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Uganda to Build ‘Idi Amin Museum’ to Attract Tourists

In a bid to attract tourists to Uganda, the country plans to build a war museum showcasing some of the darkest moments from its history.

Idi Amin was considered a very ruthless leader during his tenure and for many Ugandans it would be their wish to forget about him, but the government says it would rather turn Amin’s bad name into profits through tourism.

The atrocities that were committed under his eight-year rule and those by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) will be documented, the govt has said.

“We want to put the record straight,” Uganda Tourism Board chief executive Stephen Asiimwe told the BBC.

“History gets richer, it’s like red wine – it gets more interesting as the years go by,” he said.

According to Mr Asiimwe while speaking to the BBC said the project was not intended to be insensitive or voyeuristic.

“I lived through the Idi Amin era as a young boy, my fellow students lost their parents to the regime,” he said, “However you cannot run away from history. These are facts.”

The war museum will also showcase pre-colonial and colonial history.

Idi Amin took power in 1971 shortly after Uganda gained Independence and some 400,000 people are believed to have been killed during his reign.

Amin expelled Uganda’s entire Asian population in 1972, accusing them of milking the economy. He converted to Islam, took five wives, fathered dozens of children and insisted on being called “Big Daddy”.

He declared himself King of Scotland, banned hippies and mini-skirts, and awarded himself the Victoria Cross.

Amin was ousted by Tanzanian troops and Ugandan exiles in 1979. He later died in Saudi Arabia in 2003.

The museum’s construction has not yet begun but the project already has its detractors.

According to John Sempebwa, the deputy executive director of the tourism board while talking to VOA disagrees with colleagues who suggest that Ugandans are ready to revisit the more painful details of the past.

“Society is divided. There are people who are still around who don’t have good memories of Amin. Now, not only won’t they come, they might burn this place down,” he said.

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