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Moses Ali, Ssemujju clash over Amin's expulsion of Asians

By Mary Karugaba

Added 18th July 2019 01:45 PM

The Kira Municipality MP has on several occasions singled out the 1st Deputy Premier as an example every time, a debate about Amin comes up

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First Deputy Prime Minister Moses Ali took exception to MP Ssemujju Nganda's statements on the floor of Parliament. File Photo

The Kira Municipality MP has on several occasions singled out the 1st Deputy Premier as an example every time, a debate about Amin comes up

First Deputy Prime Minister and the deputy leader of Government business in Parliament Gen. Moses Ali on Wednesday clashed with opposition Chief Whip Ibrahim Ssemujju over comments that the former was part of the team that made the decision to expel Asians from Uganda.

Trouble started when Ssemujju, raised a point of order questioning the submission of the Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda while paying tribute to the fallen businessman Amirali Karmali.

In his tribute, Ruhakana said Karmali was among the few Ugandans of Indian origin that persisted and remained in the country during the turbulent times when Idi Amin expelled Asians from Uganda in 1972.

Ssemujju, however, said the decision to expel the Asians was not made by Amin alone but with the help of some individuals such as Ali who are now serving in government.

“Blaming Amin alone is distorting our history. They were other people who were involved including Gen. Moses Ali,” Ssemujju said, a statement that angered Ali extremely.

Before the Deputy Speaker Oulanyah could rule on the matter, Ali stood to respond to the allegation.

ira unicipality  brahim semujju ganda ile hotoKira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda. File Photo

 

In his defence, Ali denied being part of the team that made the decision saying at the time, he was just a major in the army and had been sent to Britain for training.

Ali accused Ssemujju of making the statement with the intention of embarrassing him.

“You don’t know much of these things. At the time Amin expelled the Asians; I was in London training and returned in 1979. You only wanted to embarrass me. Rather than talking about what you don’t know, you should have called me outside and consulted me,” Ali said before Oulanyah intervened.

“From what I know, Amin said the decision to expel the Asians was made after he had a dream in Karamoja. So how did other people join him in his dream?” he asked as Ali’s face remained fixed on Ssemujju.

Ali is one of the public figures that also served in Amin’s regime. In the 1970s, Idi Amin appointed Ali finance minister. When the Amin regime fell in 1979, Ali formed a rebel group, the Uganda National Rescue Front (UNRF), to oppose the Milton Obote II regime.

However, after the National Resistance Army took power in 1986, Ali and his fighters joined Museveni’s government. He has since held several positions including minister of tourism and wildlife, internal affairs as well as disaster preparedness.

This was not the first time that Ssemujju and Ali were clashing. Ssemujju has on several occasions pointed out Ali as an example every time, a debate about Amin comes up.

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