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Today In History: Amin As Sworn In Uganda’s President




2nd February, 1971: Idi Amin is sworn-in as the new military head of state at a ceremony at Kololo Airstrip in Kampala a few days after he came me to power on January 25, 1971 in a military coup.
After taking power while President Milton Obote was in Singapore to attend the summit meeting of the Commonwealth nations, Amin met some of his aides in the army that helped him execute the coup.

According to an instalment entitled “Amin’s reign of terror unfolds” as quoted by Edward A. Miner in his book “Political Independence With Linguistic Servitude“, an announcement came in on radio Uganda shortly after Amin took power that goes:

“Ziz is a speso announcement. The government spokesman wisez to inform all the piploz(peoples) of Uganda zata za Uganda armed forces led by his excellent Major General Idi Amin Ada have tooks over (taken over) the government of Uganda. Zey have overthrown za killing regime of Obote. Ze now president will swear at four hocklock dis morning.
End of Speso announcement. By government spokesman.”

From then onwards, the ‘government spokesman’ became a permanent feature on the radio. He would come with all sorts of bizarre announcements, appointing and dismissing ministers over the radio.

Amin’s first speech caused fear and worries in citizens about the political future of the country. His comically awkward, repetitive syntax and misapprehended decorations in English are immediately interpreted by the audience as an indication of his general political incompetence.

He took the microphone and said:

Ladies under gentlemen, Sasa(now) I am very happy completely and also to stand here and undress you on this suspicious (auspicious) occasion. I not politician, I professional soldier, and a man of few words.

It has been for long time, nani (who) Obote huyo (this person) very bad also. I am sunk (thank) you very much but also I tell him Mimi Nita finish wewe (I will finish you). Completely kabisa (completely) and also. Me big daddy no ambition man to tell you the true, me Iddi Dada, big Daddy, I am good man, kind man and completely and through out.

Tomorrow I write to Mr. Queen of England. I to tell her now Uganda good Obote to go. Obote he thief, tribes(tribalism), drunco etc. Sunk you asante Sana. I tell to you again kesho (tomorrow), for tomorrow, I sunk you very big.


Sources: Kampala Express, Political Independence With Linguistic Servitude


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