Below, I have reproduced what is already published about the role of Night Kulabako during the UPC times. There are instances where individuals end up answerable for their wrongs and it is worse when this is published information. For those in NRM, better be careful if you can. It is abnormal to use premises which are not yours and you keep enjoying the services without paying for them.
Below is a Historical perspective of what liberators take us through but then after words ignore us!
Brother Cosmas Kafeero was the second black Headmaster at St. Mary’s College Kisubi (1980 – 1983). He decentralized power and had a human approach to his staff. The Brother seized on the new chapter of the political scene after the removal of Idi Amin from Presidency to establish a democratic administration at SMACK. This was against the background that he had been at St. Mary’s since 1960 and was quite acquainted with the strength and weaknesses of the school. He borrowed a leaf from the USA High School Administration and from sister schools here in Uganda, that is Mt. St. Mary’s Namagunga, Gayaza High School to mention a few. A Constitution was drafted to involve all students and teachers in the management of the school.
Pro-UPC students dominated the first elected student body. The Head Prefect had arms and a room at Lake Victoria Hotel. A student purge had to be taken and 96 students were given an indefinite suspension. The Headmaster ably defended this decision when the Ministry of Education raised hell out of the issue. The new innovation in the students’ administration helped to eliminate students’ riots.
Things however were not to be that smooth sailing. The school was made part of the Bush War by UPC stalwarts. The people who featured significantly were Night Kulabako a Sub-County chief at Katabi, Paul Muwanga (Vice-President; but with Executive Powers), Oyite Ojok and Tito Okello (Army Commander).
The Elections were held and UPC emerged victor, but it was alleged that UPC had stolen the victory and results were contested. This led to political conflicts with a vengeance. This saw the Birth of Museveni’s Bush War and Kayira’s Uganda Freedom Movement (UFM). While Museveni was in the Luweero Triangle, Kayira stationed his troops in Mpigi District; and St. Mary’s College happened to have belonged to Mpigi (though now it is in Wakiso District).
St. Mary’s College entered the arena of armed struggle following Kayira’s attack on Malire (Lubiri) Army Barracks, which he mounted from around Rubaga Cathedral in 1981. Kayira’s casualties were ferried along Lake Victoria to Kisubi Hospital. Apparently, intelligence was leaked to Night Kulabako the Sub-County Chief at Katabi and the Commander of the 6th Battalion, that the wounded Kayira men had received treatment at Brother Kafeero’s Kisubi Hospital. It was alleged that Brother Kafeero was harbouring Kayira’s men in the school. At this time, Kayira’s men were within about 5 kilometers in the forests and jungle surrounding the shores of Lake Victoria. Not only was the Headmaster called a fool; he was also labeled an enemy of the country. That he was running a Hospital where Kayira’s men were treated, printing Munno and Musizi where articles criticizing the government were run. That he was soon to face the arm of government. (Indeed he was later forced to go to exile to Kenya)
On November 6, 1981 Teo Nalonga who was 6 months pregnant; a nurse at Kisubi Hospital and wife of Mr Kaweesi (a Quartermaster at St. Mary’s College Kisubi and Chairman of the Democratic Party branch of Kawuku) was arrested and interrogated by torturing. Night Kulabako and the soldiers who were involved in the torture wanted to know from Teo the whereabouts of Mr Kaweesi. The soldiers were holding her legs and feet and Night tossing herself on the pregnant belly! Later on, Teo died! The report of the Postmortem, which was done at Entebbe Hospital, indicated that the cause of death was a ruptured uterus, which led to a stillbirth. These were however warning signals to Brother Kafeero.
There was a letter dated January 7, 1982, which was dropped in the compound of Kisubi Parish Church that was summoning Brother Kafeero to Abaita Babiri (trading center 18 miles Entebbe Highway) for an important meeting. Three people who eventually became a thorn in the flesh of the Headmaster addressed the meeting. These were Sam Mugwisa, Paul Muwanga and Night Kulabako. In the meeting, Brother Kafeero was the topic of castigation and insult. There were questions like “What does that stupid fool Kafeero think he is?” “What does he consider himself to be?” “Is he bullet proof?” He has developed a habit of insulting His Excellence the President in his papers; Musizi and Munno. Earlier, it was alleged that Brother Kafeero threatened to kill Vice President Paulo Muwanga, Oyite Ojok and Tito Okello when he interfered with the Presidential convoy at Savio School… the matters went to court, Kafeero was implicated a collaborator with the rebels!
