The Story Of Elizabeth Maumbe, Wife Of National Resistance Movement Party Fighter In Uganda

By Fred Wambede


A month ago, the ruling National Resistance Movement party lost one of its founding members, Jack Maumbe Mukhwana, your husband. To begin with, what kind of person was he?

My husband was honest, principled and hardworking. Those values were embedded on my husband’s entire life. I believe that was also responsible for his political problems. If not in exile, he would be in prison. He was not willing to give up until he got what he wanted and that is why he lived a better part of his years on earth fighting and struggling for a better country.

On January 22, 1973, at your house on Plot 49, Malukhu Estate in Mbale Town, Idi Amin’s soldiers surrounded the house. It is said Mr Yoweri Museveni, his colleagues Mwesigwa Black, Wunku Mpima aka Kazimoto and another who was recently identified as Patrick Bukeni, were inside the house. What really happened?

It’s true, but I don’t want to be dragged further into it because it will be politicised. I request that we do not discuss such an issue. It has been well written about and details can be found in books that have been authored.

But what do you remember from events of that day?

I had just come back from school, North Road Primary School, where I was teaching then, and found them in the house. I was hungry, so Mr Museveni sent me out to buy sugar and bread. What happened after that, I hope you know everything.

(Editor’s note: Idi Amin’s soldiers surrounded the house and demanded the occupants, including Museveni, to move out and identify themselves. Museveni managed to flee. But two of his colleagues; Mwesigwa Black and Kazimoto, were not as lucky as they were killed in the ensuing gunfire. The third person, identified as Patrick Bukeni, managed to escape through the back door.)

Where there any other people in the house?

Yes, my two children.

Did the soldiers question them?

No, they were neither injured nor interrogated. The soldiers left them untouched and I also escaped uninjured. I even talked to the soldiers outside (before they interrogated her guests), little knowing that they would become violent.

Where was the late Maumbe during the attack?

He was not at home. He was out on his political voyages. He was always out on political missions, but that did not stop him from being a nice and caring husband.

Later in 1973, I am reliably informed, you were detained at Makindye Barracks for three months by the Amin government. Was it in relation to the Museveni incident at your house?

When Amin’s government failed to get my husband, who had then run to Tanzania, they decided to arrest his friends and relatives. Many were arrested, including the late Masaba Natalo, the late Yusufu Wadenga, my father and myself.

On that day, I was picked from my home in Malukhu Estate and transferred to Makindye Barracks. I was accused of marrying a rebel.


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