Uganda has in recent years become a thorn in the flesh of her neighbour Kenya when it comes to border issues.
Many can agree that while Kenya assumes a more diplomatic approach to solving border issues with her neighbours, Uganda opts to be confrontational.The recent incident is the arrest of two Kenya police officers and a number of fishermen who were detained for hours in one of Uganda's prisons.But has this confrontational nature of Ugandan forces began today? The answer is No!According to a veteran journalist John Kamau, who documents what he terms as 'Secret Papers: Kenyatta vs Idi Amin', Uganda's archaic behaviour can be traced back to Ugandan dictator Idi Amin who ruled the East African Nation between 1971 and 1979.When Amin came to power through a coup, he started an anti-Kenyan policy where many Kenyans in Uganda then were killed and their property seized.Infuriated by the turn of events, Kenya took the following incidents to the United Nations seeking for intervention from the global body.In February 1971 Mr Ndolo Mwaniki and Musyoki Mwaniki were killed by the Uganda Army Personnel either by beating or drowning while John Maina, a Kenyan businessman was arrested by the Army on April 9, 1971. His whereabouts are not known.Dominic Onyango Amoth, a senior accountant with East African Community at Tororo was shot dead by Army officers on the night of April 21/22 while Oketch Muga was arrested by the army at his place of work at Kisenyi on June 26 and taken to Lubiri Barracks. He has never been seen.Raphael Ambinyo Omolo was picked from his house on June 26, 1971, and was never traced. On August 6 James Mungai who is believed to have been detained at Kasese Police Station was beaten to death by Uganda authorities. George Nderitu, a Kenyan businessman resident in Uganda and who was being sought by the Uganda army escaped back to Kenya and in the process was robbed over Sh3,000 by Uganda authorities at the border. 20 Kenyans were killed in a border raid and thousands of livestock stolen.Kungu Karumba, one of the Kapenguria Six, who had gone to Uganda on business went missing on June 14, 1974, and is said to have been killed by Amin’s men.
Karumba, who was born in Tigoni, Limuru was declared dead on the expiry of the mandatory seven years after which a missing person is legally proclaimed dead.
Throughout 1974 Uganda tribesmen with the support of the Amin’s regime continued to harass Kenyans along the common border. Five Kenyans lost their lives.
These are just but few of Kenyans said to have lost lives or properties or both throughout Amin's reign of terror.
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-Ndung'u Wa Gathua.