‘I will bring back Idi Amin’ – Abed Bwanika (Ugandan presidential candidate)

A candidate in next year’s Ugandan presidential election said he will repatriate the remains of dictator Idi Amin and build a museum in his honour, local media reported Monday.

Abed Bwanika, a two-time election loser who garnered less than one percent of the vote in 2006 and 2011, made the declaration during a campaign visit to Amin’s homeland in northwest Uganda.

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“Amin made significant contributions which should be respected, and we shall bring back his remains for a decent burial,” a report in the Daily Monitor newspaper quoted Bwanika as saying.

“My government will construct a library and a museum in memory of the former president,” Bwanika added.

Amin died in exile in Saudi Arabia in 2003 where he is buried and had lived since being overthrown in 1979. Amin’s eccentric eight-year rule was characterised by buffoonery and brutality, helping his name become a shorthand for African dictatorship and violent misrule.

Since Amin’s death, periodic calls have been made for the repatriation of his remains, most recently in February when Catholic leaders said it would help foster national reconciliation.

Burial abroad is also believed to bring misfortune on surviving relatives and descendants.

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