Day Mzee Kenyatta Saved President Obote from Certain Death

Uganda's first Prime Minister and president, Apollo Milton Obote, owed his second stint as Uganda's president to a day when Kenya's President, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta saved his life.

Memoirs of the late Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Njoroge Muigai revealed that he was in the company of Mr Obote in Singapore on January 25, 1971, representing their various countries at a Commonwealth meeting.

During the evening, the two came together at an undisclosed location to enjoy some drinks over small talk regarding the day's events before things took an abrupt turn for the worse.

"The cheerful occasion suddenly ended when a presidential guard pulled Dr Obote aside and whispered something in his ear," the memoir revealed.

A visibly enraged Obote suddenly turned frantic and started cursing out obscenities at the top of his voice to no one in particular as he was pacing across the room.

"Oh, that double-crossing buffoon, I’m catching the next plane home!” President Obote asserted.

The president had just learned that back home, General Idi Amin had just rolled the army’s tanks into the streets and declared himself the new Head of State.

Dr Mungai hurriedly called Mzee Jomo and apprised him of the new development including Obote's plan to fly back to Kampala as soon as he could.

Mzee Jomo having been briefed that Idi Amin had deployed part of his troops at the Entebbe International Airport in anticipation of Obote's return, urged his Foreign Affairs Minister to make sure President Obote didn't board the plane to Entebbe, adding that he would make necessary arrangements to ensure the safety of the deposed president.

"Do your best to restrain him because Amin’s people are waiting for him at Entebbe. I’m sending a plane to get him to Nairobi,” Mzee Kenyatta ordered.

Dr Mungai ended up taking care of the deposed president at his home having flown in with him to Nairobi for a couple of days before sending him over to Tanzanian President, Julius Nyerere, for safety reasons.

Dr Obote regained power after Amin's 1979 overthrow by Tanzanian forces aided by Ugandan exiles.

However, his 1980 election win was believed to have been heavily rigged, leading to a guerrilla war by Yoweri Museveni's National Resistance Army (NRA) and several other military groups.