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President Museveni recounts how he smuggled his children into exile

In February 1981, just before he launched the 5-year guerilla war that catapulted him into power, Museveni devised a way of keeping his family safe.

President Yoweri Museveni snuck his children out of the country before he launched the 1980s guerilla offensive

Museveni needed to sneak his wife Janet and four children out of the country to Europe, where they would be out of danger.

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To pull this off, Museveni solicited the help of one of his friends Ernest Bagunda Kakwano, who at the time was in Nairobi.

Bagunda’s wife Alice was in Kampala. These two, Museveni says were the ones that helped him smuggle his family out of the county through Kenya.

Mr Bagunda passed away last week and was laid to rest at his home in Mbarara.

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At the funeral, Museveni recounted to the mourners how the plan to secure his family was set.

Before the main plan could be executed, Janet and the children had to get out of the country. Alice Kakwano with support from her husband smuggled two of the children; Muhoozi who was 6 at the time and Natasha who was 4,” revealed the president.

She used the land border for this purpose. They crossed the border with Kakwano’s children and found him in Nairobi where he was waiting for them at the Hilton hotel.”

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Meanwhile, Janet remained behind with Patience and their last born Diana who was only 7 months.

Later on, Museveni says his wife left him in Makindye and went to the airport with the two children, departing for Sweden.

The following day, on February 5th 1981, Museveni and his colleagues convened at his house in Makindye to plan for the launch of the war.

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On February 6th, they left the house in a lorry and carried out a successful raid on Kabamba barracks where they managed to secure the first cache of weapons used to start the protracted 5-year war against the government of Milton Obote.

In his speech which was delivered by Minister Jim Muhwezi, Museveni said he was eternally grateful to the family of Kakwano.

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