Idi Amin is dead

Sunday August 17 2003

Former president Mr Idi Ami Dada is dead. Amin, 78, passed away at exactly 7 a.m. Ugandan time on Saturday.

Sources said that Amin's latest wife, whom he married a few months ago, was at his bedside when he died.

Her name was not disclosed.

Amin's family members in Kampala declined to comment on the death of the former leader.

They said one of his sons, Mr Jaffer Amin working with DHL courier company, is the only one authorised to talk about his father's death.

Amin had been in a coma at King Faisal Specialist Hospital in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah since July 18.


He was suffering from hypertension, fatigue, kidney failure and high blood pressure caused by his being overweight.

Family sources said last month that Amin was weighing 220 kgs. However, doctors in Uganda disputed the figure and said it was too high.

The former leader's life has been hanging on a haemo-dialysis machine, which acts as an external kidney.

The Monitor newspaper reported on Monday that the Amin family was looking for a kidney donor to save his life.

Two prospective donors had earlier been rejected after their bodies were found to be incompatible with that of the former leader.

Amin has lived in exile in Saudi Arabia for more than 20 years.

He toppled former president Mr Apollo Milton Obote in a coup on January 25 1971.
He ruled until April 11, 1979 when he was overthrown by a combined force of Ugandan exiles and the Tanzanian army.

Obote regained power after the disputed elections in December 1980, only to be overthrown again by the military in July 1985.
He has since lived in exile in Zambia.

When contacted yesterday, Obote declined to comment on Amin's death. "No comment," he told Sunday Monitor by phone from Zambia.

Obote had earlier told the press that he wanted Amin to live longer so that he could answer for the "sins he committed".

Another former president, Mr Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa, said he was sorry for Amin's family and the country at large for having lost an ex-president.

"Beyond that I have nothing to say but would be happy if the president allowed the body to be brought back," he said.

Amin is blamed for the death of about 500,000 people during his 8-year regime.
After his overthrow, Amin flew to Libya and later to Iraq before settling in Saudi Arabia.

Amin has lived a quiet life in the desert kingdom with his son, Mr Mwanga Amin, 31, on a monthly stipend of $1500 provided by his hosts.

When his condition deteriorated, a few months ago, his other son, Mr Wasswa Amin, flew from the US to join him.

His wife, Ms Madina Amin, also flew to Saudi Arabia on July 23 to attend to him. She was joined by another son Hussein Amin.

Amin is survived by four wives and 45 children. The wives are Madina, Ms Sarah Amin, Ms Norah Amin and the newly wed who was at his bedside.

Amin's fifth wife, Ms Kay Amin died under mysterious circumstances in the mid 70s and her body was dismembered.

Sarah operates a restaurant in East London. Norah first fled to DR Congo in 1979 but her current whereabouts are unknown.

Mr Moses Amin, who the British press once alleged had been killed and eaten by his father, lives in France.

Kato is in the US while Wasswa Amin, who was in Saudi Arabia when his father died, converted from Islam to Christianity.

Mr Ali Amin and Ms Maimuna Amin are in Uganda.

Most of Amin's children are in France.

Aug 17, 2003 End of bad chapter, say Uganda Indians
Nadduli wants state burial for Amin

Idi Amin's death marks the end of a bitter chapter, says Mr Dalal Murtuza.
Dalal is Chairman of the Uganda Indian Association that brings together about 15,000 persons of Indian origin.

Addressing soldiers, in Tororo, in 1972, Amin announced the expulsion of about 80,000 Asians, accusing them of economic exploitation.

He gave them 90 days to leave Uganda.

But Dalal, said on phone yesterday that many Indians are not interested in recounting the events of 1972 because they resurrect bitter memories.
"The chapter has closed," he said.

He, however, said that the Indians have no ill feelings towards the deceased.
"We are grateful to government that it invited our people back to do business," said Dalal,

He added that they would not mind whether Amin was accorded a state burial.
"The government is the best judge on the issue of burial. Whatever it decides, we have no problem with it," he said.

President Yoweri Museveni recently said there would be no state burial for Amin if he died.

No curse - Nadduli Luweero LC-V Chairman, Haji Abdul Nadduli said that those condemning Amin, after his death, have committed an abominable act.

"According to Islamic teachings, you can't condemn the dead because they can't defend themselves. You have to forgive Amin for his sins and leave judgement to God," Nadduli said on phone yesterday.

He said that some of those condemning Amin have no moral authority because they have also committed mistakes in the past.

He said it would be bad for history to repeat itself - if government did not accord Amin a state burial, just like former president, Dr Milton Obote did.

He denied King Fredrick Mutesa II, the Kabaka of Buganda, a state burial, in 1969.

Nadduli said some of the people allegedly killed by Amin's notorious State Research Bureau, died at the hands of Ugandans who used to destabilise the country - from Tanzania.

He said people like Akena Adoko, the head of General Service Unit under Obote I, confessed to sabotaging Amin's regime, from Tanzania.