 years later, Museveni has for the first time talked about the killing of Katabarwa. However, his narrative is twisted because it suggests that the idea of talking to the then UPC government was a Katabarwa project and does not clearly say if he blessed the same. 
      “One of our people Sam Katabarwa cane from Nairobi with Kategaya and Ivan Koreta. They said they had been approached through Namiti of UPC for peace talks………….After some pressure I agreed that Katabarwa leaves with Matayo Kyaligonzq through Ngoma to go and talk to Paulo Muwanga and Bazilio Okello. …… morning Kyaligonza comes and says Katabarwa has been killed in Kampala.”

But this is the same UPC/UNLA that twice captured Kyaligonza but did not kill him. What about Serwanga Lwanga and many others who were captured!!!! How come the rebel Katabarwa killed by the UNLA was buried by the NRA in its area of control!!!! The truth is that he was totally opposed to the talks and he used the death of Katabarwa to fight the idea of peaceful ending of his Bush War amongst his fighters.


—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: January 05, 2020 at 01:33PM

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