Idi Amin’s memory still lives on in Arua
Written by Lindah Nduwumwami on February 11, 2019
Idi Amin Dada was a household name in the 1970s.
Amin was the third president of Uganda from 1971 to 1979, he became well known for his violation of human rights, for causing the collapse of the country’s economy, and for causing social disorganization.
He was feared then and now, even when he is long dead, no one dares to talk about him even in the region where he hailed from plus his close relatives.
Amin was born sometime between 1925 and 1927 in Koboko, West Nile Province, in Uganda to a Kakwa father and his over bearing character was detected early during his childhood.
“After three days on earth, he was left outside in the night, those days, lions were roaming but they did not eat him. That’s when his father said that he was going to be a strong man,” said one of his relatives.
We visited his residence in Tanganyika, Dadamu sub county, Arua District just about 3km from the Arua town
His home is located just behind the airfield which he helped build when he was the president of Uganda.
On a chunk of land that harbored once the greatest man in the history of Uganda stands a humble house that we learned was built while he was in exile.
Moro Hassan Ramathan, the care taker of what was left by Amin, said that they have had a fair share at rejection and discrimination by those who feel that their father was a danger to humanity
“We just walk away. People say mean words to us. They said that our father used to eat people, but that’s a fallacy,” Ramathan said.
Most of Amin’s property including his home, then, were vandalized during the war of liberation in 1979.
“His big house was just there but was destroyed in the war. After the war, he put this one up,” Ramathan said.
In Arua Municipality, on Koboko road, there’s a street that was named after Idi Amin, and this was done to keep his name resounding.
His family is building a school and have set up a small peyote in his memory.