Idi Amin Coup

Obote sabotaged those who wanted to oppose his misuse of power. In this atmosphere of antagonism, Idi Amin used a disgruntled section of the army to overthrow Obote’s government on January 25 1971. By 1969, Obote had banned political parties and started a “move to the left”. He had made the “Nakivubo Pronouncements” on May Day 1970, nationalizing private business holdings. Such moves sent tremors through the economy and eroded investor confidence.

Many Ugandans jubilated when Obote was overthrown. Following the coup, thousands of people were sent to prison and thousands more were killed. During the Amin years of tyranny (1971-1979), Uganda experienced both economic and political turmoil.

Under his regime, many Ugandans, including Archbishop Janani Luwum, the Chief Justice Benedicto Kiwanuka, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Frank Kalimuzo, Amin’s own wife, Kay, and countless other Ugandans were murdered in cold blood.

The Indian community, which controlled a major proportion of the country’s economic activities, were expelled, with Amin using pseudo-nationalist slogans for lack of a proper grasp of the dynamics of economic growth and transformation. This caused serious disruptions and the eventual breakdown of the economy.