The situation between ‘Idi Amin’s’ Uganda and Tanzania was very interesting. At times, Tanzania extended a gesture of good neighbourliness to Uganda, but the Ugandan authorities reciprocated with caution and with an act of intimidation to Tanzania.
In 1977 Tanzania sent their Footbal team to play against Uganda’s Lint Markerting Board Football Club at Nakivubo Stadium. President Idi Amin with his usually unpredictable sense of humour said, “We shall welcome our Tanzanian brothers with our Ugandan hospitality. They will see Uganda motto.”
President Amin then ordered some Jet fighters to fly over Nakivubo Stadium a few minutes before the match commenced. It was a spectacle that left some people shaken, as some Jets flew over the stadium and rotated as though they were about to fall in the centre of the field.
Anyway, the match was as friendly as it had been intended. Several hours after the game, the President’s Office was notified that one of the dignatories at Nakivubo Stadium during the Tanzania / Uganda’s Lint M. B. Football match was Lt. Colonel David Oyite Ojok.
Shortly afterwards, the main roads to Jinja and Masaka were blocked by a heavy military presence. All vehicles leaving the city of Kampala had to be searched. It seemed as though even some of the military personnel at the Road blocks did not know what they were searching the vehicles for.
Hours later, the ‘Road blocks’ stories were part of the amusement for the Taxi drivers. A Taxi driver claimed to have asked soldiers at several Road blocks what they were searching for, and that the soldiers’ response was simply, “We have been ordered to search all vehicles.” Asked what they were actually searching for, the answer was, “We don’t know.”
The purpose of this reminder is to inform you that David Oyite Ojok and Yoweri K. Museveni frequently entered Uganda during their intelligence missions. When the UNLF came to power, that’s when some people got a shock of their lives. When Yoweri K. Museveni was introduced as a Minister of State for Defence, some people in the former Simba Mechanized Regiment, Mbarara recognized him as the “Milk boy who usually brought milk on a bicycle to sell to the soldiers.”
I feel sad though, that Uganda has lost such gallant soldiers as David Oyite Ojok, but even so that all those who contributed to bring about change in Uganda, did not get along well. Lots of what they passed through that we may never know.
Byaruhanga Jonny Rubin.