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Idi Amin memorial lecture in doubt

Muni University denies offering venue for Amin lecture but organisers insist

Arua, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The management of Muni University in Arua city has denied reports that it had offered to host the proposed inaugural memorial Lecture for Former President Idi Amin.

Early last week, a group of concerned local leaders and stakeholders from the West Nile sub region and those living in the Diaspora announced a proposal to organize the first ever Idi Amin memorial lecture and prayers to honor the contribution of the former president to Uganda and the entire African continent.

According to the local organising committee, the memorial lecture which will be held under the theme; “The way President Idi Amin is Remembered Should Be Re-examined Given the Negative Branding it has”, is meant to provide people with adequate information about the contribution of the former head of state.

“Based on his social background, rise to power and work as some military personnel, president of Uganda and commander in chief of the armed forces, chairman OAU and his contributions to the development of Uganda, patriotism national,” reads the concept note for the memorial lecture.

The memorial lecture is scheduled to take place on Friday September 1 , 2023 at Muni University and the keynote speaker is expected to be Julius Sello Malema, the President Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party in South Africa. H.E Jamal Mohammad Hassan Al-Madani, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Uganda is expected to grace the event as the guest of honour. Meanwhile, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, the minister for National Guidance and ICT will be the chief guest according to the organizers of the event.

However, Associate Professor Simon Anguma Katrini, the acting Vice chancellor of Muni University said that nobody has requested the use of the university campus for the proposed memorial lecture. He further noted that the university has no official information about the organisation of the proposed event.

“As an institution, nobody has requested us to use the Muni University campus as the venue for the event….Muni University has no official information about the organisation of the event,” reads part of the statement.

When contacted, Kaps Fungaroo Hassan, the Public Relations Officer of the Central Organising Committee for the Idi Amin Dada Memorial Lecture and Prayers maintained that the university management was informed through Prof Epiphany Odubuker, the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Administration and Finance. He further blamed the mishaps on a communication gap with the university management but promised to have a joint meeting with the university management on the matter.

“Muni University was informed and consulted through the Deputy VC for Administration and Finance Prof. Picho and if the issue raised by the VC Prof. Anguma is genuinely limited to information and consultations with the University Authorities, then it is already covered,” Fungaroo said. “I am still in touch with Prof. Picho and we have agreed that we shall identify and closed the communication gaps through a joint meeting involving Prof. Picho, Prof. Anguma and all the other key Stakeholders in Muni University and West Nile.”

A native of Koboko in West Nile sub region, General Idi Amin overthrew the government of Milton Obote and became Uganda’s head of state in 1971.

His expulsion of Asians in 1972 brought about considerable economic decline. In 1979 his reign came to an end as Ugandan exiles and Tanzanians troops took control of the capital of Kampala, forcing Amin to flee. He originally sought refuge in Libya, and later moved to Saudi Arabia, where he lived until his death in 2003. He was buried there.

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