The life and times of one of Idi Amin’s most feared military men –the late Lt.Col Abdallah Nasur

By Our Senior Writers

One of the late dictator Idi Amin ,’s notorious commanders who was also the  Governor of Central Province (Kampala) and administrative official in the 1970s, Lt. Col. Abdul Abdallah Nasur, has died .

He was 77 and  was  buried yesterday at Nakatonya village in Bombo town council Luwero district at 4pm.

Zenar Nassur the daughter says that her father died last night at Nakasero Hospital after battling a long illness. Family sources said Nassur was suffering from  pneumonia.

Nasur was born in 1946 in Nakatonya village in Luwero District. He was a strong military leader during President Idi Amin’s rule when he served as Governor for Central and Karamoja provinces from January 1975 – 1979.

Nasur was released from Luzira prison after President Yoweri Museveni pardoned him . He was serving a life sentence for the murder of  the mayor of Masaka Francis Walugembe on September 21st 1972.

Eye witnesses say that Nasur was a cruel, vicious military man who enforced martial law when he superintended over the affairs of Kampala city in 70s.

Over the years, since his release from prison now deceased Nasur Abdallah denied having killed Walugembe.

But witnesses say that after the failed  18th/19th September 1972 invasion by Obote and President Yoweri Museveni’s  guerrillas, to depose Amin -who had just captured power through a military coup, the then Uganda Army and intelligence agencies carried out  mop up operations  in Mbarara and Masaka to find and punish alleged collaborators of the invading forces from Tanzania.

Walugembe was arrested for being one of the allegedly collaborators. “Due to over enthusiasm, Nasur is reported to have driven an already tortured Walugembe around Masaka town – to humiliate him among the Baganda folks who had years earlier accused him of having been in cahoots with Obote to oust and kill Kabaka Mutesa after storming his palace in Mengo -Buganda crisis of 1966..

The parading of Walugembe was also geared at sounding a warning to those who would challenge Amin’s new authority as President.

Walugembe later died in the hands of the state but  Nasur claimed the parading of the former Masaka Mayor –who was a vividly tortured man ,was for “ political reasons”.

Nasur also denied that he was not responsible for the cold murder of Walugembe. But court using circumstantial evidence found him guilty and sentenced him to life in prison .

After being appointed Governor of Central Province in 1975, Nasur was equally over enthusiastic-  this time ordering  that slippers should only be used in bathrooms and homes and that Kampala dwellers should not wear them while going to the city . This was in his attempt to keep Kampala “clean and tidy”. 

He warned that deviants would be forced to eat their slippers, as cakes. Following those orders, irate soldiers allegedly forced some poor people, who couldn’t afford to buy shoes, to eat their slippers.

Also ,in a bid to expunge hoarding of life-sustaining groceries such as bar soap, he allegedly ordered some culprit shopkeepers to munch hoarded soap!

“I was a student, at the time, and heard these allegations. What’s not in contestation is that he was cruel and an over enthusiastic supporter of his Commander-in-Chief, Idi Amin,” an eye witness who declined to be named told


Before Amin overthrew obote in January 1971, Nasur was just a Corporal in the army , later a Sergeant and  instructor of officer cadets in Moroto army training wing . Nasur served in the army with Gen. Moses Ali who attended his burial yesterday .

The Amin forces commanded by well trained military officers defeated the Obote and Museveni forces in 1972 because according to historians, at the time, Amin was still popular.

 Secondly, people resented Obote because of desecrating the Buganda Kingdom and allegedly playing a role in the death of  Kabaka Mutesa in his London flat , No 28 Orchard House in Rotherhithe in 1969.

Thirdly, the Uganda Army was still very cohesive.  This was before Amin swamped it with ill-trained and ruthless Nubian and Sudanese mercenaries. 

The latter action forced many well-trained soldiers to flee into exile and join the guerrillas; between 1974 and 1977.

But Amin’s brutal regime was finally overthrown- again by an invading force backed by the Tanzania army on the orders of the Late President Julius Nyerere in 1979.

In 1979 after Amin was overthrown, Lt Col Nassur fled to Kenya but he was arrested, extradited, and charged with the murder of the Mayor of Masaka, Francis Walugembe .

In 2001, President Yoweri Museveni pardoned him. Since then he has been living-a low-quiet life at Nakatonya village in Bombo town where until his death, he was respected as a pillar of the Nubian community.

Before his death Nasur claimed that he was cleared  of human rights violations by the international bodies that investigated  the Idi Amin regime’s atrocities .


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