A minor 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.
“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.
In his campaign so far Bwanika has taken to crowd-pleasing posturing in a bid to take on the incumbent President Yoweri Museveni — in power since 1986 and widely expected to win the February 2016 poll — and his two main challengers, both former allies in the ruling National Resistance Movement.
Last month Bwanika told a rally in the capital Kampala that homosexuals needed to have their “demons” exorcised.
“We cannot accept to be pushed into homosexuality by the West,” said the politician and Christian pastor, referring to a common misconception about the causes of homosexuality.
“All homosexuals will be rehabilitated because they have demons and we have specialists to chase out demons,” Bwanika said.