(Picture: President Idi Amin addressing the UN General Assembly in the Luganda dialect on 5th Oct 1975. The first – and only?- African leader to have ever spoken on this international podium in an African language. In reality he is considered by most Ugandans as “the one leader who truly loved his country” & “the most patriotic president Uganda ever had”. Photo credit: UN public archives)
A few days ago, a journalist (names withheld) from Uganda’s leading newspaper The New Vision, asked that I write a book about my father, and he specifically added that “for the book to be acceptable, I should not whitewash every taint”
First of all, the word “acceptable” automatically means that there is some form of intolerant censorship of certain political views about Idi Amin.
Secondly, it also means that the available story about him is plagued by lies.
Lastly, it means that for the book to be “accepted”, I shouldn’t attempt to debunk all these lies. I should leave them in there as is.
The widely circulated history of Amin is therefore deliberately false and sensationalist so that infamous Fake News can help themselves sell their newspapers and their fictitious books at the expense of an individual’s repute and integrity. A leader whom it has become their norm to try to ridicule and lie about, and that is the only narrative they want to read.
In conclusion, asking me to knowingly include their nonsense in a possible new book is clearly a sign of desperate individuals who really need me to stop expressing my honest views about my father. An attempt to use me to justify all their incredible deliberate falsehoods. And they know that the crap can be best made to sound as truth if it is also written by none other than Amin’s own son himself in his future book, right?
But then, what if I write my fathers history in my own usual way and the book becomes very successful?
I have been writing about President Idi Amin for the last 10 years. I know very well what kind of stories the media prefers about him, and which ones they will go to great lengths to silence.
However, this is the first time that I am seeing political censorship being openly forwarded by a Ugandan media professional as the primary method of how history is written.
When I was training young investigative journalists a decade ago, I never came across such practice in the manuals.
Therefore slander appears to be the secret unspoken rule in the corridors of the media in regards to any writing about my father President Idi Amin. And it is quite telling that he never responded against the media persecution.
The media which is supposed to be truthful and professional, plus have an even higher degree of tolerance and greater respect for free speech, is itself actually basking in malicious slander and intolerance against certain political actors, and censoring genuine peoples views about their beloved leader.
In Uganda, this secret censorship has clearly been in existence since 1979 when my father left the country and his enemies now felt free to enforce their views against him using primarily the media. And this censorship and coercion against free speech by the people in regards to Amin has gone completely unchallenged by any freedom of conscience principles or professional journalism ethics since then.
The very media that publishes fake sensational headlines of cannibalism, and heads in the fridge. My own brother was once said to have been eaten alive by my father. I hope one day he comes to visit the media organizations that have been writing that story for the last 4 decades without even checking its veracity or inquiring with the family.
A secret well-coordinated method of malicious slander championed by my fathers political enemies (the infamous genocidal UNLA group including Obote, Museveni and others) the people who also took over the local media’s editorial policies, and brought with them that bigoted intolerant behavior which persists to this day.
The same chaps who claim to be pan-Africanists yet they are the only indigenous people in the world who can be found regurgitating imperialist excuses to mourn the racist, exploitative, segregative and abusive colonial economy like the one Amin rightly handed back to indigenous Ugandans in 1972, thereby founding the real Ugandan economy and more importantly, founding the countries economic independence.
He achieved this rather than have the people of Uganda perpetually serve the British whose economic model in Africa only enriched themselves and their imported cronies, a social class that for decades of colonialism had deliberately prevented indigenous Ugandan entrepreneurs from owning or running businesses, thereby blocking Ugandans from attempting to uplift themselves from poverty.
The elders can recall how at that time the main Kampala road was mainly white, exclusively for foreign colonialists, even after independence.
Any African seen walking in the capital city’s central business district could only be their Ugandan porter, their Ugandan cleaner, or their Ugandan housemaid following their families from behind as they happily shopped on the main street.
Compare that to how all the countries streets and properties have today seen more equality and Ugandans are now able to engage in all levels of entrepreneurship, public administration, and many other previously segregated professions. This is all thanks to Idi Amin.
