Why Idi Amini Killed A Newly Wedded 7 Months Pregnant University Student

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It’s been over three decades since the regime of Uganda’s Idi Amin collapsed at the hands of Tanzanian Defense Forces.

Yet, many Ugandans still wake up disturbed and haunted by memories of his dictatorial rule.

The family of Theresa Nanziri Bukenya is one of them. Bukenya, a Ugandan mathematician and warden of the women’s-only hall of residence, Africa Hall, at Makerere University was killed by Amin’s regime for refusing to conspire with it in the killing of a student and the disappearance of another.

On the evening of June 22, 1976, Bukenya’s body was found with bullet wounds on the neck at the banks of a river. She was 37, had just married and was seven months pregnant.

She would join a tall list of others who had suffered cold death at the hands of the Amin regime.

Many believed she was targeted by the regime as the brilliant mathematician was not only an inspiration to women and girls but had been a symbol of bravery against the state.

Several hundred thousand people are believed to have been killed during the 8-year regime of Amin, who has since been renowned for the wrong reasons.

After seizing power from the then president of Uganda Milton Obote in 1971, his dictatorial style of leadership made many see him as a monster.

He had come to power with good intentions for his people but as time went on, he became power-drunk and started abusing people, historians say.

Bukenya was at Makerere University during this period and had introduced many policies aimed at providing a conducive environment for female students to study.

“In a show of love to the girls and their education, she introduced security lights around Africa Hall and on the steps. She also provided hot water for the girls to bathe in,” Dr. Maria Musoke, the chief librarian at the university recalled in 2007.

It is said that her security lights were to keep government soldiers from “preying on female students.”

To promote girl-child education, especially in mathematics, she once accepted a post at a remote area.

“Nanziri [Bukenya] was a staunch catholic, very courageous, strong-hearted and straight forward. She was a very good mathematician- in fact, one of the best teachers of that subject I met in my study days back in the sixties,” Rosemary Musisi Kobere, a warden at Makerere University, recalled…..Seê _ Morê

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