If an election was carried out between a dead Idi Amin and a living President Yoweri Museveni, the dead Amin would win, says a critic.
Idi Amin Dada (1923-28 – 16 August 2003) was the third President of Uganda, ruling from 1971 to 1979.
Amin joined the British colonial regiment, the King’s African Rifles, in 1946, serving in Kenya and Uganda.
Eventually, Amin held the rank of major general in the post-colonial Ugandan Army, and became its commander before seizing power in the military coup of January 1971, deposing Milton Obote.
He later promoted himself to field marshal while he was the head of state.
Charles Rwomushana, a former chief of political intelligence at State House, made the remarks Friday morning at NBS TV as the country celebrated the 53rd independence anniversary.
Rwomushana credited Amin’s regime for not throwing the country into a debt crisis.
“Amin’s regime didn’t leave any debts but since 1986 the government has borrowed a lot of money,” he said.
Rwomushana says Museveni’s regime has done alot of harm in Uganda that the next generations will have to “run where we have walked”.
“A state is a given authority over a given area. We are not in category of poor countries, but rather developing countries.”
He said the Americans fought a bloody war to get independence but Ugandans merely jumped up and down then got a flag.
He said the country now has secondary schools that are even better than Makerere University, the topmost institution in the country.
Political analyst, Mary Mutesi, however, disagrees with Rwomushana that Uganda was a failed state.
“It’s taken us a long time to remove the “Amin” tag from the country,” Mutesi said.
She said when Uganda offered amnesty to rebels in the north, the international community condemned it, but it ended up working.
“The pressure for independence in Uganda was more from the outside than the inside.”
She agreed Uganda’s independence was merely negotiated because unlike Kenya “we didn’t have many foreign settlers”.
“Saying that Uganda hasn’t made any strides is an insult to those who have dedicated their lives to the country,” she observed.
“You cannot divorce a country from its people nor the people from its country.”
She added: “We shouldn’t be playing the blame game, but should be looking for ways to move forward.”
She said to appreciate independence, one has to know the struggle for independence.
“Every nation in Africa fought for independence for different reasons.”