Forty years after Idi Amin’s bloody regime ended, Ugandans are divided over their perceptions of their former leader. For the elderly, the eight years he spent running the country evoke bitter memories of terror, torture and massacre. But younger people associate it with more positive questions, such as the constructive or national question. Our correspondents went to Uganda to follow in Amin’s footsteps.
Investigating the legacy of former Ugandan President Idi Amin Dada (1971-1979) is a journey into a brutal phase in the African nation, where Hollywood was inspired by Kevin MacDonald’s “The Last King of Scotland”, played by Forrest Whitaker as the Ugandan dictator. A mysterious character, sometimes funny and lovable, yet paranoid, violent and ruthless.
Presumably, journalists who have visited Uganda for this report will find compelling evidence of this character, but only the elderly remember that period that laments the dictatorial period of instability and massacre. Most of today’s youth hold a different view.
Uganda, the second smallest country in the world
With 80 percent of its population under the age of 30, Uganda is now the second-youngest country in the world by age of population. Young people only know the current president, Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power since 1986. Uganda is currently experiencing the longest period of political stability since independence in 1962. The country is a stable state in troubled East Africa. Yet millions of young people are looking to find a job while the size of the population continues to increase. The government is highly dependent on oil production for the future.
Some of the most important infrastructure was built in the capital, Kampala at the time, at a time when Uganda was leading the world in coffee production. Many politicians still endorse this economic legacy today, such as Pastor Abboud Bouaniqa, the presidential candidate who gave us a few minutes of interviews.