A week after the Abaita Babiri meeting, another letter was dropped at Kisubi Parish Church. The letter was instructing Brother Kafeero to summon all people on Kisubi Hill to be addressed. The institutions to be met included St. Mary’s College Kisubi, Savio School, Kisubi Hospital, Kisubi Parish, Mt. St. Teresa, Kisubi Boys. The others included St. Joseph Technical Institute, Kisubi Seminary and Gogonya Convent. All the parties assembled at St. Mary’s College main football pitch. Brother Kafeero was told in no uncertain terms that if ever Kisubi Hospital treated wounded rebels without the army being informed, a common grave would be dug in the football field and all would be buried alive!
Two days later, at around 6pm, a deafening artillery fire tore through the evening atmosphere. At that time Brother Kafeero was driving to Nabinonya (Lake Victoria side) to switch off the Water pump. He was stopped at Mt. St. Teresa Carpentry Shop where he found soldiers manning a roadblock. He was told that the road to Nabinonya had been mined. He also learnt that the soldiers were destined to SMACK. These soldiers ransacked Savio School staff. The members of staff of St. Mary’s College who had come to the scene for curiosity sake were beaten and told to empty their pockets “toa yote”.
Brother Kafeero turned around and instructed all the boys of St. Mary’s College to leave their dormitories and classrooms and assemble in an orderly manner in front of the school chapel, and that they were not to ask any questions nor answer any put to them. The soldiers arrived at the school, made a thorough search for the rebels and unfortunately found none.
Several days later, another letter was delivered to the Headmaster’s office instructing the Headmaster to take all the students to Katabi, the Sub-county chief’s office so that screening for the rebels is done. Brother Kafeero hired buses of Uganda Transport Company (UTC) to take all the students to Entebbe. No rebel was identified. The sheer number of boys in St. Mary’s College overwhelmed the Sub-county chief, and she simply told the Headmaster to get the students back to school.
As SMACK 75 Celebrations approached in June 1983, threats to the school continued. A day before the 75th Anniversary for SMACK, the Headmaster Brother Cosmas Kafeero and the Deputy Headmaster Mr. J. C. Kiwanuka received letters instructing them to leave in the interest of National Security!
The evening of that day, armed men heavily guarded the school premises. Brother Kafeero had to leave Uganda for Nairobi, Kenya. In the meantime, Honourable Ssebaana Kizito (a Democratic Party MP) brought this matter to the attention of Parliament, but the decision was never to be reversed.
When Brother Kafeero was expelled from Uganda, 24 hours before the D-Day of the 75 years’ Celebrations for SMACK, it was the Late Mr Moro, Managing Director of Stirling, Honourable Ssebaana Kizito, Mr Ssemanobe (Operation’s Manager, Uganda General Merchandise Ltd), who fundraised Kenya Shillings 20,000 which helped him to pay the fees for his sister and 7 nieces and nephews, whom he used to support through offering his services as a teacher in various schools. After meeting the fees, the balance of the money helped him start off life as a refugee in Kenya.
Brother Peter Kazekulya Headmaster (1983-1986) says, “The country as a whole was experiencing the effects of political instability and civil war. The College had its share of these, and the climax was the Liberation war of January 1986, when the College became a battlefield, which obliged me together with over 600 students to flee the school for three days inclusive of nights. The effects of that war are the death of one student and the destruction of one dormitory,” says Brother Peter. The Brother further says, “I remember, those years were indeed very difficult and I can say that, ‘the hand of God was there’ to sustain the entire College community.
The story is original as told to me toward St. Mary's College Centenary celebrations as I worked on the Centenary magazine as editor.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
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