Amidst challenges related to the venue and budgetary constraints, the organizers of the inaugural memorial lecture for President Idi Amin Dada have affirmed their determination to proceed with the event on September 1 in Arua City.
The decision comes in the wake of uncertainty, with the acting vice chancellor of Muni University, Associate Prof Simon Aguma Katrini, stating that the university was not consulted regarding hosting the event.
President Idi Amin, who governed Uganda from 1971 to 1979 and hailed from Koboko District, passed away on August 16, 2003, in exile in Saudi Arabia, where he was subsequently laid to rest.
During a press briefing in Arua City, Mr. Hassan Kaps Fungaroo, the Public Relations Officer of the memorial lecture committee, expressed the committee’s aspiration to revise the portrayal of the former ‘dictator,’ whose rule was often depicted as ruthless.
Fungaroo emphasized the necessity of correcting historical inaccuracies that have cast a negative light on the people of West Nile due to Amin’s deeds.
Fungaroo highlighted aspects of Amin’s legacy that have received insufficient attention. He cited Amin’s establishment of the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU), including plans for a main campus in Arivu, Arua.
Fungaroo also pointed out Amin’s contributions, such as constructing satellites, airports, roads, and embassies—achievements often overshadowed by his negative reputation.
To counter the unfavorable image and carry forward Amin’s legacy, plans are in motion to establish a research center in Arua dedicated to the memory of President Idi Amin.
Mr. Habib Asega, a committee member, underscored Amin’s passion for education despite being considered illiterate.
Asega stressed Amin’s proactive stance against corruption and advocated for a balanced historical narrative that recognizes both mistakes and accomplishments.
Reflecting on national reconciliation, President Yoweri Museveni addressed the need to forgive past leaders for their errors during the reburial ceremony of the late Brig. Charles Arube in Koboko on June 5, 2013.
Museveni emphasized that individual mistakes should not be attributed to entire tribes, religions, or families, drawing parallels between Amin’s legacy in West Nile and the responsibility of addressing personal accountability.