What about all the major developments that he initiated in the banking sector, airline industry, railways, public transport across the country both on land, air and in Lake Victoria, food security, fuel reserves, roads, new commercial buildings, quality affordable education, reliable health services, improvements in a world class hotel industry and tourism services, competitive sports at the continental and international level, modernization of rural agriculture, proper management of cooperative unions and government enterprises, women emancipation, plus countless other community projects around the country that would have never been securely in the hands of indigenous Ugandans without his decisive intervention?
Where are all of those development projects now?
Uganda was nowhere in the world map before Idi Amin. But then it is specifically the unscrupulous media which ensured that his outstanding pro-African legacy towards his people and the people of this continent, plus his incredible development record with little assistance from any development partners, that record has literally been buried alive.
Meanwhile they heap praise on the subsequent genocidal corrupt regimes which have consistently squandered, looted, and mismanaged everything that President Idi Amin struggled to build for the people of Uganda and Africa in general.
They are now struggling to re-establish the national airline and the national railways that they looted, mismanaged and left to collapse, yet they found them here after Idi Amin created these important strategic companies that saw national pride soar back then.
For the record, in 1972 the deportees attempted to bribe President Amin with a truck full of cash (in US Dollars, British Pounds, Uganda Shillings and even Indian rupees) but he publicly exposed their corrupt attempt and sent all the cash to state coffers for the people of Uganda.
Something unheard of to this day.
Surely today’s corrupt politicians do not have even a fraction of the integrity required to take such a stand. They would instead publicly call it the proverbial “manna from heaven”.
In their media corridors, the fake Amin books like “Dungeons of Nakasero” are more likely to get immediate “acceptance”. It is packed with the lies they want. So is the corrupt Henry Kyemba who fled with $7 million dollars of public health money, and once he arrived in London, he wrote his book “State of Blood” simply to avoid facing justice in Uganda, and thereby quickly get asylum in the UK with the lies that the British government wanted .
Petty crooks is what these people really are. To them, that is what is “acceptable”.
Now isn’t the media therefore playing politics while quietly suppressing the voices that they disagree with politically?
Sadly, the same media will then tell us that they stand for the principles of freedom of speech, and will even shout on all the roofs when their journalists are being clobbered, tortured, framed, jailed and/or murdered by Museveni henchmen as was the case during the infamous Arua by-elections a few months ago, or at Kiseka market protests against his regime.
These media people forget that they themselves actively participate in building this very culture of political media intolerance by also attempting to silence other political voices that they dislike, and they have been doing so in partnership with the same regime that is now clobbering them.
For example, how will someone like Mr. Museveni genuinely respect media professionalism and journalism ethics if he has previously successfully plotted against his political enemies in connivance with the same unethical media people?
For the record, to this day none of these media houses has provided me with the tally list of their claims that “Amin killed 500,000 people”.
I continue to ask for a list of incidents, location of incidents, and the number of people they claim he killed, per incident.
When I worked as a volunteer for UN peacekeeping in the Darfur conflict zone, that was the method we used to monitor and investigate all reported incidents in a conflict which has since been referred to as a genocide with an estimated 300,000 deaths and a million internally displaced citizens. It was not just concocting numbers in connivance with those who oppose the state.
More importantly, all those figures and detailed research are available to the public, including to the war crimes cases that are before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
So in regards to my father Idi Amin, the current widespread banana republic media and their Oboteism ideology dictates that if someone like Lumumba Amin is to publicly discuss about his fathers development achievements, or if we are to have any productive opinion about President Idi Amin published in our newspapers, a person like me first has to cook up some wild, vile, fictitious allegation like “I Saw Neighbours Eyeballs In My Fathers Breakfast”, and that is the kind of story that the media would find immediately “acceptable”, right?
I call on all media professionals to stop this obvious monkeyism and stand by the true ethics, values and principals of their noble, independent profession.
The symptoms many of these so-called elites currently present are those of being brainwashed by their own evil sentiments and malice against the most honest leader Uganda ever had. Some people see the truth, know the truth, but frantically act as if they believe their own lies which they now secretly enforce as the only acceptable reality, and this Lumumba son of his should play ball or else…