31 January 2013

Uganda: Idi Aministration Misses Out On Honour

Field Marshal Idi Amin Dada was not honoured like other former president of Uganda because he left a bad legacy, the chairperson of the National Awards and Medals Committee, Gen Elly Tumwine has explained.

All Uganda's former Presidents were yesterday awarded the 50th Uganda Independence Medal, during celebrations to mark the NRM 27th anniversary celebrations held at Nyakasanga Playgrounds in Kasese district. President Yoweri Museveni also received the medal, alongside 43 other personalities.

A total of 3,500 Ugandans will receive the award, which recognizes individuals for their outstanding service and loyalty to the country since independence.

Tumwine told New Vision that Amin was not recognized because of the bad legacy of his leadership. "The medal is for people who served honourably. Amin had so many cases," Tumwine said.

He said the committee examined the personality of all individuals to be bestowed with the award, and people of high moral standing.

Amin was the third President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. He seized power in a military coup in January 1971, deposing Milton Obote.

All the other former presidents, including Sir Edward Mutesa, Obote, Yusuf Lule, Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa and Gen. Tito Okello, were awarded the Medal.

In West Nile, political and opinion leaders expressed displeasure over Amin's exclusion.

Joseph Banga, the Koboko town council Chairman said President Museveni has for long been against Amin.

"I very well remember the president's remarks he made on hearing news about the former presidents death clearly stating that he would never even use a stick to touch the body of the deceased president in case it were brought to Uganda," Banga said.

The Koboko district NRM Veterans league publicity secretary, Yobuta Candiga noted that despite his shortfalls, Amin made commendable achievements for the country.

Jaffar Alekua, an opinion leader in Arua town said under Amin, there was less unemployment, poverty and corruption.

"President Museveni has no reason to condemn Amin in totality because his regime too has weaknesses," he said.

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