OUR DUMB CENTURY REPORTS FROM THE FRONTIERS OF HISTORY

Idi Amin praises former Ugandan defence minister as 'delicious'
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The Independent Online
KAMPALA, UGANDA, 12 JULY 1977 - Offering rare words of praise for his long-time political rival Ugandan president-for-life Idi Amin hailed former Defense Minister Kigali Obutu as "tender and delicious" before a gathering of top government officials Wednesday.

"Although we had many quarrels, and I frequently feared that he was secretly plotting to topple my regime, Minister Obutu was a good man - hard-working and extremely succulent," Amin said. "He was a man I very much enjoyed, from his determination to make Uganda a leader in Africa to his flavorful thigh and calf muscles."

Obutu, who disappeared in November 1976 shortly after a visit to one of Amin's country palaces, had for years been the Ugandan president's chief rival, vowing to put an end to what he called "General Amin's reign of genocidal terror and rampant corruption." On several occasional, Obutu publicly accused Amin of ordering the murders of more than 300,000 Ugandan citizens, a charge Amin denied.

Despite Obutu's well-documented opposition to him, Amin praised his rival. "In all my years as Ugandan president, never have I known a man of such substance as the former Defense Minister. It took me years to fully understand this man and hours more to digest him. Kigali Obutu has enriched us all - no one more so than myself.

Continued Amin: "Had Kigali Obutu lived, he surely would have been the next president of Uganda. He was a man of the people, a man whose love for this nation was outstripped only by his fierce intellect. No one had brains like him, not even Minister of Finance Komo Harare. While many would argue that Harare was the greatest mind Uganda ever had, I know for a fact he was not: His brain was tough and stringy, flavorless compared to Obutu's."

During his meeting with advisors, Amin also announced plans to construct a state-of-the-art, $200,000 cooler for his presidential palace. Amin said the refrigerator is vital to the preservation of national security and political rivals' organs.

"Without proper refrigeration, a treacherous cabinet member's liver spoils in less than three hours," Amin said.

"If I am to keep order in Uganda, my enemies must keep fresh for at least a week."

The above is an extract from 'Our Dumb Century', a satirical history in newspaper form, edited by Scott Dikkers, and published by Boxtree, pounds 9.99.

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