WOI Stephen Sempagala (aka Sgt Kifulugunyu) laid to rest (at Kassanda?). Never met him, but knew about him and have contemplated on his experience. Arguably, the most eirenic and humorous NRA veteran. He had various gifts in the NRA struggle as a well trained commando, singer and morale raiser. He was also a Muganda, which is significant. He did not go far in education. Stopped in P.6, but P.6 of these days was like S.2 of today. Besides, he must have continued to learn outside of books or classroom. He was a Sgt when he joined the NRA in 1982 and remained at the same rank until his death.
He was a “casualty”, having survived narrowly when a bullet tore through his skull. He said the doctor told him he must never allow himself to get too angry, as that would hasten his death. So, he always tried to be happy and his camaraderie with his friends and people in the village helped. But he was a sad man. He remembered many friends that he lost during or after the war. And his close friends said the immediate cause of his death war alcohol – well, he was drunk, caught up in a heavy down pour, and was found dead.
The young soldier who spoke on behalf of the UPDF said Sempagala would be buried with the high military honour that he deserved. Of course!
If Sempagala knew; if he only knew! He had more interesting stories to tell about his own life, about soldiering under Amin, about training in Libya and fighting in Chad, about his early exploits in Congo Kinsasha (DRC), about his surrender to the liberation forces in 1979, about his imprisonment at Luzira, about his escape from there, and about the bush war than many senior former NRA soldiers who have written books about the war. All he needed was a good guide, someone who could either write his biography or help him to write his autobiography.