Stephen Kalema 

On October 9, 1962, Uganda got her independence from the British protectorate. Since that day, Uganda has sailed in winds through the hands of several Presidents. As we celebrate 56 years of Independence, Watchdog brings you some of the memorable quotes by Presidents past and Present.

Sir Edward Mutesa II (Oct. 9, 1962 – Mar ’66)”

“The talks were successful for us. With Obote’s support we obtained a great deal of what we wanted.”

Kabaka Mutesa, after a Constitutional meeting held in London 1962.

“I had feared that something like an attack would happen but I was not ready for the magnitude of destruction that they meted out.”

Mutesa said after Obote’s government attack the Lubiri 

“Members of Kabaka Yekka in the National Assembly were crossing in dribs and drabs to UPC, lured by the chance of office.”

Mutesa commented after the marriage between UPC and KY started collapsing.

After Cohen threatened Mutesa who was advocating for an Independent Buganda from Uganda that, “If you don’t agree, you will have to go,” Mutesa responded, “If anyone has to go, it will certainly be you (Cohen).”

Milton Obote (April 15, ’66 – Jan 25 71)

“There is a place in the Uganda of today for all who have her interests at heart, whatever their tribe, race or creed.”

Milton Obote’s 1962 Uganda Independence Speech
“In the days before this part of the African continent was known to the western world, we became known as a group of peoples who welcomed the travelers, the missionary and the explorer. As the years passed, we reaped the benefit of this friendly nature of ours.”

Obote during his first inaugural speech as prime minister of Uganda October 9, 1962
“Let there be no weeds in Gulu. You voted cleanly. And today because of that cleanness, I have brought a clean leader. If this district was dirty, I would never have dreamt of bringing Dr. Kaunda to Gulu,”

Obote during the Apollo Milton Obote Gulu 1984 speech to thank Gulu for voting him overwhelmingly during the 1980 general elections.
“Look at our symbol. Five fingers. The catholic is there. Protestants are there. Women are there. Youth are there.
Men are there. We work together like the five fingers.”

Obote during the 1984 speech in Gulu in praise for his party UPC.
“While I admit that government must be controlled by the people, I must also urge the people of Uganda that for their own good it would be wrong to allow other institutions to be controlled by the people.”

Obote during the 1969 speech, three years after Uganda was declared a republican government and cultural institutions and been banned.

Idi Amin Dada (Jan 25, ’71 – April 11, ’79)

“Some people dream what is not truth. Dreaming has been true to my side. I dreamt when I was nothing that I would be a commander of Ugandan army. I dreamt that I would be the Head of State when I was just had none.”

Amin about his dreams.
“The black people must be the president of America. A black person must be the Secretary of State. They (black people) are more brilliant than Kissinger. He always go to weakest leaders. They do not go Gadhafi. He never comes to Idi Amin. He fears us.”

Amin on former Secretary of State during President Richard Nixon reign (1969-1974), Henry Kissinger.
“In communist countries you do not feel free to talk, there is one spy for every three people.  Not here. No one is afraid here. It’s like Uganda girls. I tell them to be proud, not shy.  It’s no good taking a girl to bed if she is shy. Do you get my point?” “Ugandan women should not carry on with white men. Black men are stronger than whites. This is why white girls run after black men.”

Amin on relationships between blacks and whites.
“My dear brother, it is quite true that you have enough problems on your plate and it is surprising you have the zeal to add fresh ones. At this moment, you are uncomfortably sandwiched in that uncomfortable affair (Watergate), I ask almighty God to solve your problems. We Ugandans hope that the great United States of America does not continue to use its enormous resources, especially its military might, to destroy human life on earth,”

Amin after President Richard Nixon cut US aid to Uganda.
“Your experience will be a lesson to all of us men to be careful not to marry ladies in high positions.”

Amin to Lord Snowdon after his split with Princess Margaret of England in 1976 after being in marriage for 16 years.
“Arab victory in the war with Israel is inevitable and the prime minister of Israel, Mrs Golda Meir’s only recourse is to tuck up her knickers and run away in the direction of New York and Washington.”

Amin speaking about Middle East affairs
“Don’t disturb the people of Uganda at night by running about shooting. Uganda is going at supersonic speed and the people must not unnecessarily be made to panic.”

Amin before his fall in 1979.
“I do not want to be controlled by any superpower. I myself consider myself the most powerful figure in the world, and that is why I do not let any superpower control me.”

“Sometimes people mistake the way I talk for what I am thinking. I never had any formal education – not even nursery school certificate. But, sometimes I know more than PhD holders because as a military man, I know how to act. I am a man of action.”

“In any country there must be people who have to die. They are sacrifices the any nation has to make to achieve law and order

Yusufu Kironde Lule (April 79 – June ’79)

“The Constitution of the State is different from that of the party which is in the government and can clearly quite analogous to the party in this regard.” Lule speaking after over throwing Idi Amin

Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa (June ’79 – May ’80)

Entebbe ewoma”, literary meaning “the seat is sweet.” Binaisa made the statement.

“It’s as dead as a doornail.  Killed by Edward Mutesa: When he demanded those arms from the British Government unconstitutionally and in that way he killed it,” Binaisa said.
“All you have to do right now,” he laughed, “Is to bury your dead child as decently as possible. These things do happen you know; we must learn to accept them.”

Binaisa told Obote when he consulted him on whether to abrogate the 1962 Constitution in a bid to fire Mutesa.
“Amin called me to his office,” said Binaisa. “There he was, sitting in his big chair, looking at me straight in the eye and speaking his broken English, which left a lot to be desired. He said I was a Zionist and he would have me arrested and shot in public as a traitor. I was scared stiff.

“I knew Amin wasn’t the sort of chap who minced his words. I protested my innocence, but he just grinned and said, ‘I have told you what I think.”

Tito Okello Lutwa (July 29 ’85- Jan 26, ’86)

“Museveni is a very dangerous snake whose teeth have been removed by signing of Peace Accord”

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (Jan 26, ’86 – todate)

“Unfortunately, the leaders and politicians have, in pursuit of cheap popularity, abandoned the responsibility of guiding the populations.  Leadership is about knowing the way, showing the way and going the way.  A leader who cannot tell the people the bitter truth and also guide them to prosperity is not worthy the privilege of being a leader. In fact, one need not be an elected leader to cause community transformation.”

Museveni’s speech at 55 Independence anniversary. 

“By the time we eliminate or significantly reduce all the ten bottlenecks, Uganda will be a modern country.  These bottlenecks need to be tackled in a holistic way.”

President Museveni in 2016

“Ugandans must remember what has transpired over the last five decades and be prepared to ensure that they build on the foundation that the NRM Government has set following many years of civil strife and mis-direction”