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Amin No More New Vision (Kampala) COLUMN August 19, 2003

IDI AMIN is dead, buried and will not come back to life. He should be forgotten. During his reign as president of Uganda, he plotted deaths. But death finally plotted against him. It is surprising, not that he is dead, but that death has snatched its erstwhile merchant. But although his death hit international and local headlines, it surprisingly has had no significant national appeal. Many Ugandans were more gravitated to Gaetano Kaggwa in the Big Brother Africa reality TV show and the Premier League than Amin's extinction. So politicians trying to spin pro-Amin sentiment are missing a point. The majority of Ugandans are not in the least interested or even disturbed by his death. While he was alive, these politicians never came out openly to associate with him. It's curious that after he is dead they are talking of the good things Amin did. Are they mocking the dead? Or are they as opportunists trying to ride on the back of the dead? Instead of praising the dead, they should praise the Government for not seeking his extradition, trying him in absentia and challenging Saudi Arabia for accommodating him. The Government instead supported some of the projects he started like the Old Kampala Mosque, the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council and the membership to the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC). Out of the OIC and the support of the Government, the Islamic University in Uganda, Mbale, has been set up. Just like it is callous for politicians to use Amin's death in a bid to discredit the Government, it is also wrong to give it a religious hue. Amin is not derided as a Muslim but a killer. His criminal acts violate the basic tenets of Islamic principles. As a ruthless despot, he contradicted Islam. But he is dead - neither a political nor a religious issue, dead forever.

Amin Hailed New Vision (Kampala) August 19, 2003

MBALE - The Islamic University in Uganda has hailed the late former president Idi Amin for his contribution which led to the establishment of the institution. On Sunday, a big crowd of Muslims comprising of lecturers, students and the local residents turned up at the University Mosque to attend memorial prayers. Terror alert KAMPALA - Police and military personnel have formed a security ring around Industrial Area where fuel depots are located, to prevent terror attacks. They have also maintained their presence at key installations in Kampala, Jinja and Entebbe including Nalubaale Hydro Electric Power Station, The New Vision has learnt. Arrow aid SOROTI - The people of Kaberamaido who reside in Kampala and Entebbe have donated 100 pairs of gumboots to the Arrow Group. The gumboots worth sh900,000 were on Saturday delivered by Kalaki MP Martin Orech, who said many members of the group had been operating without shoes. He said they had launched more activities to raise funds.

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