PROFILES

PROFILE: Who is Taban Idi Amin

Taban is alleged to have participated in fraud that saw some American nationals lose about Shs30 billion (PHOTO/Courtesy).

KAMPALA — Detectives at the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) last week interrogated the deputy Director of the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) Taban Idi Amin over fraud.

Taban Amin is a son of the former President of Uganda, Idi Amin.

Taban Amin returned to Uganda in 2003 after years of self-imposed exile in neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where he is alleged to have occupied the derelict Ugandan embassy, closed after Uganda cut diplomatic relations with the DRC in 1998.

The then DRC President Joseph Kabila, the son of Laurent-Desire Kabila, his predecessor, deported Amin after receiving complaints from Ugandan officials who argued that the transitional government in Kinshasa was illegally protecting Ugandan rebels.

Amin had reportedly been worrying Ugandan officials following reports that forces loyal to him, which were at one time allied with Kabila senior’s armed forces against Rwandan- and Ugandan-backed rebels in eastern DRC, were regrouping in the Semliki valley along the border between the DRC and Uganda.

His expulsion from the DRC was a further sign of a thawing of relations between Kampala and Kinshasa, said observers at the time.

Amin’s father, who ruled Uganda between 1971 and 1979, presiding over a well-publicised era of brutality and economic meltdown, died at a hospital in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, where he had been living under protection from the Saudi royal family for more than a decade.

The years of bloodshed and instability following the fall of Amin’s regime eventually culminated in the successful takeover of Museveni’s National Resistance Movement (NRM) in 1986.

Since then, observers have pointed out that the NRM has resurfaced the cycle of retribution that characterised previous governments.

Upon return, Taban Amin
President Yoweri Museveni appointed him to be in charge of the West Nile and Congo.

His appointment sparked controversy, with critics at the time pointing out that the move would help perpetuate the legacy of the former dictator.

Taban Amin was later appointed deputy director general of Uganda Internal Security Organization (ISO).

Amin also worked as an ISO operative engaged in persuading Allied Democratic Force rebels to surrender.

He is himself a former rebel leader and once occupied Uganda’s embassy building in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He later found favor with the government when he returned from exile with his fighters.

Amin once led a music band that called for a third term for President Museveni.

Taban, was in October 2020 appointed ISO deputy director by President Museveni after sacking the former ISO boss, Col Kaka Bagyenda, and replacing him with Lt Col Charles Oluka on October 8.

Taban’s appointment sparked off confusion in the security circles after the senior presidential adviser on military matters, Lt Gen Proscovia Nalweyiso, last October said Maj Emmy Katabazi was the new ISO deputy director.

Few months into office, Taban is alleged to have participated in fraud that saw some American nationals lose USD $ 8 million (about Shs30 billion), the CID spokesperson, Charles Twiine, said.

“Detectives at CID Htrs are grilling Taban Amin for alleged participation in fraud that saw Americans defrauded of USD 8 Million” Twiine tweeted Friday.

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