Uganda Today: A photo of Uganda’s former First Lady Maama Miria Obote smiling with President Idi Amin who had just overthrown her husband Milton Obote a few days earlier (January 1971) is enough to exhibit tolerance which was synonymous with president Idi Amin.
The photo was taken when Amin paid her a visit to reassure her that nothing would happen against her, or Obote’s children and Obote’s relatives. Indeed, Amin kept his promise to her.
What Happened When Obote Took Power Again
But when Obote and his tribalist cronies retook power 8 years later, the slaughter of Amins relatives, the mass murder of any Ugandan from Amin’s ethnic group, and even of any Muslim simply for sharing the same faith as him, became a normal occurrence of the so-called “Ugandan exilees” who had returned alongside the Tanzanian army in 1979 who claimed to liberate the country from tyrrany.
Ugandans agree that this persecution of a particular religious minority continues even today since April 1979.
I remember former Tanzanian soldiers whom Amin once met in Saudi Arabia during the Hajj, narrated to him how they themselves were completely shocked at the madness these rebels and Ugandan terrorists exhibited once in power. Our regional neighbours even started questioning what their soldiers had died for in fighting Amin?
In the history of this country, Ugandans have never experienced a more tragic period than when Amin’s enemies returned with all their tribalism, anarchy, human rights abuses, abductions, mysterious dissappearances, senseless killings, genocide, ethnic cleansing and dangerous religious hatred against any Ugandan they disliked. All the while talking about protecting the very values that they completely trampled yet they purported to to uphold those values in all their speeches.
That is why I call on Ugandans to follow their leaders’ actions, not just their words. And never forget that sad episode as it is a lesson for all Ugandans to remember at all times going forward.
Once while Amin was listening to the radio from exile in Saudi Arabia, a British researcher interviewed on the BBC said:” If you thought he was bad, what is happening today is beyond anything I have ever seen!”
It is for this reason that I am not easily fooled by anyone who claims to fight against dictatorship and human rights abuses. I even see the signs in many of them. For they are scammers using those eloquent words they learnt at school simply as a political ladder to their sinister goal. But we know what they want once at the top.
Their true colors are retribution and revenge with incredible colloquial excuses for their heinous actions.
From “it’s our turn to eat” to “ensi egula mirambo!” to “where were you when we were fighting!”
All these sayings are public knowledge. The true level of thinking of many of our politicians over the history of this country regardless of their education level or the values they claim they stand for. All you have to do is listen to them when they are talking in their vernacular amongst themselves to know the real beings inside and the real hidden plans.
And the few who could be honest are all surrounded by dangerous tribalists who are waiting to have power and then unleash themselves on ordinary Ugandans.
Luckily, there are many of these ordinary Ugandans who are monitoring this particular threat. The reason why history is the best teacher.
The biggest political and socio-economic catastrophy in this country, a calamity presided over by all the anti-Amin forces combined, should never be whitewashed from history as has been quietly done in the last few decades. Because it remains the best lesson for every Ugandan of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Everyone should carry their cross in the journey of this country!
This is extremely important for the future and for citizens. It should ensure that the people of this country will always live together in peace, love, unity, and economic prosperity.
Incidentally, during the Obote II presidency (1980’s), Milton Obotes’ own ageing father once reportedly lamented, saying that “Even Amin took care of me better than my own son who is the president today!”
Signed Lumumba Amin
Uganda, East Africa.