In 1973, Yasin Dauda Kasibante started his service to the country in then Uganda’s Air force of under the late President Idi Amin Dada. He had a jig to fly helicopters but after diagnosis with a heart problem, he was advised to restrict himself only to mechanics given the fact that he held a Diploma in Civil Engineering (Aviation) from the Ethiopian School of Aviation.
His service however was cut short following the overthrow of President Idi Amin and Yasin was put in detention in Luzira Prison for 4 years from 1979 to 1984 and it was in prison that he met and associated with other political detainees who were being accused of undermining the Uganda People’s Congress government.
“I later realised that they had been recruited by a man called Museveni and had been trained in Munduli (Tanzania) and Oyite Ojok had suspected them and thus had them arrested. They included the Late Lt. Col Frank Guma, the Late Lt. Col Napoleon Rutambika, and Col. Sam Kakuru among others,” he recalled.
Following his association with these political detainees, Yasin later joined them upon his release in 1984 though he didn’t join the army. He was appointed an NRA/M mobiliser Mbarara in 1987 under the very first Special District Administrator Mr Sarapio Karashani but reporting to the National Political Commissar then Dr Kiiza Besigye.
Two years later in 1989, Yasin was transferred to Kalangala District as the In charge of Ssese Islands before he was again returned to Mbarara in 1991 where he trained the first group of the Local Defence Units (LDUs) together with the then District Internal Security Officer (DISO) Major. Rubaramira Ruranga.
In 1994, Yasin Dauda Kasibante contested in a 9 man race to represent Mbarara in the Constituent Assembly Delegation; a race the Eng. Winnie Byanyima won. Other contestants included Asuman Tibesigwa who was Mbarara Municipality’s first Mayor, Hon. John Ntimbo; and then State Minister for Education, a UPC stalwart Abbas Balinda among others.
Still nursing his loss, Yasin met an old Schoolmate from Nyakasura Maj. Gen Benon Biraaro who apparently “recommended” him to the President and I was appointed Assistant Special District Administrator Ntungamo in charge of Rubaare Sub-District.
“I served there for only four months before President Museveni promoted & transferred me now as Central Government Representative to Mubende District to man Mityana Sub-district and here I served for 3 years.”
Yasin continued his service in Mpigi District as an Assistant District Administrator in charge of Kasangati present day Wakiso district before he was shifted now as Deputy Resident District Commissioner to Kabarole District specifically to man Kitagwenda currently Kamwenge District and it was then that the President approved Yasin as full RDC and moved him to Rakai District in 2005 later to Tororo and Apac Districts where he was relieved of his duties in the recently RDC reshuffles.
Key Achievements/highlights from his service:
Alongside UPC’s Woman Member of Parliament for Apac Hon.Lucy Ajok, Yasin managed to improve on the state of roads in Apac District. The duo held a meeting with the then Executive Director of Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) Mr Peter Selibakita who released resources to the tune of Shs80million through the Northern Uganda regional Offices in Lira under Eng. Sam Muhoozi to work on the roads.
The roads aside, Apac Hospital which was constructed by the Late President Milton Obote in the 1960s had been in a desperate state for a long time but after a meeting with Officials from the Ministry of Health specifically the Permanent Secretary Dr. Asuman Lukwago and the Director Medical Services Ms Ruth Achieng, Apac hospital made it to the list approved for rehabilitation with funding from the African Development Bank.
“I want to brag a little that while I was in Tororo, I led to the first security delegation to Eldoret, Kenya where several matters of national importance were discussed. That should qualify as a highlight.”
Together with the MP for Maruzi county Hon Maxwell Akora, Yasin managed to lobby for investment from Saudi Arabia that will help develop the 68 Square mile Maruzi ranch where they intend to do practice commercial beef farming and exportation. The ranch has been abandoned “redundant” for a long period of time.
In issues of corruption, Yasin discovered that resources meant for service delivery are often mismanaged by those meant to provide the services themselves. In addition to this observation, government has taken no steps whatsoever to clean up the civil service where corruption is “deeply rooted.”
“The money meant for schools, roads, hospitals is stolen through procurement procedures by some selfish politicians in connivance with some district technical staff and they walk free,” Yasin added.
Having cooperated with several members of the opposition to accomplish some of the projects mentioned above, Yasin says that not all members of the opposition are “anti-development” like many politicians like to put it.
“Being in the opposition doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be blind of whatever good the Government has done,” he says emphasizing the need for the Opposition to appreciate what the NRM has achieved for Uganda in order to critically restrain themselves from propagating unachievable philosophies.
He appeals to the incumbent government to understand the need for political dialogue with the opposition parties if meaningful democracy is to be achieved.
We the relieved RDC’s are hoping for the timelypayments of our ex-gratia to enable us start a new livelihood.
About Yasin Dauda Kasibante:
Born on the 24th of December 1956 in Nyamitanga Division, Yasin currently leaves in Isingiro District. He is widowed with four Children. He attended Nyakasura School and after O’level, he was enticed by the lifestyle of his brother the Late Warrant Officer Twaha Bukenya of Para School present day Mengo Lubiri who was a Sergeant Major. His life philosophy is that there’s no loss if you entrust your destiny with God and he believes this is what has kept him going in life.
He holds a Diploma in Civil Engineering from the Ethiopian School of Aviation in Addis Ababa and is said to have had a stint to fly helicopters until when doctors recommended that he remains in the mechanical wing following a heart problem which had earlier seen him taken to India for two years of treatment funded by the President of Uganda; Yoweri Museveni.
He regrets having had to join Amin’s Army yet had successfully passed his O’level with a clear dream to be a surveyor; a childhood dream he perceived from his Late Father who was an Engineer in the then Works Ministry. He thinks if he hadn’t joined the army, then he wouldn’t have been arrested and detained for four years of his youthful life.
Yasin insists that he is still fit and if he is called from retirement back to active duty, he would continue his diligent service. For a small-scale farmer, he says it is difficult to join active politics following their recent commercialisation of politics but in the future, he may consider the option.