The arrival of Tanzanian and anti-Amin Ugandan forces at the Kenya border on May 1 marked another chapter in the saga of a changing Uganda. After supporters of deposed, self-proclaimed “president for life” Idi Amin were flushed out of the vicinity of the main highway from Nairobi and Mombassa, refugees and supplies, assembled on the border, began to flow into the nation’s liberated south.

Urgently required for resuscitating a collapsed country were gasoline to refuel the nation’s idled vehicles and medical supplies for hospitals and clinics whose stocks have been exhausted for five years.

Prominent among returning exiles were five bishops of the Church of Uganda who fled after the February 1977 death of Archbishop Janani Luwum (March 18, 1977, issue, page 49) and after hearing reports that their own names were on Amin’s hit list.

First to return was Yona Okoth, bishop of the diocese of Bukedi. Later, on May 11, Festo Kivengere and Melchizedek Otim, of the dioceses of Kigezi and Lango, respectively, flew into Entebbe. They were officially welcomed in Kampala. Kivengere returned to his diocese the next day, and was to speak at a Sunday, May 13, rally in the Kabale sports stadium—with some 40,000 expected to hail his triumphal return. Benoni Ogwal, bishop of Northern Uganda, who has been living in Toronto, and Brian Herd, diocese of Karmoja, were also expected to return soon.

The bishops already are planning country-wide clergy meetings for August, to be followed by area rallies in high schools.

(Fellow Bishop John Wasikye, diocese of Mbala, on the other hand, was shot and killed April 16 in Jinja by soldiers loyal to Amin.)

Ironically, official United States aid and trade initially were illegal because of a trade embargo against ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.