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Luttamaguzi was a true patriot

By Vision Reporter

Added 5th June 2009 03:00 AM

THE guerilla war that brought the National Resistance Movement to power could have aborted within the first few months had Edididan Luttamaguzi not done the unimaginable on June 9, 1981.

THE guerilla war that brought the National Resistance Movement to power could have aborted within the first few months had Edididan Luttamaguzi not done the unimaginable on June 9, 1981.

By Joshua Kato

THE guerilla war that brought the National Resistance Movement to power could have aborted within the first few months had Edididan Luttamaguzi not done the unimaginable on June 9, 1981.

Rather than showing government soldiers the whereabouts of the guerillas, he accepted to be beaten and chopped to death. For this, Luttamaguzi was among the first people declared heroes to be remembered every June 9.

Luttamaguzi was one of the first elders to support the guerilla force, led by Yoweri Museveni. In his book, Museveni’s Long March, the late Major Odonga Amaza writes that at that stage, the rebellion was still very secretive. “It was mainly known among village elders and opinion leaders like Luttamaguzi.”

Luttamaguzi had joined the rebellion in March 1981, when the war was only a month old.

According to his young brother, Lt. John Kaddu, the current currently deputy resident district commissioner Nakaseke, Luttamaguzi helped the new rebel force get contacts in Semuto, Matugga, Kalasa, Migadde and neighbouring areas.

He became a pivotal contact in the activities of the rebels, Kaddu says. “For example, during the attack on Kakiri, Luttamaguzi was one of the major contacts who helped the rebels move up to Kakiri without being detected.”
In his book Uganda’s Revolution: How I saw it, Colonel Pecos Kuteesa writes that the rebels set off from Kikandwa in Luttamaguzi’s back yard on April 4. They attacked Kakiri a day later.
Throughout April and May, Kuteesa adds, Luttamaguzi mobilised for the forces. “He looked for food and more contacts for our forces. This made him ‘wanted’ by the government.”

On June 8, Museveni and most of the rebel commanders were hiding in bushes near Luttamaguzi’s home. Intelligence operatives picked up information that Luttamaguzi was hosting guerillas and moved in so swiftly that the fighters did not have time to move away. They were at the mercy of Luttamaguzi, who knew that they were there.

The following day, Luttamaguzi was arrested with eight other guerilla collaborators. “Of the eight, he was the only one who knew where the fighters were hiding. During the subsequent torture, the other captives pleaded to him to tell the soldiers where the rebels were but he refused to mention a thing,” Kaddu says.
Had Luttamaguzi reported the rebels’ location to the Uganda Natioanal Liberation Army, that could have ended their fate because the rebel commanders would not have survived. Museveni, who was in the vicinity, was so moved by the courage shown by Luttamaguzi that a few months later, when the first units of the rebel forces were created, one of them was named Lutta, after Edidian Luttamaguzi.

Luttamaguzi was born to Onesm Mukasa of Kikandwa village in present day Nakaseke district. He was of the Lugave, a Buganda clan. After his studies, he taught in various private schools in Semuto and Kikandwa. Later, he stopped teaching and joined the Local Administration Police.

By the time war broke out in 1981, he had retired from the force and was engaged in commercial farming and business. Among his notable siblings are RDCs Perez Katamba and Lt. John Kaddu.

If you have any court story that caught public attention or you would like to comment on the above story, reach the Editor on saturday@newvision.co.ug

Luttamaguzi was a true patriot

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