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Amin to market Uganda' s 'dark tourism'

07 October 2014, 11:43 Godfrey Olukya

Kampala - Former Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin Dada and some other Ugandans who murdered innocent people are to be reportedly  used to market Uganda's tourism potential.

This is because to date, over 10 years since the demise of Amin, some people in developed countries know him more than they know the country Uganda.

Idi Amin Dada ruled Uganda from 1971 to 1979 and allegedly killed thousands of his opponents. His ruthless army is blamed of raping women and looting people's property.

According to the arrangement, there will be trips to sites and episodes of human violence around the country, which is also referred to as “Dark Tourism.”

''We believe that Idi Amin and rebels leader Joseph Kony can be used to market Uganda because their atrocities against humanity were widely publicized the world over,'' said Uganda Tourism Association official, Michaela Okaka.

''When I recently visited Switzerland and mentioned that I was from Uganda, a certain old woman wondered where that country is until she asked if it was the country where Amin lived,'' Okaka added.

Joseph Kony and his fighters started fighting Ugandan government troops in the late 1980 as he also killed and maimed thousands of innocent civilians.

Later, he was overpowered and fled to Central African Republic through Democratic Republic of Congo.

Uganda Tourism Board executive director, Stephen Asiimwe said in an interview, ''Uganda is still widely defined by the acts of the deceased Idi Amin in numerous countries around the world.''

All this has come at a time when the Board is stepping up efforts to brand Uganda abroad as the best tour destination in the region.

They are using a new strategy of using some of the darkest elements in Uganda’s history to attract more visitors to the country.

"The Board has plans to start up a tourism trail for former dictator Idi Amin Dada. Wherever you go they ask about Amin. He is still stuck in people’s minds,'' said Asiimwe, adding that it is imperative that Amin is used to promote tourism.

Apart from Amin and Joseph Kony, there is also Joseph Kibwetere who in 2000 led to the demise of over 200 Christians at his church in Kanungu district, 350 kms west of Kampala after convincing them that they were going to ascend to heaven but instead set fire on the church building using highly inflammable substances and they all died.

Asiimwe said that whereas Dark Tourism is not being practiced in Uganda, it is very popular in countries like Germany centred around Adolf Hitler.

''At times people want to be reminded of that painful past,” said Asiimwe.

- MyNews24

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