When the son of a rat catcher hobnobbed with the mighty – Jenkins Kiwanuka

This book could not have come at a more appropriate time! Else in this forum, there is a heated debate that was originated by one Hussein Amin, who is struggling to find a sympathetic ear to his pleas that his father, Idi Amin, was not the monsters he’s been portrayed to be.

Long-serving diplomat, Jenkins Kiwanuka, a self-educated man, has published his autobiography in which he says he was on the kangaroo jury that convicted Achbishop Luwumu and ministers, Oboth Ofumbi and Erinayo Oryema, and sentenced the three to death for conspiring to topple Idi Amin.

The review is brief, but catchy because we get a peek at Kiwanuka’s lengthy ties to Amin that dates back to the 1950’s when they were in the Kenyan army, during Mau Mau. After this tease, who wouldn’t want to read Son of a Rat Catcher in its entirety?

For some time now, Mr. Kiwanuka has been writing articles in the Daily Monitor, some of which came across as embellished hubris. But there’s a hint to as to why he might have tried to upgrade his recollection and situate them in the corridors of power: limited, formal education.

But, I’ll hold my judgement until I read the whole book. I just told off my namesake, Mr. Edward Mulindwa to read this book before me also makes any judgment.

And this is why it’s important for Mr. Mulindwa to read it: Mr. Mulindwa has disclosed to UAH members that he was one of the last people to see Archbishop Luwum, and ministers Oboth Ofumbi and Erinayo Oryema, alive, and he even knows exactly how the three died.

This is a bombshell disclosure, because until today, I had never heard from anyone who claims to have witnessed those assassinations, or who knew whoever pulled the trigger.

So, in Son of a Rat Catcher, I would hope to get some insights on the trial and subsequent executions of Luwum, Oboth-Ofumbi and Oryema. I hope that Mr. Mulindwa does not appear in the book in connection with the killings of the three Ugandan statesmen.

In the review, we learn that Kiwaunika’s dad made money catching rats and selling the tails to the colonial government.

It was the government’s program to combat plague that was spread by rats; so, you kill a rat and get paid!

Edward Pojim
UAH member in USA



One Comment so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. As Managing Director of the government paper, Voice of Uganda, Jenkins Kiwanuka was among the civilians who were ordered to attend ‘without fail’ the meeting which developed into a Kangaroo military court that sentenced Archbishop Luwum, Erinayo Oryema and Oboth Ofumbi to death. Mr. Kiwanuka and his civilian colleagues did not attend the event willingly, and they merely raised their hands to save their own lives.This and other episodes are mentioned in Kiwanuka’s memoirs titled ”Son of a Rat Catcher’, obtainable from Aristoc Bookshop, Kampala Road, or from MK Publishers Limited Kampala; Phone 256414 – 269150 or 256031-262584/5;E-mail:info@mkpublishers.com . It’s advisable to read the book before commenting on its contents. These include chapters on Obote’s first regime, Gen. Idi Amin, Prime Minister Otema Allimadi, Buganda under Museveni and a list of thrilling reflections..

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