Those who never directly suffered Aminâ€™s wrath have been writing and talking lightly about the crimes he committed. But some of us are still bleeding with pain and sorrow which he inflicted on our families.
It was September 18, 1972, when my father Gregory Akiiki Katera, chief accountant of what was then Toro district administration and his cousin Matthew Apuuli Kandole, then chief administrative officer, were picked from Mucwa Chambers in Fort Portal where they were attending a district meeting with other district officials. They were taken to Karuziika, the current palace of the King of Toro which was then occupied by the military.
The man who arrested them, one Jackson, later testified in court in the 1980s that it was the commanding officer, Col Onah, who sent him to pick them. Col Onah was later arrested but he also testified in court that the order came directly from Amin and that my father and his brother were sent to Amin that night. Both Jackson and Col Onah were acquitted on grounds that it was Amin responsible for the death of my father.
Since that day, we have never seen our dear father and his brother. I vividly remember that day because I was in Primary 2 and my father fetched us from school and had lunch with us. That evening, a family friend drove home weeping and saying that dad had been picked and taken to the barracks. How and where they were killed or buried is still a mystery to us.
We suffered tremendously socially, physically and psychologically. I would agree with those calling for amnesty for Amin if he had only committed political crimes. But Amin committed crimes against humanity and he should take personal responsibility for these crimes and be prosecuted whether alive or posthumously.
How then can sections of Ugandans, for political reasons or otherwise, advocate for a state funeral of Amin when many of us had our dear innocent parents murdered in cold blood and buried like dogs or thrown into rivers for crocodiles to feast on?
Joseph K. Katera
Amin Killed My Father And My Uncle