Human rights violations were ripe in Uganda’s Idi Amin, anyone could just be kidnapped, tortured and killed. Uganda was a military terror state and unfortunately, Uganda has once again become a military terror state. What changed is, who is persecuted and who is persecuting, those who feared Idi Amin now fear Museveni. You might think that this is a familiar cycle, but the similarities between Museveni and Idi Amin are striking when one takes a closer look at the details of Human Rights violations in both eras.
Under Idi Amin, the dreaded Public Safety Unit and the State Research Bureau had absolute power to abduct, torture and kill anyone they pleased. Ordinary citizens, students, artists, businessman, community leaders, clerics, anyone perceived as a threat or of interest could simply be picked up. Public Safety Unit and State were not bound by Ugandan law; they were only accountable to Idi Amin.
Under Museveni, the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) and a number of other three-letter security agencies (SFC, ESO, ISO) have the same powers as Amin State Research Bureau. They are not bound by Ugandan law; they are only accountable to Museveni.
The parallel is further shocking when one gets the details of what happens in Amin / Museveni run dungeons. The brutality that victims endure, beatings, mutilations, rape, electric shocks, and all sorts of evil at the amusement of their captors. The object of these secretive state organization is to instill fear, to terrorize an entire nation into submission. State Research Bureau under Amin, CMI et al under Museveni, are more than capable of offering a quick death and hiding their biddings. They, however, choose to dump disfigured, dismembered victims as a message to the public. Both men wanted to scare Ugandans to submission.
There is, however, a huge difference between the Amin era and the Museveni one. Idi Amin human reign lasted 8 years whereas Yoweri Museveni’s lasted 33 years, and has not yet ended. The horrors on Amin came to light when Amin was deposed, Museveni’s crimes are coming to light with the internet and social media. To gag this leak of his crimes, Museveni introduced a social media tax fearing social media will topple him. Museveni practically is surpassing Idi Amin.