Kampala city businessman, Desh Kananura, has evoked bitter historical reminiscences and reminded Indian businessmen that they need another Idi Amin to refresh their memories.
In early August 1972, the then President of Uganda, Idi Amin, ordered the expulsion of his country’s Asian minority, giving them 90 days to leave the country.
At the time of the expulsion, there were approximately 80,000 individuals of South Asian descent in Uganda, of whom 23,000 had had their applications for citizenship both processed and accepted.
Although the latter were ultimately exempted from the expulsion, many chose to leave voluntarily.
Desh, the proprietor of Panamera bar located in Naguru, an upscale Kampala suburb, was angered by a police-backed raid by court bailiffs to evict him. On Wednesday morning.
This follows a July 2017 court notice which states that Kananura is illegally occupying the land on which his bar sits in plots 20-30 Saddler Way Naguru.
The notice also declared that Kananura’s occupation and continued stay on the said land is illegal and unlawful.
The bar section, kitchen section and car parking space sits on the prime land near Kampala Parents School which belongs to Himalaya traders, Kamukamu associates and Indian businessmen, Jetwant Singh and Gulzar Singh.
Court bailiffs and police was led by Kira Road police commander, Michael Kasigire, tried to attach the property only to be waved off by former Makerere University chancellor and Kananura’s uncle, Professor Mondo Kagonyera.
Kananura later posted on his Facebook wall: “I have been attacked by goons and police to try and take my land but that will not happen. (Indians) you need another Amin [Idi Amin].”
He added: “Business as usual. Nice try, am a warrior and I shall not stop at anything. Panamera ok. Panamera is safe and open.”
The expulsion of Indians took place against a backdrop of Indophobia in Uganda, with Amin accusing a minority of the Asian population of disloyalty, non-integration and commercial malpractice, claims Indian leaders disputed.
Amin defended the expulsion by arguing that he was giving Uganda back to the ethnic Ugandan.
Many of the expellees were citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies and 27,200 subsequently emigrated to the United Kingdom.
Of the other refugees who were accounted for, 6,000 went to Canada, 4,500 refugees ended up in India and 2,500 went to nearby Kenya.
In total, some 5,655 firms, ranches, farms, and agricultural estates were reallocated, along with cars, homes and other household goods.