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On St Archbishop Janani Luwum 40th Anniversary

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Added 16th February 2017 11:20 AM

Prior to the said celebrations, Amin’s son Hussein wrote an article stating that he was happy that the Church House on Kampala Road had been renamed after St Janani Luwum

 On St Archbishop Janani Luwum 40th Anniversary

Prior to the said celebrations, Amin’s son Hussein wrote an article stating that he was happy that the Church House on Kampala Road had been renamed after St Janani Luwum

By James Galabuzi Mukasa

I would wish to appreciate the Government of Uganda and the Province of the Church of Uganda for a befitting memorial service organised at Namirembe Cathedral on February 5, 2017 in honour of St Janani Luwum, marking 40 years since he was murdered by Idi Amin Dada.

Prior to the said celebrations, Amin's son Hussein wrote an article stating that he was happy that the Church House on Kampala Road had been renamed after St Janani Luwum.

He said that it was his father who offered that plot together with where Mapeera House and Old Kampala Mosque are located among others. That, Pan Africanist Idi Amin, selflessly and patriotically confiscated these properties from Asians and distributed them to Ugandans.

Its documented that Sgt Moses Okello, hailing from Acholi, stated that Idi Amin had ordered him to take the trio; Archbishop Janani Luwum, Erinayo Wilson Oryem and Charles Oboth Ofumbi from Nile Mansion to their homes and bring them back the following day to meet him but just about an hour after their departure, they were involved in a tragic accident in 1977.  News broke out that the trio had died in tha accident.

Amin Dada launched inquiries with his Chief of Security to investigate the death of the trio and the inquiries started with Sgt Moses Okello who explained that as he was driving the trio as instructed, they attempted to strangle him probably with the intention of escaping with the vehicle. 

That he drew his pistol and shot the assailants otherwise, it was him who was being strangled to death. That in that scuffle, they got into a head- on collision with on- coming vehicle.

The questions would be; would a State leave the trio to be transported by only one army officer to an extent of struggling alone without any further support given the high caliber of the culprits?

Secondly, how could Sgt Moses Okello fight with the trios while at the same time he was driving and how come that the three died instantly with un explained bruises on their bodies?

At Namirembe Cathedral during the memorial service in honour of the Archbishop eulogies were made that the Archbishop's body was found with a bullet which protruded through his throat to his back. 

The position of the wounds suggest  that a  pistol was well aimed in the Archbishop's mouth and that this wouldn't have been done by a one Sgt Moses Okello alone, but suggested that the trio were killed prior to the staged accident.

Amin Dada thereafter ordered a live broadcast claiming that the trio had been red handed with trucks of Italian made weapons.  He claimed to have discussed a treason case with the Deceased and that he had chosen a dialogue, leniency and diplomacy because the case involved senior officials including his cabinet ministers.

Hussein Amin claims to have seen a truck with poorly painted Pepsi logo with weapons on it and parked at Rubaga Cathedral in February 1977. These may be allegations brought forward to justify the murder of the trio.

Arcbishop Janani Luwum confronted the injustices and atrocities of Amin. He took his criticism public in a radio address on Christmas of 1976. The Bishops then threatened a public demonstration because at that time, he had worked hard in bringing together the Anglicans and Catholic faith and were working as a team to oppose bad governance.

On February 5, 1976, his home was raided at 1.30am by soldiers disguising that they were looking for guns but none were found. They were confined and confronted by Amin himself who accused the trio of treason charges.

On February 16, 1977, Amin summoned religious, Government and military leaders to Kampala to when he condemned Luwum for subversive acts.

The Archbishop together with six other Bishops were publicly arraigned in a shame trial for allegedly smuggling arms yet  Amin's interests were to get rid of Archbishop Janani Luwum.

As the Bishops were ordered to leave one at a time, Archbishop Janani Luwum remained behind and it is believed that he was shot that very night. His body was riddled with bullets and planted in a fake car crush.

The story now changed from the trio attempting to strangle Sgt Moses Okello who was taking them to their homes, which act was claimed to have caused an accident alleging that the trios were trying to escape from a car that was taking them to their respective homes to charges of treason.

Ugandans are quiet, resilient, good at accommodating situations before them, whether bad or good, but they shouldn't be taken for a ride.

Amin's regime was marked with tribalism, human rights abuse beyond imagination, rampant kidnaps and murders among others.

As we mark 40 years since St Janani Luwum was murdered, this shouldn't be seen to be a simple occasion but Uganda is reflecting to where she has been and the wrath Ugandans have encountered due to bad Governance.

The over throw of Amin Dada acted as a stabilizing factor for Uganda.  It was during this regime of murder and terror when my dear father was kidnapped and never seen again.

When the family of Idi Amin praise their father for being a Nationalist and a Pan Africanist, we feel bad because our wounds have never been healed from such torture.

The family of Idi Amin Dada should request the Church of Uganda to give them a slot at Mucwini where the second part of the anniversary will be held today, February 16, 2017 to officially apologise to the families that lost beloved ones out of bad governance of their dear father and to Ugandans in general.

The writer is a human rights advocate.



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