- Ugandan Archbishop Saint Jonah Luwum (RIP):
The ever jovial Saint Luwum confirmed hundreds
of us, very happy little ones into the God-faith.
He died fighting the good fight of faith for us
- for our human right(s) & for our human dignity.
"When dying was easier than living"
By Halima Abdallah
caption for amin:
Top left - Ugandan Archbishop St. Jonah Luwum (RIP),
shakes hands with Mr.Oryema before they died under
mysterious circumstances (File Photo - monitor)
Idi Amin Dada had many prominent people killed during his
reign. The deaths of Archbishop of Church of Uganda St. Jonah
Luwum and Ms Dora Bloch a British Israel hostage during the
time that an Israeli plane was hijacked and kept hostage in
Entebbe are among those that have had more than one story to
Luwum was arrested in February 1977 together with two
cabinet ministers, Charles Oboth Ofumbi and Lt. Col.
Erinayo Oryema, for conspiracy in a coup plot.
Lt. Col. Oryema was Obote's Inspector General of Police and
was later appointed Minister for Water and Mineral
The two ministers' were said to be the last batch to survive
Amin's original cabinet. They had earlier worked in Obote's
In the book the Rise and Fall of Idi Amin, Amin reportedly
told the soldiers that there would be no summary executions;
the trio would be given a proper trial. The three were
however killed in a suspicious motor accident.
The book however, quotes other reports that Luwum was first
beaten severely before he was shot - by Amin himself.
Another unconfirmed report stated that Maj. Moses Okello is
the person who actually pulled the trigger on the three.
The official reactions on the deaths were dismissed as a
pack of lies and sparked off protests from churches.
Mr Henry Kyemba, a former minister in Amin's government has
his version of the circumstances surrounding Janan Luwum's
death in the book titled 'A State of Blood.'
Kyemba states that Luwum was murdered over a letter of
protest against the treatment of Anglicans in the country.
Archbishops from Rwanda, Burundi, and then Zaire co-signed it.
Kyemba writes that Ben Ongom led the security personnel into
the house of Luwum where they searched for firearms.
The "stage-managed" accident in which the three died
involved a Toyota belonging to State Research Bureau with
the registration UVS 299 and a Range Rover, which was Amin's
personal car, UVW 082 that he often used while hunting.
The two vehicles according to Kyemba had been involved in a
crash earlier to the one that claimed the Archbishop's life.
A post-mortem result revealed that Luwum and the two
ministers died form multiple injuries on the ribs and to the
internal organs. Their bodies were taken to their respective
villages of Kitgum, Gulu and Tororo and buried in
low-profile ceremonies. Soldiers guarded the graves for
Kyemba writes on Ms Dora Bloch's death too.
Bloc held British and Israeli citizenship. She was an
elderly woman who was among the 106 Israeli hostages in the
1976 Entebbe raid.
She was however, left behind after she developed
complications arising from choking on a piece of meat that
caused her breathing problems.
She was rushed to Mulago hospital and a simple
operation was done to remove the piece of meat.
After the Israeli raid at Entebbe International Airport,
Amin directed his officers to get her out of the hospital
and take her to an unknown destination where she was
She was frog-matched out of the hospital by two security men
from the State Research Bureau, headed by Maj. Farouk
Minawa, and Capt. Nasur Ondonga.
When the British High Commission wanted to know about her
whereabouts, Amin said he did not know. Her body was dumped
20 miles along the Jinja-Kampala highway; burnt except for
her white hair that remained untouched.