President Yoweri Museveni has revealed plans to strengthen the historical military cooperation between Uganda and Mozambique by funding infrastructure and income generating projects in Mozambique that will help the military and veterans.
The President made the revelation as he concluded a three day state visit in Mozambique where he among other things, visited the Montepuez military barracks in the province of Cabo Delgado where FRONASA fighters got their initial training.
In 1976, after Mozambique had become independent, then President, Samora Machel offered the Montepuez military facility to Museveni to train the combatants.
Museveni says the group, 28 in number formed the nucleus of what would become the military force that toppled Idi Amin and later formed the nucleus of the National Resistance Army from which the current national army was built.
“It was nostalgic visiting the town of Montepuez in the province of Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique and specifically touring the military barracks where 28 of our original FRONASA fighters got their initial training,” Museveni wrote in a statement on Saturday.
Now, Uganda plans to build a technical school and other facilities in Montepuez to benefit the military barracks as well as fund a large poultry project to benefit the FRELIMO veterans who supported the struggle.
“In the military barracks, we shall build either a dormitory or lecture theater to demonstrate the practical solidarity between our people,” Museveni said.
He said that he and the other surviving Ugandan military officers that were part of FRONASA including Gen Salim Saleh (Rtd), Lt Gen Ivan Koreta and Col Bosco Omure have decided to work closely with the veterans of Montepuez.
“They have agreed to set up a large-scale poultry project that will be integrated with crop growing,” he said.
Prior to leaving Mozambique, President Museveni handed USD 26,000 (Shs 96.2 million) to Mozambique’s Minister of Defence to kickstart the poultry venture.
“We are offering $26,000 which I have passed on to the Minister of Defence. The veterans will access this money once they are organized and ready,” Museveni said.
The same way the veterans led the struggle against colonialism by the Portuguese in Mozambique, Museveni said, they must lead the struggle to eradicate poverty.
Veterans must be the example to peasants, he said.
He hailed Mozambique’s Ministry of Defence for resolving to preserve the Montepuez barracks as a museum in his memory as well as the locals for the numerous gifts they gave him and his entourage.