During breaks at the various campsites, President Museveni and other veterans will address the trekkers about Uganda’s liberation journey.
WAKISO - A large group of Ugandans are already getting a feel of what it was like slaloming through the thickets of some parts of the country during the liberation struggle in the 1980s, when they set out on what has been described as a "historic" expedition to honour Uganda's freedom fighters.
Flagged off Saturday from Wakiso district by President Yoweri Museveni, also the National Resistance Movement (NRM) chairman, the team of largely youths (whom the President fondly calls Bazzukulu) are destined for Bukatira in Nakaseke district, the first pitstop.
Also part of the trek, codenamed Africa Kwetu, are war veterans and well-wishers.
Saturday marks the first of six days of footslogging from Galamba in Wakiso to Birembo in Kibaale district, the end point.
It all started at Kololo Independence Grounds on Friday, where all the participants, grouped in platoons, assembled for preliminary briefing, before setting off for Wakiso at St. Edward Secondary School, Galamba, where they would settle in for the night.
Various artistes, including Ragga Dee (Daniel Kazibwe), Hassan Ndugga, DJ Michael (Michael Mugwanya) and Full Figure camped at the school together with thousands other compatriots, with the start of the trek only hours away.
New Vision's Eddie Ssejjoba interacted with the entertainers, whose accounts were telling.
DJ Michael said his late father was a bush war veteran, who appealed to him before his death to love President Museveni. The musician's father, Charles Katumba, was a great admirer of Museveni, the reason he (DJ Michael) has supported NRM for the last 15 years.
He said that he had severally tried but failed to meet the President to remind him of his father and the secrets he left him with.
Ndugga, meanwhile, said he decided to abandon the People Power movement because he said they had started reportedly harassing artistes who did not support their leader, Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine), who is the Kyadondo East Member of Parliament.
Huge security presence
With the President expected for the flagoff ceremony, the St. Edward Secondary School was, understandably, under intensified security scrutiny. It was a busy day for the security personnel at the campsite, for they had large numbers of people to handle.
During breaks at the various campsites, President Museveni and other veterans will address the trekkers about Uganda’s liberation journey, with emphasis on the role of various organisations including The Front for National Salvation (FRONASA) and the National Resistance Movement, the Uganda Media Centre in a statement earlier.
Friday evening, Brig. Gen. David Kyomukama Kasura, the trek commander, briefed the participants on a series of guidelines they need to follow along the route.
He advised them to exercise the highest level of civility and respect with one another and with the communities along the route.
"Do not invade people's homes," he cautioned. "Respect the space of the people on the route."
On top of being disciplined, the need to be ready to learn from the experience was sounded by Alice Kaboyo, the senior presidenital advisor of NRA.