English translation of the TV interviewcontinued
Interviewer: But firstly, how did your father become
N.R.A: Well, he actually first got to know via the
radio that he was made a minister. So he was not invited to a meeting
to talk about it, just got to know that Edward Rugmayo is named as
Interviewer: Oh yes. And he didn't know Amin before
that, or what?
N.R.A: No. (audience laughter)
Interviewer: But did one believe at that time - including
your father - that Amin could be a good man?
N.R.A: Yeees... because at that time he was so convincing
and charming, seemed to be serious. So, like all the others at the
time, he believed maybe he was better than Obote.
Interviewer: When he - your father - got that job
and you lived in Uganda as a minister's family, how did you live..
was it a life of luxury?
N.R.A: It was a pleasant, comfortable and protected
life then. We had bodyguards and chauffeurs, cooks and gardeners -
it was a very protected life. You did not see much of others - how
they lived - apart from one's own circle.
Interviewer: You remember some meeting yourself with
Idi Amin, how would you describe the experience?
N.R.A: He had a
deep voice and such big hands, they reminded me of bananas - I was
9 years old then. I was then a flower girl in the wedding of the Foreign
Minister and so had to shake hands with him. He was so huge.
Interviewer: How did you begin to notice that something was wrong
with this man?
N.R.A: There were so many things then. Sometimes sudden
whims like 'now we shall extradite Asians, now we shall do this or
that. And suddenly civil servants began to disappear - very well known
people - eg. the Vice Chancellor of the University disappeared.
Interviewer: We have a picture here you brought which shows Idi Amin
in the middle, your father on the left and the Vice-chancellor nearest.
And what happened to him.
N.R.A: He was murdered, he was purely
and simply fetched by Idi Amin's murder squadron. No one saw him again.
Interviewer: Did anything happen among those closest
N.R.A: Yes. My uncle was actually killed
by Idi Amin. And all that was found of him was a hand, so his wife
recognised the ring. The rest of him was gone.
Interviewer: You decided to flee.
N.R.A: It was quite dramatic. One evening
my father came home and said to us "Yes, children, just pack
a case each, we are travelling away for a short while to Nairobi."
We thought, Oh, such fun. It sounded like fun. But we didn't know
that we would never come back to the house, we never got to say 'Good
bye' to our friends. We just disappeared one night. We took a plane.
Interviewer: But didn't they follow after you?
N.R.A: No, not just then. But when we
were in Nairobi, we had to seek the protection of the Kenyan government.
And from Nairobi, my father went to Mombasa and from there he sent
a telex to Idi Amin via the post office so that all who read it could
see where he said that he did not want to be in the government. Idi
Amin was shocked, and he reacted by sending all the ministers on an
Interviewer: That is so to speak typical of the way
N.R.A: And all the State Secretaries
became State Ministers thereafter!
Interviewer: That would not have worked here, Stoltenberg?
Prime Minister Stoltenberg: No, it would not have worked. Seeing we
have double the number of State Secretaries as Ministers, there'd
have been far too many in the government (laughter).
Interviewer: I think perhaps both you and I grew up
with Amin as a picture from our youth of a real dictator, a proper
Prime Minister Stoltenberg: Yes, there have been many
dictators and many despots, but Amin was such a strong personality
and I think he was so visible and did so many provocative things that
he became that era's picture of a despot. I am still of the opinion
that all he did was very illegal, but that makes the whole matter
extra bad is that he was never convicted. I think we must have a world
society which convicts that kind of criminal... and now we have got
an international court which hopefully will judge that kind of person.
He left Uganda and lived - whether he lived happily I don't know -
but he at least was never brought to book for his misdeeds.
Interviewer: Are people in Uganda - or from Uganda
- upset that he never got his comeuppance?
N.R.A: Yes. Many people are. Yes. Particularly
those who lost their dear ones. We felt that Amin got away too lightly,
he fled to Saudi Arabia and lived in Jeddah in style in a villa with
27 rooms and was happy... perhaps.
Interviewer: Many thanks for coming and telling us
this! (Much applause).