ENTEBBE – President Yoweri Museveni has said then-President Idi Amin showed cowardice, laziness, lack of self-confidence and insecurity by killing former Archbishop of Uganda, Janani Luwum in 1977 when he criticised his government over several atrocities.
Luwum was shot dead after being tortured, but his murder was disguised as resulting from a road accident by the then sitting government. Luwum had consistently and publicly criticized Amin’s government over inspired kidnaps, murder, obstruction to justice, abductions, nepotism, tribalism – nearly a carbon copy of similar accusations that have been levelled against Museveni and his NRA/M government.
Speaking at the celebrations to mark the Janani Luwum Day at State House today, Museveni said, unlike Amin, for him, he doesn’t fear criticism because he can counter-argue his critics even if they are religious leaders with a huge following.
“By killing Archbishop Janani Luwum, it shows that Amin was insecure and coward. Killing people who are not armed is laziness…It means the killer doesn’t have enough confidence that they will win an argument. That is why they want to silence them,” said Museveni.
Museveni added that even religious leaders are free to criticise him and his government so long as they are balanced in their criticism. The clergy, he said, should not criticise only the security people when they make mistakes, but also the people who want to disturb the peace that he and his generation fought for. Further, he said he’s very happy that he avenged the killing of Archbishop Luwum and other people.
Lately, human rights activists and opposition supporters have criticised Museveni over the continued kidnap and disappearance of people believed to belong to opposition National Unity Platform party belonging to political nemesis Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.
Museveni admitted last week that his security forces were responsible for the missing persons and that they will account for every person kidnapped recently. He also said last year, he recalled and deployed in the city a commando unit that had been fighting terrorists in Somalia to take out what he called terrorists who were protesting the arrest of Kyagulanyi in Luuka district during campaigns.
Over 56 people were shot dead between November 18-19 and more than 1,000 arrested according to official figures. Again Museveni reiterated today that he will not allow the hard-fought that Ugandans are enjoying to be disturbed by anybody.
Some of the youths who have been released from detention have relayed ordeals of being forcefully fed on rotting food, tortured and being injected with unknown substances. Museveni said killing of unarmed people should only happen in a war situation where both parties are armed.